Our Research and Tech Team

A Dynamic Program, a Dynamic Team

Our team of research scientists and technicians make CEI an extraordinary place to conduct meaningful and impactful research.


Johny Alexis

Landscape Technician

Mia Avril

Aquaponics Systems Engineer

Mia Avril

Mia is a true CARICOM national. Born and raised in Saint Lucia, she has lived and worked in Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Dominica, among other places. She is an aquaculturist by training but her educational and professional background also expand to include environmental and marine science. Her intention is to ensure that there will always be fresh lettuce available to all on campus, among other hydroponically produced vegetables. As would be expected, she does enjoy spending her time outside, the beach is her happy place. She also enjoys watching TV and considers popcorn to be a food group.

Bill Bigelow

Research Class Coordinator

Michael Bowleg

Visiting Scientist

Michael Bowleg

Michael Bowleg Jr is a Bahamian sustainability and aquaculture scientist from Nassau, The Bahamas and an alumnus of The University of The Bahamas’ Small Island Sustainability program. Michael graduated with honours from The University of Plymouth with a MSc. in Sustainable Aquaculture in which his thesis focused on the application of prebiotics in salmonids to enhance growth and immune system function. He also has substantial research and husbandry experience in finfish and crustacean aquaculture, aquaponics and environmental education. Currently, Michael is a 2nd year PhD student and Teaching Assistant at the University of Exeter in the UK. Currently at CEI, Michael’s research is focused on identifying marine ecosystems relevant to Caribbean spiny lobster pueruli settlement in Eleuthera. In particular, he hopes to identify the feasibility of Caribbean spiny lobster stock enhancement and production aquaculture and grow out.

Secoudieu Camille

Agricultural Technician

Dorlan Curtis

Assistant Director of Research & Innovation

Dorlan Curtis

Dorlan is a Bahamian bioprocess engineer from New Providence. Prior to joining CEI, he worked as a Process Engineer at Verso Paper in Michigan, USA and Assistant Residence Director at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. He received a B.E. in Chemical Engineering from Youngstown State University and M.Sc. in Bioprocess Engineering from SUNY-College of Environmental Science and Forestry, During his tenure as a graduate researcher, his thesis focused on thermochemical hemicellulose extraction of invasive Casuarina lignocellulosic biomass to produce biofuels and bioplastics. At CEI, he conducts research in utilizing fungi to produce food and biomaterials.

Bronwyn Esterhuizen

Senior Research Scientist

Bronwyn Esterhuizen

Bronwyn is from the East Coast of South Africa, more specifically Warner Beach, a little fishing village south of Durban. Prior to arriving in Eleuthera, she was a qualified horticulturist with most of her experience in coastal landscaping and more recently landscape management in the hospitality industry, both in South Africa and the Caribbean. Currently she is pursuing a M.Sc. in Horticulture and her research project is on Permaculture Design for climate resilience using The Island School as a case study.

Marjahn Finlayson

Research Scientist

Marjahn Finlayson

Marjahn is a climate scientist from New Providence, Bahamas. During her undergraduate career at Wesleyan University, she researched tropical cyclones and climate variability at NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. After graduating, she taught in the United States and The Bahamas as a science and mathematics teacher for students ranging from kindergarten to high school for three years. She continued her research career at the University of Leeds, where she earned her Masters of Research in Climate and Atmospheric Science. At CEI, Marjahn’s research focuses on tropical cyclone development under climate change, ocean-atmosphere interactions, and climate change awareness.

Nicholas Higgs

Director of Research & Innovation

Nicholas Higgs

Nick is a Bahamian marine biologist that hails from the fishing town of Spanish Wells, Eleuthera. Before returning to The Bahamas to lead the Cape Eleuthera Institute at The Island School, Nick worked as Deputy Director of the Marine Institute at the University of Plymouth in the UK. He began his research career studying the ecology and biodiversity of deep-sea habitats, completing his doctoral research at the University of Leeds and Natural History Museum, London. He has since diversified his research interests and is currently focussed on sustainable fisheries in The Bahamas, particularly the spiny lobster fishery.

Natalia Hurtado

Research Scientist

Natalia Hurtado

Natalia is a Colombian marine biologist who started studying coral population and growth to improve coral restoration for her undergraduate and master’s theses. Since 2008, she has been involved in many coral projects in Colombia, The Netherlands, Bonaire, Curaçao and Qatar. Now, she is applying her expertise at the Bahamas Coral Innovation Hub project, hoping to help to rehabilitate threatened coral populations by using sexual and asexual propagation to grow and research different coral species. Natalia has been teaching dive courses for the last 15 years, training beginners, divemasters, new instructors and teaching specialties like the PADI Reef Rescue Course.

Elidieu Joseph

Agricultural Technician

Vincent Louisius

Landscape Technician

Eric Schneider

Research Scientist & Lab Manager

Eric Schneider

Eric grew up near Washington D.C. and has been working with CEI since 2013. His research interests are motivated by a need to conserve biodiversity and to improve the sustainability of fisheries. He has worked alongside fishers on projects focused on a variety of recreationally and commercially important species including stone crabs, pelagic sportfish, and bonefish. He received a BSc in Biology from Gettysburg College and a MSc in Natural Resources and Environmental Science from the University of Illinois. Eric is a PhD candidate at the University of Glasgow and has taught the Semester Research Class since 2013.

Alex Smith

Research Assistant

Patricia Thompson

Farm & Landscape Manager

Silia Woodside

Research Assistant

Lindsay Rigby

Research Technician

Julia Kichorowsky

Research Assistant

Lucia Yannuzzi

Research Technician

Alexa Hoffman

Research Assistant

Megan Poulton

Research Assistant

Deon Armbrister

Waste Management Technician