Research Initiatives

Sustainable Solutions for Real-world Problems

Our research at the Cape Eleuthera Institute focuses on the diverse habitats of Eleuthera. A wide array of terrestrial and marine environments are within a 10-mile radius of our campus, including old-growth coppice, rocky shores, tidal flats, mangrove creeks, seagrass meadows, and patch reefs, all of which play valuable ecological roles and support unique subtropical species. In addition, we live in a rich habitat of natural resources from solar and wind energy to oceans and farmlands. By harnessing these resources, we learn how to lessen our impact and conserve our world.


The diverse coastal habitats of The Bahamas support unique assemblages of subtropical species and play valuable ecological roles, yet their proximity to land also means that they are some of the most threatened by human activities such as coastal development. Learn more about CEI research that is helping to sustain coastal habitats.

Coral Reefs

Coral reefs, known as the “rainforest of the sea,” support 25% of all marine species. But some coral species are endangered, because local and global stressors are killing reef populations faster than they can recover. CEI researchers are helping develop innovative coral restoration techniques to revitalise coral populations. Learn more about CEI’s coral restoration strategies.

Open Ocean

The Exuma Sound, located in the eastern Bahamas, is home to sharks, whales, seabirds, game fishes, and more. It is also relied upon for food and recreation. CEI is helping to provide the data necessary to sustainably manage this incredible habitat. Learn more about CEI’s Exuma Sound Ecosystem Research Project.

Deep Sea

Far below the open ocean is one of the least explored habitats on the planet: the deep sea. At CEI, we have immediate access to the deep-sea as we are situated next to the continental shelf of the Exuma Sound. It is a world that has rarely, if ever, been seen by human eyes, and one which we hope to explore. Learn more about CEI’s deep-sea explorations.

Atmospheric Science

CEI is focusing on atmosphere and ocean interactions in the tropical Atlantic Ocean. The purpose of our research is to introduce a physical science component to understand how the ocean works and the role of the atmosphere in oceanography and biogeochemical processes. Learn more about CEI’s research in the physical climate sciences.

Food Security

The Bahamas currently imports over 90% of its food, making it the second-most vulnerable country in the region to shocks in food supply. Working in tandem with government strategy, our food security research initiatives aim to develop innovative techniques that sustainably maximize local food production while appropriately utilizing our natural resources. Learn more about CEI’s food security research initiatives.

Resource Management

In Small Island Developing States (SIDS) like The Bahamas, resource management presents challenges that directly impact our environmental health and sustainable socioeconomic development. At the Cape Eleuthera Institute, one of our pivotal research areas seeks to investigate how we manage one of our most valuable resources, waste, and challenge our actions to live well in a place. Learn more about CEI’s resource management initiatives.

Sustainable Systems

Our remote location in southern Eleuthera has always required a high level of self-sustainability. Our staff at CEI, and an ongoing community commitment, has helped to make The Island School a pioneering resource in The Bahamas in environmental engineering and sustainable living.  Our research into sustainable systems is ongoing and a part of the way we live each and every day.

The Island School Stories

From climate change to coral reefs and farms to fisheries, our diverse research initiatives are all focused on addressing the big challenges to living sustainably in an island community. We pride ourselves on the high quality of our research that draws in collaborators from institutions around the world.”

Dr. Nick Higgs

Director of Research and Innovation