News

Education, Research and Innovation at The Island School

Read on for program highlights, research results, all-star alumni, sustainable living ideas, and more.

Preserving the Bahamian Nurse Shark: A Vital Mission for Ocean Health

By Natascha Wosnick, Shark Researcher – Cape Eleuthera Institute at The Island School Among the Bahamas’ remarkable inhabitants, the nurse shark, scientifically known as Ginglymostoma cirratum, holds a special place.…

2022 Hurricane Forecast for The Bahamas

June marks the official start of hurricane season in the tropical North Atlantic and hurricane forecasters are predicting above-average activity in the North Atlantic Basin this year. Current predictions call…

Alumni Spotlight: Tia Peterson

Jul 6, 2022

There are many opportunities that set an Island School Semester apart from a traditional school, but one of the most remarkable things is the real-world research students conduct alongside our team of research scientists through the Cape Eleuthera Institute.

Sustaining Stone Crabs’ Colossal Claws

Stone crabs are found throughout the Caribbean and tropical western Atlantic and are the target of a claw only fishery. Some of the largest stone crab claws come out of…

Biodiversity in the Boneyard

At first glance, this coastal area appears to be nothing more than a mismanaged dumpsite that has been taken over by an invasive species known as Australian Pine (Casuarina equisetifolia). However, one of our interns has been conducting research in the area and found that there is more native diversity here than initially meets the eye. By understanding what plant species are persisting in this stressful environment, we can prioritize our restoration efforts to facilitate the growth of native coastal vegetation that protects our coastlines. The restoration of native plant biodiversity can be a tool to increase coastal resilience and protect coastal communities like ours, to adapt to a changing climate.

Crab Fest 2021

“We all have something to learn from each other. While learning more about the ecology of these animals is crucial for their conservation, really understanding the importance of the fishery in the community context is equally as important. Events like Crab Fest are a great way to better grasp the significance of these animals from the stakeholder perspective.”

CEI Recovers Sea Glider from Atlantic

Research scientists from the Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI) at The Island School recovered an underwater sea glider from the Atlantic Ocean. The sea glider is a torpedo-shaped autonomous drone that measures upper ocean characteristics, such as temperature and salinity levels. This data is to improve forecasting for tropical storms and hurricanes in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Patch reef survey time!

Last week the Reef Ecology and Restoration team completed the March monitoring surveys of the 5 year reef study around the patches of Eleuthera. The March surveys usually call for thick…

Research to protect Eleuthera seahorses

Dr. Jocelyn Curtis-Quick and her team have been assisting Dr. Heather Masonjones with her ongoing seahorse research in Sweetings Pond. Sweetings Pond on the island of Eleuthera contains a diverse…

Queen conch “graveyard” study taking place at CEI

High on top of the Bahamian crest is a queen conch—an iconic representation of how truly integrated marine ecosystems are to Caribbean culture. Queen conch (Strombus gigas) is a large…

Seining success for sea turtle team

Recently, St. Thomas Aquinas High School from Dover, New Hampshire helped conduct research with the CEI sea turtle research team in Winding Bay. Although the weather was uncooperative on Friday…

Another outreach event with the Stingray Team!

Members of the Stingray Research Group from the Cape Eleuthera Institute’s Shark Research and Conservation Program have recently completed two days of outreach on Great Exuma. Following on from the…

Shark team tags and releases great hammerhead

On Wednesday, 3rd February, the Shark Research and Conservation Team captured and sampled only the fourth ever Great Hammerhead shark (Sphyrna mokarran) caught off of Eleuthera in the entirety of the…

Cool new video of bonefish spawning aggregation in South Eleuthera!

A spawning aggregation of thousands of bonefish (Albula vulpes) was recently filmed in South Eleuthera. Bonefish make monthly migrations of up to 80 km (50 miles) to form spawning aggregations!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikVNxeY2KRs&feature=youtu.be…

Global Finprint Project: Nassau Expedition

Last week, four members of the Shark Research and Conservation Program (SRCP) travelled to Nassau, New Providence to participate in a global effort to assess the abundance and diversity of…

New citizen scientist page set up by CEI plastics researcher

Have you ever come across an animal – whether fish, bird, mammal, or even coral – that was impacted by plastic? Share your observation and details with the “Plastic Pollution:…

Lionfish: Island School’s favorite dish!

The invasion of lionfish on reefs of the West Atlantic has become an issue of critical concern.  With eradication not possible, the silver lining is that lionfish are delicious. The…

A busy week with The Island School Research Symposium and Parent’s Week

Last Thursday was The Island School Research Symposium! It is a highlight of Parent’s Week, and a time for parents to hear about the good work being done by their…

Oregon State University’s final field season at CEI

Dr. Mark Hixon’s PhD students from Oregon State University returned to CEI for a fourth summer of invasive lionfish research.   As part of a long-term project, PhD student Alex…

Students from Simon Fraser University continue their research on the invasive lionfish in Eleuthera

Three months ago, the Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI) welcomed back Simon Fraser University (SFU), and their 2015 field team of seven researchers.  Based in British Columbia on the west coast…

Educational Programs Team hosts Akhepran International Academy

While all visiting groups are special to us here at CEI, certain ones touch our hearts in unique and unexpected ways. Akhepran International Academy, visiting us for the first time…

Professor Duncan Irschick of University of Massachusetts visits CEI!

Professor Duncan Irschick, integrative biologist and innovator at the University of Massachusettes, recently visited Cape Eleuthera Institute for an exciting week of field work with the Sea Turtle Research and…

The new multinational Sea Turtle Team ready to go for the Fall!

The Sea Turtle Research and Conservation team here at CEI welcomes three new members to the team for the fall semester! They arrived last Saturday and, after a few days…

Mackey recounts her deep-sea adventures with Dr. Edith Widder in the Gulf of Mexico

My journey started as an Island School student back in Fall 2006, before Cape Eleuthera Institute even existed. The bridge across the mangroves was just being built. After my semester…

Students conducting dissertation projects at CEI this summer

This is the 4th year that CEI has been collaborating with Newcastle University, United Kingdom, in offering research placements for their marine biology undergraduate students. Over the years student numbers…

Sea Turtle Earthwatch Team visits CEI

The Sea Turtle Research Team recently said goodbye to their first Earthwatch team of the summer, and we are sad to see them go. The group of 7 students and…

CEI Research Manager attends Coral Reef Strategic Planning Workshop

The Bahamas National Trust invited the Cape Eleuthera Institute to participate in a Strategic Planning Workshop  intended to develop a national strategy for improving the health of coral reef ecosystems and…

You are what you eat… and what your dinner eats, too!

As any angler will tell you, fresh fish is the best fish (Fig. 1)! Even non-anglers would insist that grilled wahoo, dockside yellowfin sashimi, or fried dolphinfish fingers are best…

Island School Research Class helps assess the local reef invertebrate populations

In the Bahamas, the fishing industry is crucial for the economy of the country, worth about $100  million annually. This mainly comes from the three main fisheries of The Bahamas, spiny…

Pufferfish shine in video contest

What happens to the research done at CEI after the excitement of the field season and the hours in the lab are over? Researchers need to find interesting and accessible ways…

Brittney Parker and James Murray are the newest additions to the Sea Turtle Research Team

Here is a brief introduction to the new Sea Turtle interns, written by James Murray (IS FA’11):We are really excited to be here at CEI, studying and assisting in the…

The lionfish team completes year 5 of reef surveys

The lionfish team zipped up their 5mm wetsuits, donned their hoods, and braved the dropping water temperatures to conduct the 5th year of reef monitoring. It is well known that…

Earthwatch Sea Turtle Programs have a successful year in 2014!

9 expeditions, 92 volunteers, 115 turtles, and 145 Baited Remote Underwater Video Surveys  – just a taste of the successful year the Earthwatch-funded sea turtle research program had in 2014! This…

Palm Beach Day Academy visits the Cape Eleuthera Institute

Seven students from The Palm Beach Day Academy, in Palm Beach, Florida, kicked off a busy December at the Cape Eleuthera Institute with a five day program focused on marine…

CEI Researchers attend GCFI Conference in Barbados

CEI researchers Claire Thomas and Zach Zuckermen attended the 67th Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute in Barbados the first week of November. This conference focused on small islands and developing…

Third BREEF Sea Camp, Governor’s Harbour, August 2014

Dr. Owen O’Shea, Associate Researcher with the Shark Research and Conservation Program at The Cape Eleuthera Institute, recently visited the Haynes Library in Governor’s Harbour to deliver a talk on…

Simon Fraser University’s Gotta Catch ‘Em All

Summer 2014 was a fun but busy field season for the research team from Simon Fraser University. This was the first field season at Cape Eleuthera Institute for Fiona Francis,…

Gap Year Students in the Field with the Lionfish and Sustainable Fisheries Teams

Gap Year students spent an afternoon with the sustainable fisheries program, dissecting lionfish and engaging in discussion about the invasive species. During the dissection students poked at lionfish visceral fat…

Brookwood School Visits CEI

Brookwood School students and teachers recently headed back to Massachusetts after their school’s first visit to Cape Eleuthera Institute. During their 6-day adventure the group was able to learn more about…

American Elasmobranch Society 2014 – Chattanooga, Tennessee

Shark Research and Conservation Associate Researcher Dr. Owen O’Shea recently attended the 30th annual meeting of the American Elasmobranch Society in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Dr. O’Shea presented his paper ‘novel observations…

Local High School Teachers Consider Sustainability as a Part of Curriculum

Teachers and Vice Principal, Ms. Knowles, from Preston H. Albury High School came to visit during teacher’s planning week in late August. This visit served as the start to a…

Oceanside and Camden Hills- visiting programs at CEI

 Earlier this month was the return of Camden Hills Regional High School for their sixth visit to CEI, and Oceanside High School’s second trip alongside Camden. It was another stellar…

IS students help with deep sea trapping research project

The Island school summer term went out with the deep-water research group, led by Mackellar Violich to pull up traps from 1200 meters deep. The baited traps are set off…

CEI and Island School Research Symposium a big success

Congratulations to all of the Spring 2014 Island School students who gave oral and poster presentations at the Research Symposium. This event is a culmination a semester-long research class, where…

Island School students present their research at Parent’s Weekend

Last week, the Island School campus was inundated with the parents of the Spring 2014 students. Aside from campus tours and a breathtaking art gallery, parents also got to witness…

Deep Creek Middle School students host town hall meeting on Sustainable Fisheries

A town hall meeting was held on May 15 at the South Eleuthera Mission. This meeting was organized by Deep Creek Middle School students who formed a Sustainable Fisheries team:…

CEI Researcher Dr. Jocelyn Curtis-Quick presents at Tedx Nassau

On Saturday, May 3rd, the first TEDx event in The Bahamas, TEDx Nassau 2014, took place.  The event aimed to facilitate nationwide conversations about pressing issues in The Bahamas today,…

CEI Researcher Zach Zuckerman discusses mangrove conservation in Abaco!

Flats Research Manager Zach Zuckerman was invited to perform an ecological assessment of Sand Banks Creek near Treasure Cay, Abaco. Together with Olivia Patterson of Friends of the Environment, representatives…

Visiting Program from Muncton gets involved with all aspects of CEI!

Things are heating up here at CEI!  Students are on campus, summer is on the way, and the adventures are everywhere.  The Educational Programs team wrapped up the month of…

Effect of Thermal Stressors on Great Barracuda and Schoolmaster Snapper

Over the next 100 years, factors causing climate change have the potential to increase sea surface temperatures by up to 5 degrees Celsius.  However, even a small increase could have drastic effects on tropical areas due to the historical thermal stability of places such as the Caribbean.  Recently, the Cape Eleuthera Institute has been focusing efforts on investigating how climate change may affect tropical fish species and the marine communities with which they interact.  One specific project is using a swim tunnel to measure the aerobic scope of Great Barracuda (Sphyraena barracuda) and Schoolmaster Snapper (Lutjanus apodus).  A swim tunnel is a cylindrical tank in which a fish swims against a current and its oxygen consumption can be measured.  Data obtained from the swim tunnel such as swimming velocity and respiration rate can then be used to calculate the fish’s aerobic scope.  Aerobic scope, or the capacity for oxygen­driven metabolism, is a good overall indicator for performance and can estimate how much energy a fish has to devote to essential behaviors such as foraging, predator evasion and reproduction. The water that flows through the swim tunnel can be slightly warmed to simulate future ocean conditions, and the fish’s response can be quantified.  Through this study, CEI and the Flats Ecology and Conservation Program hope to gain insight on how different coral reef and mangrove…

Exploring the Depths with DCMS & CEI Shark Team

The importance of scientific outreach is empirical to the goals and objectives of the Cape Eleuthera Foundation, aiming to educate and inspire the next generation of young scientists. Friday 14th…

Sunscreen and Handling Experiments

An estimated 4,000 to 6,000 metric tons of sunscreen washes off swimmers annually. This can affect the ocean in many different ways. This semester the Flats Research Program at CEI…

CEI Researchers present at the 2nd Bahamas National Natural History Conference in Nassau

CEI researchers were busy in Nassau over the past week.  On March 4th, Aaron Shultz and Kate Kincaid attended an IUCN Red List Workshop, held at The Bahamas National Trust.…

Exeter field course visits CEI

Visiting CEI for the first time, 26 students and 4 professors from the University of Exeter, UK, completed a 12 day program during 6th- 17th January. As part of a field…

MSSM presents on the effects of longline capture stress

The Maine School of Science & Mathematics blessed us with their presence for the 4th year in a row here at the Cape Eleuthera Institute! Dr. Debbie Eustis-Grandy and Dr.…

Spring Gap students are here!

The Spring Gappers are on campus! Our first week was busy getting oriented to all the exciting opportunities that are waiting for us in the next two months. While we’ve…

Lionfish study focused on South Eleuthera’s patch reefs is accepted for publication!

Good news for the continuing battle against invasive lionfish – a study conducted at CEI in collaboration with Simon Fraser University and Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF), and headed by…

CEI attends Abaco Science Alliance Conference 2014

FRIENDS of the Environment hosted the 6th Biennial Abaco Science Alliance Conference (ASAC). The conference goals were to provide a forum for networking and information sharing for Abaco and Bahamas-based…

Interesting research on weather balloons by CEI researcher Dr. Owen O’Shea

Dr. Owen O’Shea, research associate for the Shark Program at CEI, recently had research published looking at the negative effects of weather balloons, after thousands were recorded from community beach…

Monmouth University students continue ongoing research projects at CEI

January at the Cape Eleuthera Institute is an exciting time:  a new year, new interns, and a heap of new students visiting during their university’s January term!Monmouth University joined CEI…

Outreach in Spanish Wells

In November, Kristal Ambrose, working for the Center for Sustainable Development, and CEI’s outdoor educator Tiffany Gray, made the trip down island to visit Ms. Thompson’s grade 12 geography class at…

Visiting program from Exeter University visits Schooner Cays for juvenile conch surveys

This weekend saw visiting Exeter students and professors heading to the Schooner Cays with the CEI Queen Conch team.  A 30-minute ride and short swim allowed us to conduct shallow…

The Shark Research team posts footage of their deepwater research with the Medusa!

The Cape Eleuthera Institute and The Island School have recently begun their deepwater exploration of The Exuma Sound with almost 100 hours of footage from the deep ocean. This study…

Lionfish team completes December surveys

Wetsuits were in order as the lionfish team took to the seas for their December surveys of the patch reefs.  A three-day blitz with eighteen dives brought us to sixteen…

Wrapping up a successful bonefish tagging trip in Andros South

Interns from the Flats Ecology and Conservation Program and Shark Research and Education Program at the Cape Eleuthera Institute (Stacey Dorman and Carl Treyz) and Zack Jud from the Bonefish and…

New acoustic tracking study on bonefish in Grand Bahama

Throughout the islands of The Bahamas, bonefishing is not only popular sport, but also an important component of the tourism industry that contributes greatly to the economic health of many…

Check out our Fall 2013 eNews!

See what CEI researchers and environmental educators have been up to this fall! Follow the link to read our Fall eNews:http://www.ceibahamas.org/ENews/CEI/2013_Fall2/2013_FALL2_CEI.html

Tilapia harvest at CEI

Last month, CEI conducted its first tilapia harvest since March 2013.  This exciting process began on Sunday morning when 160 tilapia were selected for harvest for an Island School parent’s weekend meal and a…

Intern Bio: Kylie Bloodsworth

Kylie grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She received in a Bachelor’s of Arts in French Language Studies and a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from the University of St. Thomas…

Gap Year Students Perform Shallow Water Conch Surveys

This fall the gap year team has undertaken the task of completing Fall 2013 shallow water conch surveys. Once complete this data will be a part of a larger effort…

CEI Spring 2014 Internships- Apply NOW!

Interested in an internship at the Cape Eleuthera Institute? CEI is currently hiring interns for Spring 2014. The deadline to submit applications is October 1st. Please follow this link to…

Meet our Fall Gap Year Students

Here are short bios from our three Gap Year students:Eryn Dioli: My name is Eryn Dioli and I just graduated from high school in June of 2013. I’m taking a gap…

CEI’s Sea Turtle Researchers visit Fishbone Tours in Savannah Sound, Eleuthera

Annabelle Brooks and Meagan Gary, researchers with the CEI Sea Turtle Research and Conservation Program, recently spent a day in Savannah Sound, Central Eleuthera, with Fishbone Tours (http://www.fishbonetours.com/). Established by…

Highlighting 3 Fall Interns with the Lionfish/Conch Programs

This Fall semester, The Lionfish and Conch Programs decided to do something new. They instituted a dual internship, which would focus on sustainable fisheries and marine conservation; interns would work…

Lionfish Research Manager Dr. Jocelyn Curtis-Quick expands the program over the past year

This September marks the one year anniversary of the arrival of the current Lionfish Research and Education Program (LREP) manager, Dr. Jocelyn Curtis-Quick.  Jocelyn is a marine ecologist with over…

Shark team recovers satellite tags as part of ongoing project

Last Thursday our shark team, captained by Dr. Edward Brooks, embarked on another exciting satellite tag recovery to the Exumas – a small group of cays situated due west of…

Abaco Flats Program – a joint effort between CEI and Friends of the Environment

Last week Justin Lewis, from Grand Bahama, Zack Jud, from Florida International University and Tiffany Gray, from Cape Eleuthera Institute, worked with Cassandra Abraham at Friends of the Environment in…

CEI represented at the American Elasmobranch Society Conference

The 2013 Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists was held July 10 -15 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The American Elasmobranch Society participated by hosting 5 days of shark and ray research presentations, and…

Newcastle University from the UK sends undergraduates to collect data at CEI

Seven undergraduate students from Newcastle University have been on campus since July 1, assimilating with various research groups at CEI. Each student is working on an individual project for their…

Lionfish team completes July patch reef surveys

The lionfish team has recently finished their fish abundance surveys, which are undertaken every three months. They visited sixteen reef patches in the Exuma Sound over three days. There are…

New staff bio for Dr. Owen R. O’Shea

Here is a brief background on our new Shark Research Associate, Dr. Owen R. O’Shea:I am a marine ecologist with a background in coral reef ecology and elasmobranch biology. I…

Stress and the Incredible Checkered Puffer

How do fish handle stress? With the rise of human and climate related stressors, researchers are actively exploring how fish react to these conditions. Naomi Pleizier, a MSc. student from…

Lionfish Researcher Invasion

Currently CEI is overrun with lionfish researchers; it’s an invasion!The Oregon State University has a team of 6 here. The renowned lionfish researcher Dr. Mark Hixon was also on site for…

Spring 2013 CEI/IS Research Symposium was a success!

This past Saturday, CEI and IS hosted their Spring 2013 Research Symposium. The event consisted of research presentations and poster sessions, where Island School students got the chance to present…

April patch reef surveys completed by Lionfish Research team

Last week, the lionfish team here at CEI got out of the office and spent their working hours underwater- about 14 hours to be exact! They conducted a round of…

Island School students present introductions to their research projects

This past week, the SP13 Island School students presented Project Introduction presentations to their peers, staff, faculty, and the many visitors on campus. These presentations gave the students a chance…

Oregon State University Lionfish Lab hits the reefs of South Eleuthera

For the past two weeks, Mark Hixon’s graduate students from Oregon State University (Alex Davis, Tye Kindinger, and Lillian Tuttle) have been busy SCUBA diving on their experimental reefs where…

CEI/Island School Bridge to Shark Research in South Africa

On the Maxey’s recent trip to South Africa, Chris Maxey had the opportunity to visit the Save our Seas Shark Research Centre and met with Michael C. Scholl, CEO of Save Our Seas Foundation (SOSF). Michael is interested…

Interested in a CEI summer or fall internship?

Call for marine ecology, sustainable food production, and renewable energy-related intern applicants!Interested in gaining experience in the marine sciences?  Perhaps sustainable living and food production?  Please note the approaching application…

Ice, Ice, Baby; It’s Getting Hot in Here!

Researchers with the Flats Ecology and Conservation Program are studying the critical thermal minimums (CTmin) and maximums (CTmax) of fish species representative of tropical nearshore flats and mangrove creek ecosystems.…

Intern profile: Melissa Dick

Here is a short bio from the Flats intern Melissa:I grew up in the countryside of Gatineau, Quebec, Canada where I developed a love for the outdoors and learning about…

Intern Profile: Elizabeth Underwood dives with lionfish!

Here is a short bio on Lionfish Research and Education Program intern Elizabeth Underwood:I’m originally from Atlanta, GA and my passion for marine biology research really took off when I…

Lobster ranching at CEI!

In an effort to reduce the amount of organic waste produced by the various branches at CEI that utilize the wet-lab facility, a Caribbean Spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) ranching project was initiated…

Exciting juvenile bonefish research at CEI!

Since May 2011, Christopher Haak, a PhD student (and avid fisherman) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, along with other scientists, has been trying to solve the mystery of where…

28th Research Symposium recently held at the Cape Eleuthera Island School

This past Saturday, December 1st, marked CEI’s 28th Research Symposium. During the Symposium, Island School students got the chance to showcase the culmination of a semester’s worth of research to…

Parents’ Weekend Fall 2012

This November, CEI was flooded with over 100 guests as The Island School hosted Parents’ Weekend for all 45 students. The week was full of tours around campus, a student…

Culturing Penshells at the Cape Eleuthera Institute

Two weeks ago the Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI) harvested over one hundred black penshells from a beautiful beach at Ten Bay, located near Palmetto Point. Penshells are a kind of…