Current Projects

Tracking Turtles in Belize

WCS, in collaboration with the Belize Fisheries Department, conducted its in-water turtle surveys out at Glover’s Reef Research Station from the 12 – 16 May 2014. Assisting in the surveys were 8 volunteers from Google.  Three captured adult hawksbill and one green sea turtles were fitted with satellite tags to track their long-range movement. Tissue samples, [...]

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Spawning Aggregation 2014

The Wildlife Conservation Society in partnership with the Belize Fisheries Department conducted Spawning Aggregation (SPAG) Monitoring at the Northeast Point, Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve. This monitoring program was implemented in 2005 with the aim to evaluate the status of Nassau grouper at the atoll. The surveys were led by Virginia Burns-Perez (WCS-Belize, Technical Coordinator) from [...]

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In-water Sea Turtle Monitoring

In 2007, the Wildlife Conservation Society, in partnership with the Belize Fisheries Department, started a long term in-water sea turtle monitoring program at Glover’s Reef Atoll. The main objectives of the monitoring program are to:

Determine an absolute abundance estimate of the Glover’s Reef Atoll fore-reef habitat aggregation and long-term abundance
Increase our knowledge of sea turtle [...]

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Belize Shark Conservation Research

Principal Investigators: Demian D. Chapman (Ph.D.) and Ellen K. Pikitch (Ph.D.) (Institute for Ocean Conservation Science & School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. Stony Brook University, Stony Brook NY.) Elizabeth Babcock (Ph.D.). (Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, FL.)
Summary: The Glover’s Reef atoll shark survey has been conducted for thirteen [...]

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Applying patterns of natural coral recovery to guide Caribbean coral reef restoration efforts

Principal Investigator: Brittany Huntington PhD (NRC Post Doc Fellow NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center)
Summary:  To improve restoration site selection by indentifying favorable seascape
and reef habitat attributes for Acropora cerviconis (stag horn coral) proliferation, and
by determining optimal colony density, size, and configuration for out-planting
colonies.

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A Hands-on Approach to Marine Science Education: Surveying and comparing the marine habitats of Glover’s Reef

Principal Investigators: Carlie Williams, Josh Kilborn, Natasha Mendez, Ben Hayes and Jim Alaniz (SCUBAnauts International, Inc., U.S.A.)
Summary:  The SCUBAnauts International (SNI) is a charitably-supported Youth Marine Science Education organization and an organizational member of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS). SNI is designed to teach teenagers about marine science using scientific diving data collection [...]

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The effect of coral reef degradation on the recruitment of reef fish larvae at Glover’s Reef Atoll, Belize

Principal Investigator: Niloufar Bayani (Master’s Thesis) Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology (Columbia University)
Summary:  The study aims to examine the effect of climate-related coral reef degradation on the recruitment pattern of fish larvae at Glover’s Reef Atoll in Belize. The main objectives are to: 1) determine patterns of fish larval settlement among early and [...]

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Sampling Corals along Belize Coast

Principal Investigators: Maoz Fine (PhD)  and Ofer ben-Tzvi (PhD) (The Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences in Eilat, Israel & Bar-Ilan University. Israel)
Summary: The Future of Reefs in a Changing Environment (FORCE) project is an integrated research project which takes an ecosystem approach, linking social and ecological aspects towards managing Caribbean coral reefs in the face of climate change. [...]

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Spawning Aggregation Acoustics Research

Principal Investigators:Michelle Schärer, Caribbean Coral Reef Institute (CCRI), University of Puerto Rico
Summary:  The purpose of the study is to determine if the Nassau grouper, Epinephelus striatus, produces sounds associated with spawning aggregations. Recognition of a species-specific sound may help increase our understanding of Nassau grouper reproductive behaviors and detect spawning aggregations acoustically.

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Dispersal of Panulirus argus (spiny lobster) larvae and how it affects disease transmission

Principal Investigator: Mark Butler PhD (Old Dominion University)
Summary:  The study aims to explore the dynamics and mechanisms of disease in spiny lobster larvae, understand the effect of infection on larval behavior and mortality, and how this may affect disease transmission and population connectivity in the Caribbean.

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