CEI launched into 2014 with a busy EP season.  Amidst the many veteran programs was the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, with 8 students visiting for their inaugural trip to Eleuthera! students learning snorkeling and transect techniques in boathouse cut prior to starting solo research

Led by Dr. Cory Suski, with years of CEI research under his belt, students spent their first 3 days at CEI learning proper research techniques in various environments.  While surveying patch reefs, executing mangrove transects, or seining creeks for live specimens, the students were developing their own research proposals for field research to occur later in the program.  Dr. Jocelyn Curtis-Quick and Zach Zuckerman were instrumental in passing along effective sampling techniques to the students.  Once equipped with methodology, 4 projects were launched, and the students were scattered throughout the Cape collecting data.

Students seining Rock Sound for bonefish and other flats fish with Zach

Among the topics studied were the impacts of take vs. no-take zones on lionfish presence and biodiversity, abiotic factors in various creeks in relation to the biodiversity of these zones, and anthropogenic impacts among various mangrove communities.  A symposium was hosted on the final day of program, during which students presented their findings to the CEI community.  Keep your eyes on U of I as these students return home and ready themselves for graduation in the spring – their dedication to science and research will undoubtedly take them far!

Students test out the Manta Tow during a search for aggregate grouper spawning site with Sustainable Fisheries