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Marine Biology

Divers observe turtle

Barbados Blue is not just a dive shop but a dive shop making a difference.  With two Marine Biologists on staff we are continuously combining the teaching of diving with the evaluation, monitoring, protection and education of tropical reef and coastal ecosystems.  With years of reef conservation and restoration experience we are armed and ready to make your diving excursion more than just a dive, but an unforgettable learning pleasure.  Our Environmental Consulting services and background is more fully described on Carib Marine Contracting & Research’s website www.transplantingcoral.com. Check it out!

Barbados-Blue-Underwater-Clean-up-Dive-2013-Project-AWARE

André Miller M.Sc. – University of Miami & University of the West Indies, CERMES

Coral Transplantation biologist, manager of Barbados Blue. Featured in “Oceans of Mystery” on the Discovery Channel where coral transplantation projects in Barbados were highlighted along with the sinking of the ‘Bajan Queen’ next to Barbados Blue’s house reef.   The Carlisle Bay Marine Park is 5 minutes from the dive shop, and because of its shallow depth and 6 wrecks the bay is dived at least once every day by advanced and new divers.  As  manager of an environmental consultancy firm Andre has been in charge of and involved in countless rehabilitation projects in the wider Caribbean back to his days as a policy writer and government marine biologist for the Coastal Zone Management Unit of Barbados.   Andre is the hands on Marine Biologist of the Barbados diving community and has earned his reputation as both a dedicated scientist and professional diving instructor.

J. Christine Finney M.Sc. – McGill University & University of the West Indies, CERMES

Coral ecologist and geneticist, PADI Staff Instructor.  A published author in scientific journals like ‘Climate Change’  with a background in the biodiversity and distribution of host-symbiont associations between corals and their inhabitant critters zooxanthellae, a relationship whose health is critical for understanding changes induced by sea temperature rise.  Christine has years of experience with marine habitats and is continuously involved in national and international research pursuits.  Currently Christine is in Grenada at our sister dive centre Eco Dive Grenada and is heavily involved in the diving community as President of the Grenada Scuba Diving Association and an active member in the MPA advisory board and more.

BARBADOS BLUE IS…

  • The Reef Check coordinating dive center for the eastern Caribbean via Andre Miller
  • PADI Project AWARE Coral Watch Dive Operator undertaking monthly coral bleaching assessments in Carlisle Bay Marine Park. The information gethered is submitted to an international database that records the relative coral health in all participating regions.  The most critical times of year to monitor the coral colour are during high stress periods.  Coral stress can result from elevated sea temperatures, nutrient overload (eutrophication), sedimentation (coastal development, storm swells), direct physical impact, natural disasters and more. As such a year long monitoring effort is important to understand and properly document the local conditions.
  • Continuously involved in public education initiatives and student programmes. Most recently the Junior Coral Reef Ambassador Programmerun through the University of the West Indies CERMES department.

INTERNSHIP PROJECTS WITH MCGILL UNIVERSITY BELLAIRS RESEARCH INSTITUTE (BFSS) STUDENTS

Sustainability assessment, snorkelers guide and carrying capacity of Carlisle Bay Marine Park
Interns: Mara, Jaclyn, Nic & Louis-Phillipe

Sustainability assessment and carrying capacity of “Swimming with the Turtles” in Payne’s    Bay St. James
Interns: Ally & Maude

Baseline biodiversity assessment and habitat qualification of the Needham’s Point region
Interns: Kaitlyn, Erin & Sylvia

To go way back pre-Barbados Blue Christine was a BFSS student in the programme’s first year.  Chris worked under the guidance of the Government’s Coastal Zone Management Unit biologists Angie Brathwaite and André Miller.  This project was to identify and compare coral disease on two environmentally contradicting bank reefs in Barbados.  We look forward to the students to come next fall and what we will accomplish together.

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