'Aglow' from Reef Report

As part of The Central Caribbean Marine Institute's (CCMI) effort to raise public awareness about the importance of the marine environment, marine biologist and author, Dr David Gruber delivered a reef report in Cayman. 

At the first of three such presentations for 2008, held 3 July at the Cracked Conch, Dr Gruber spoke about bio-fluorescense in the marine environment. 

The Department of Environment's John Bothwell began the evening by thanking the CCMI for educating the public on the importance of the marine environment, and then welcomed Dr Gruber. 

With the goal of proposing new conservation measures for deep and shallow reefs, Dr Gruber recently returned from an in-depth research project called ROV Deep Reef Exploration, which investigated the relations between the shallow and deeper reef ecologies using an ROV (remote operated vehicle), called the 'Little Tyche'. 

Conducted in the beautiful azure waters, located just feet away from the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) on Little Cayman, Dr Gruber worked closely with Dr Carrie Manfrino, CCMI Director, to examine the health and ecology of the deeper waters of Bloody Bay Wall. 

"I came here with the intention of taking a good look and characterizing the Bloody Bay Reef so I could raise more awareness about this amazing natural resource in Cayman," he expressed. "It is absolutely beautiful, and from what I saw, trust me; I will do my best to raise awareness." 

His address to the small gathering at The Cracked Conch was also based on his recent book 'Aglow in the Dark' (Harvard University Press), co-authored with Dr Vincent Pieribone of Yale University School of Medicine, that archives how surprising discoveries from corals and bioluminescent jellyfish have transformed modern biomedical science, and led to breakthroughs from neuroscience to cancer research; breakthroughs which might someday aid in connecting mind and machine. 

The young doctor is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Brown University and Assistant Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at City University of New York Baruch College. 

"I got a chance to examine and understand the very sparsely examined resource in the backyard of Cayman and am happy for that," he explains. 

Regarding his quick yet fulfilling fact finding visit to the Cayman Islands, he says, with a smile and uncomplicated answer: "I loved it, and I will definitely be back to do more research." 


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