The Focus

The marine environment offers a challenging system in which to define how populations are connected in space and time. Barriers may not be clearly defined and may change with the seasons, the weather or the lunar cycle. Great distances may be spanned by larval dispersal and the movement of ocean currents. But overcoming these challenges and defining how local populations are connected is key to improving the design of marine protected areas and supporting effective fisheries management.

The Approach

We use molecular markers and novel genomic tools on both commercially and ecologically important marine species including lobster, conch and parrotfish at multiple spatial scales. The molecular genetic data helps identify connectivity among local populations to define the ecologically relevant ecological scales for management.


We are carrying on several conservation genetics studies at different spatial scales in the Wider Caribbean Region including Florida, the Bahamas, St. Eustatius, Cayman Islands, Honduras, Belize, Mexico and Jamaica.

With Whom

SI team members: Steve Box, Courtney Cox, Iris Segura & Nathan Truelove. Click here for team bios.

Partners: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation; The Summit Foundation; The Rufford Small Grants for Research; National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. Click here for all partners