Mare Nostrum Caribbean

Mangroves play a critical role in the land and sea environments.

Mangroves play a critical role in the land and sea environments.

Our Caribbean Sea - 2014 – 2019

The marine ecosystems of the U.S. Virgin Islands are key to the economic viability and prosperity of the Territory. However, they are vulnerable to both land-based and water-based human activities, as well as climatic and oceanographic change. VI-EPSCoR's goal is to leverage the location of the US Virgin Islands' and UVI’s research capacity to study the issues and propose responses that support the natural resilience and tolerance of Caribbean coral reef ecosystems facing current and future external pressures. 

Stewardship Through Strategic Research and Workforce Development

Mare Nostrum Caribbean supports research that will increase understanding of the challenges facing local coral reef ecosystems – from climate change to destructive human impacts. The goal is to predict coral reef responses to these conditions; propose strategies to alleviate the destructive impact of human behaviors' and intervene, where possible, to protect our natural resources and way of life today and for future generations.

This project builds community collaborations; increases and improves opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education; builds a more competitive workforce; and cultivates a scientifically-informed population.


Mare Nostrum offers a unique opportunity to protect resources, while strengthening our abilities to tackle the challenges of an uncertain future.

External Advisory Board Members

Tony Shepherd, Ph.D, Cyberinfrastructure – Choice Communications
Tonija Coverdale, Ph.D, Cyberinfrastructure – VINGN
Rick Bonney, Ph.D, Citizen Science – Cornell University
Leonard Nurse, Ph.D, Coral Reef Ecology – University of the West Indies
Elizabeth Gladfelter, Ph.D, Coral Reef Ecology – Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
Cecil Jennings, Ph.D, Coral Reef Ecology – University of Georgia
Mark Boardman, Ph.D, Watershed Science – Miami University (Ohio)
Heinz Gutscher, Ph.D, Human Dimensions – University of Zurich
Lauren Mullineaux, Ph.D, Oceanography – Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
Karl Benedict, Ph.D, GIS and Data Management – University of New Mexico
Marta Collier-Youngblood, Outreach, Education & Diversity – Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center