VI-EPSCoR is pleased to announce two supported researchers and its Assistant Director have been selected to speak at the 2017 TEDx Saint Thomas event. This opportunity helps carry the mission of VI-EPSCoR’s Mare Nostrum Caribbean to a national stage and perhaps more importantly, showcases the world-class research taking place at the University of the Virgin Islands with the support of NSF VI-EPSCoR funding.


The VIMAS Youth Ocean Explorers Summer Program gave Dr. Grimes the opportunity to demonstrate how to collect a sediment core sample in a mangrove.

The VIMAS Youth Ocean Explorers Summer Program gave Dr. Grimes the opportunity to demonstrate how to collect a sediment core sample in a mangrove.

Kristin Wilson Grimes, Ph.D.

Dr. Grimes is the Research Assistant Professor of Watershed Ecology at UVI and Director of the Virgin Islands Water Resources Research Institute. Her talk, SEAS Your Tomorrow will discuss her experience as an underrepresented minority in science. The challenges she faced as a minority has fueled her dedication to supporting others and encouraging diversity in the sciences. Highlighted will be how local students are being engaged in research and how a pipeline is created from middle school through high school and college, and even graduate school as students are encouraged to consider and prepared for careers in the ocean sciences.


Mr. Brandtneris on a research dive in the Galapagos is unfazed by hammerhead sharks.

Mr. Brandtneris on a research dive in the Galapagos is unfazed by hammerhead sharks.

Viktor Brandtneris

Mr. Brandtneris is the technical mixed-gas rebreather diver for the University of the Virgin Islands. In his talk Shelter from the storm, finding hope for coral reefs in a changing ocean, Viktor will share on his experiences diving across the world in no less than twelve nations including the Galapagos Islands, Easter Island, Israel and the USVI. He is part of a team of researchers studying the remarkable deep water mesophotic reefs of St. Thomas where coral colonies are thriving in a time when corals are dying across the world. Viktor will share breathtaking images of the life that thrives at extreme depths; he will discuss the dangers of working at 230’; and he will share on how and why we should protect these reefs. Most importantly, Viktor will discuss the importance of never giving up.


Nicolas Drayton

Also speaking will be VI-EPSCoR's Assistant Director Nicolas Drayton who's talk Riding the wave of change into the future, through deliberate creative thinking: the potential for the US Virgin Islands will center on creative problem solving skills in a time of significant change. 

Nicolas Drayton, Assistant Director of VI-EPSCoR

Nicolas Drayton, Assistant Director of VI-EPSCoR


TEDx Saint Thomas will take place on Saturday July 15, 2017 at 5pm at the Antilles MCM Center. Tickets will be available to purchase for $30/pp on July 1st at Scoops & Brew, Cup and Cork, Chelsea Drug Store, Bajo el Sol and Antilles School.