Lionfish Research On St. Croix Gets a Boost With a Disaster Recovery Grant
VI-EPSCoR researcher Dr. Bernard Castillo Receives a National Academies' Gulf Research Program Award
Dr. Bernard Castillo II, Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University of the Virgin Islands, and a VI-EPSCoR-supported researcher, is one of only 11 grantees to receive funding from The Gulf Research Program (GRP) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
Dr. Castillo was awarded $38,053 to assist with the recovery of his lionfish research project. This project examines factors affecting the movement and colonization of areas by the invasive lionfish species in St. Croix, USVI. The impact from Hurricane Irma resulted in lost equipment and necessitated new data collection due to major disruptions within the study areas. Both of these contributed to the project’s delay. Master of Marine & Environmental Studies (MMES) student D. Elizabeth Smith has been working closely with Dr. Castillo on this research effort.
Eleven grant awards totaling $341,283 were announced in April for the first cycle of the GRP’s Scientific Research Disaster Recovery Grants. A total of 22 awards amounting to $628,848 have been made for both cycles.
The National Academies' Gulf Research Program is an independent, science-based program founded in 2013 as part of legal settlements with the companies involved in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. It seeks to enhance offshore energy system safety and protect human health and the environment by catalyzing advances in science, practice, and capacity to generate long-term benefits for the Gulf of Mexico region and the nation. The program has $500 million for use over 30 years to fund grants, fellowships, and other activities in the areas of research and development, education and training, and monitoring and synthesis. Visit www.national-academies.org/gulf to learn more.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine. The Academies operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln. For more information, visit www.national-academies.org. You can read more about Dr. Castillo’s lionfish project, and some interesting post-hurricane findings, in the VI-EPSCoR Spring Newsletter.