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AMLC is a confederation of more than 25 marine research, education, and resource management institutions endeavoring to encourage the production and exchange of research and resource management information, advance the cause of marine and environment.

The purpose of the Association is to foster cooperation, coordination, and information transfer among marine laboratories, scientists, students, policy makers, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), communities, and local stake holders throughout the Wider Caribbean Region. The Association endeavors to do this by:

  • assisting and initiating cooperative research and education programs
  • providing for an exchange of scientific and technical information
  • fostering personal and official relations among members
  • publishing the proceedings of scientific meetings
  • cooperating with governments and other relevant organizations
  • supporting student research


The Association of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean (AMLC) was founded in 1957 by marine researchers with interests in the marine science of the tropical Atlantic and the Caribbean. Founded primarily as a scientific organization, the strength of AMLC lies in the diversity of its member laboratories and the extensive expertise of its membership.
A historical perspective of the AMLC was contributed by Dr. Ivan Goodbody at the 25th Scientific Meeting of the AMLC, hosted in 1992 by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panamá. This paper may be accessed here:
At the 33rd Scientific Meeting in St. Thomas USVI in 2007, which celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the AMLC, two of our earliest members were presented with Honorary Lifetime Memberships honoring their contributions. The awardees were Dr. Juan A. Rivero, the founder of the AMLC [originally the Association of Island Marine Laboratories], and the first Secretary-Treasurer, Dr. Juan G. González Lagoa, both of whom contributed mightily over many years to development and continuity of the AMLC. We are grateful to Ernest H. (“Bert”) Williams, Jr. and Lucy Bunkley-Williams who researched the backgrounds of the two honorees, and who recorded the honorees’ insights and observations concerning AMLC’s colorful history. These informative and interesting commentaries may be accessed here:
For a colorful and entertaining history of the AMLC logo, read this article detailing its evolution by Bert and Lucy Williams. They have also written an article about the Association’s scientific meetings that highlights the diversity of the hosting institutions.

About the AMLC

The AMLC is a 501(c)(3) Non-profit corporation governed by a Board of Directors, which consists of one Institutional Representative from each Institutional Member plus a slate of officers elected by the Board of Directors. A list of current officers with contact information may be found in the About Us drop down in the header, and an Institutional Membership directory that lists the Board of Directors is available under Directories. The Board of Directors gives the Executive Board, which consists of the elected Officers plus one Member-At-Large, direction for certain functions of organizational leadership.

Bi-lingual (English/Spanish) Scientific Meetings are hosted by Institutional Members, biennially, at or nearby Institutional Member laboratories/facilities. Meeting hosts are selected based on their geographic location and a formal proposal, which is reviewed by the Board of Directors. Pre-2015 proceedings were published as Supplemental Editions of the International Journal for Tropical Biology (Revista de Biología Tropical). Since 2015, the AMLC has sponsored the publication of a limited number of the highest quality papers in Peer J. PDFs of the proceedings are available under Proceedings. See Meetings to get the details for upcoming conferences.

Student members receive annual financial support for research through the Grants-in-Aid of Caribbean Marine Research opportunity, which is announced each January. Student Travel Grants are available to AMLC student members that are presenting a talk or poster at the AMLC meetings. There are also cash awards for the three best posters and oral presentations.

Consider donating to the AMLC to support our activities, including bi-lingual translation services during our Scientific Meetings, student-travel support for Scientific Meetings, and our student Grants-in-Aid program; or consider becoming an official 2025 AMLC Scientific Meeting Sponsor.


  • To advance common interests in the marine sciences.
  • To encourage the exchange of research results.
  • To foster cooperative research projects.
  • To expose students to established scientific methods.
  • To participate in decisions made by national and international organizations concerning the marine environment.