Skip to main content

History of the AMLC

The Association of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean (AMLC) was founded in 1956 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.

Current Committees (2018)

Dr. Cinda Scott (Chair)
Cynthia Lewis
Haley Oleynik
Dr. Read Hendon (Chair)
Dr. Michelle Dennis (Chair)
Membership Software & Website:
Dr. David Zawada (Chair)
Dr. Michelle Dennis
Stacy Alexander
David Branson
Elisa Lacatena
Peter Gayle (Chair)
Dr. Jorge Cortez
Scott Jones
Dr. Mark Vermeij
Dr. Ernesto Weil
Dr. Leandra Cho-Ricketts (Chair)
Dr. Rodolfo Nieto
Dr. Kimberly Yates
Dr. Ileana Ortegón-Aznar
Dr. Ligia Collado-Vides
Peter Gayle
Dr. Heidi Hertler
Dr. Michael Middlebrooks
Dr. Hazel Oxenford
Dr. Cinda Scott
Dr. Mark Vermeij
Dr. Ernesto Weil
Student Awards:
Dr. Ligia Collado-Vides
Dr. Heidi Hertler
Dr. Clare Morrall
Dr. Mark Vermeij
Student Grants-In-Aid:
Dr. Heidi Hertler (Chair)
Dr. Clare Morrall


Executive Director:
Dr. Rita Peachey
Institute for Sustainable Technology

Mr. Victor M. Galvan
Gerente Proyecto E Investigaciones
Grupo Puntacana Fundación
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Deputy Executive Director:
Dr. Clare Morrall
St George’s University, Grenada

Dr. Franziska Elmer
School for Field Studies

Dr. Ligia Collado-Vides
Florida International University, Florida, USA

Membership Director:
Dr. Michelle Dennis
Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, St. Kitts

Dr. David G. Zawada
St. Petersburg Coastal & Marine Science Center
US Geological Survey, Florida, USA

Two additional Member-at-Large positions are vacant.