Dr. Manfrino has dedicated over 20 years to marine research in the Cayman Islands.
Dr. Manfrino is an oceanographer and in 2016 was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for work on the effects of rising sea level on coastal communities in the Indian Ocean. She established CCMI in 1998 and developed the Little Cayman Research Centre with a vision to advance the frontiers of coral reef science, conservation and education. Her Ph.D. in Marine Geology and Geophysics is from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. As President and Director of Research for CCMI her deep-rooted curiosity is in the extinction risks of modern corals and she is concerned about the influence reef degradation has on coastal communities. She leads a diverse research programme with collaborators from all over the world who work on topics including impacts of ocean acidification and climate change on corals, algae, and fish.
In an effort to bring attention to threats to reefs, she organized the 2016 symposium in London to “Rethink the Future for Coral Reefs’ with CCMI royal patron, HRH the Prince Edward. She is a recent contributor to the United Nations Chronicle writing on the Sustainable Development Goals for the ocean and as a member of the UN World Commission on Marine Protected Areas. As an educator, her greatest aspiration is for children to be ocean literate and she is invested in supporting early career scientists, especially in bringing science to society and in engaging women in science.