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Helping to Sustain a Way of Life in the Bahamas

DID YOU KNOW?

conch eggs

Conchs lay hundreds of thousands of tiny eggs in a sandy egg mass. The larvae emerge after 5 days and drift on currents for up to a month before settling to the bottom of the ocean.

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Who We Are

Martha Davis, M.S.

Martha is originally from Houston, Texas, but now calls Denver, Colorado, her home. She has been involved in environmental work since the mid-1970s when she worked for a consulting engineering company on mine and hazardous waste reclamation problems. As an avid sailor, she has explored much of the Caribbean. It was her experience sailing from 1983 to the present that alerted her to the deterioration of marine stocks, particularly in The Bahamas.

Compelled to shift her focus from land to marine resources, Martha recently returned to school and completed a M.S. in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institute of Oceanography. She conducted her research in the Exuma Cays of The Bahamas on the issue of recreational boaters’ contribution to overfishing.

Allan W. Stoner, Ph.D.

Allan’s marine career began at Florida State University with an M.S. in oceanography and Ph.D. in biology. Following that, in 1980, he moved to Woods Hole, Massachusetts to teach oceanography in the Sea Semester program, and four years later joined the faculty at the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez. Since that time Allan’s research teams have focused on fishery resources including shrimp, crabs, lobsters, conch, and a host of marine fish in the Caribbean, Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea. Allan moved to the National Marine Fisheries Service in 1996 to direct research on fisheries ecology, animal behavior, and fishing gear performance for a wide range of economically important species. He left federal service in 2013 to increase participation in the conservation of queen conch.

Allan’s interest in queen conch began in 1980 with a research trip to Los Roques, Venezuela, where conch were being cultured. His own research with conch began in 1987, and was centered at Lee Stocking Island, in the Exuma Cays, Bahamas, where he lead a multidisciplinary group focused on conch ecology. Over the last 25 years, Allan, his research partners, and graduate students have published more than 50 peer-reviewed papers on queen conch spanning the topics of reproductive biology, larval behavior and transport, growth and survival, habitat requirements, stock enhancement with hatchery-reared juveniles, and the function of marine protected areas.

Catherine Booker, M.S.

Catherine is a native of Savannah, Georgia. She holds a B.B.A. in Marketing from the University of Georgia and a M.S. in Environmental Studies from the College of Charleston. Her research experience has been primarily in The Bahamas, though she has pursued travel and work around the world.

In addition to her involvement with Community Conch as a field representative and dive master, she has worked as an environmental consultant, educator, and scientific diver in The Bahamas for the past 8 years. Catherine volunteers much of her time raising awareness about marine conservation issues in the local and tourist communities of Great Exuma.