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UB ERI Welcomes New Research and Education Officer

We are pleased to highlight the latest addition to the University of Belize Environmental Research Institute (UB ERI), Ms. Ninon Martinez. This very enthusiastic member joined us in November, filling the position of Research and Education Officer for the Calabash Caye Field Station.

Ninon was born and raised in Belize City. However, travelling to the remote corners of Belize’s forest and cayes was a favorite pastime for her family. “We never realized how lucky we were to be domestic explorers…so naturally, I became interested in the Natural Sciences,” said Ninon.

She attended St. John’s Junior College where she was enrolled in the Environmental Science Program with arguably one of the most inspiring science teachers in Belize, Steven Mitten, SJ. Ninon fondly recalls being chest deep in the muddiest, murkiest, smelliest pond imaginable. This was just one of the experiences that affirmed for her that the environmental field was the career path for her. Father Mitten recommended that she apply for the Jesuit Scholarship to further her studies at Saint Louis University, and in the fall of 2011, she began her first semester at SLU.

Ninon completed her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science with a focus in Biology and a minor in Biodiversity and Conservation in the summer of 2013. She decided to stay on at SLU to pursue graduate studies under the mentorship of Dr. Richard L. Mayden, an Ichthyologist, who brilliantly integrates studies of biodiversity, genomics, and conservation. In the spring of 2015, Ninon completed her program and graduated with a Master’s in Biology with a concentration in Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics.

At SLU, Ninon was involved in collaborative studies of the taxonomy and systematics of North American Freshwater Fishes. She has presented her laboratory work at the last three Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.

She now looks forward to contributing to the continued development of UB ERI’s research and monitoring programs, as well as increasing opportunities for Belizean students at all levels of education to be exposed to the marine sciences.

UB ERI takes this opportunity to welcome Ninon to our team of dedicated staff.

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