Watch this video to learn about The MCERC

The Marine and Coastal Ecology Research Center (MCERC) is a non-profit (501c3) organization dedicated to protecting and conserving healthy and sustainable marine and coastal ecosystems. 

Principal investigators are multidisciplinary senior scientists who collaborate to answer complex questions.

MCERC faculty are experienced educators with a passion for creating dynamic curriculum  for citizens and professionals. 

 The focal point of all MCERC activity is to conserve and protect species assuring sustainability of marine and coastal biodiversity 

MCERC scientific discoveries are  shared via peer reviewed publications, professional conferences, outreach events, and appearing in professional media documentaries and museum exhibits. 

The Humpback Whale Field Intensive research team of interns, research assistants, and senior scientists onboard "Capi" Michael Lopez's vessel.
Heidi Malizia answering questions about whales during an outreach event


MCERC citizen scientists are amongst our most valuable resources. The potential contributions to add valuable scientific data for research is immeasurable. There are several long-term research projects which include a significant contribution from people who are willing to participate by sharing observations, images and videos, and volunteering their time.

The excitement of actively participating in data collection is contagious. New citizen scientists are contributing hours of valuable research effort in person and through MCERC smartphone apps.

MCERC Puerto Rico Humpback Whale Project, MCERC Dominican Republic Marine Mammal Biodiversity Project, MCERC Turks and Caicos Islands Marine Biodiversity Project, and the MCERC Manatee Citizen Science Project


MCERC professional development goals include providing fledgling scientists and university students with courses that often earn credit hours through independent study at their university.

Please consider sponsoring a program, project, or student. 

An intern is recording observations during the Coral Reef Ecology field intensive program
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Copyright and photo credit information

Copyright and photo credit information All images posted to the MCERC website are copyright protected. Images are the property of MCERC or the original photographer who has granted MCERC expressed permission in writing for use of their images. Photographs shall not be reproduced or shared for any purpose unless the owner of the images has given permission in writing.