Stephen Box (PhD Biology)
Dr. Stephen Box has spent much of the past decade studying the coastal ecology of Honduras where his research helps support local efforts to conserve and manage the coral reefs, marine life, and mangroves upon which coastal communities depend. A native of England with a Ph.D. in Biology from University of Exeter, United Kingdom, Dr Box originally moved to Honduras to conduct his doctoral research on coral reef dynamics. Box then remained in this country, founding the Center for Marine Studies as a non‐governmental organization to develop national capacity in marine science. Box and his team started focusing on the role of fishing in structuring coastal ecosystems and the dependence of rural communities on these resources. Box set out to understand the extent and scale of artisanal and industrial fishing activities and the movements and connections of both the fishermen and their target fish species. Combining ecological and socioeconomic studies his research was the first to define the true extent and scale of the different fishing activities in Honduras and their importance in underpinning the economy and food security of rural areas. Ecologically his work assesses the potential impacts of fishing on the coastal systems and the connectivity of key species in space and time across the seascape. While taking over a President of CEMís Board of Directos, Dr. Box recently joined the Smithsonian as the coordinator of a new program on the Spatial Ecology of Marine Protected Areas, based from the Smithsonian Marine Station in Fort Pierce. His work continues to focus on the western Caribbean, combining multiple disciplines including molecular and genetic approaches, spatial dynamics and population modeling, fisheries economics and remote sensing, to inform the design and placement of marine protected areas.