Marine Science and Research

Tobacco Caye is one of the very few islands that are situated directly on the Belize Barrier Reef.  This makes the island an ideal location for study and research of the marine environment, as access to the reef and its associated habitats are easily accessible from the shore of the island. More diverse habitats are just a short boat ride away, enabling us to focus on our mission of education, training, public service and scholarly research.

TCMS is a marine-based research and education centre that offers immersive learning programs and training opportunities for groups from various organizations including universities, colleges, high schools, and elementary schools. Our goal is to educate while serving as a model of conservation.

We provide support for independent researchers and postgraduate students, and conducts scientific research work, either independently or in collaboration with other institutes or laboratories.


Our Mission

The Tobacco Caye Marine Station provides experiential learning education programs and supports/conducts scholar research in marine sciences in partnership with the Belize Fisheries Department. Through the implementation of environmentally sound technologies we are:

  1. Dedicated to meet the needs of students from Belize and around the world;
  2. Working to empower local community members to participate in conservation activities through outreach programs; and
  3. Providing support and conducting scientific research work, either independently or in collaboration with other researchers or laboratories.

Station Managers

Mathilde received her Master’s degree in Oceanography and Marine Biology from UPMC-Sorbonne. She conducted research in Taiwan on coral reef ecology and on the recovery of tropical habitats after disturbances. She also studied ecotoxicology in the Norwegian Arctic, and performed underwater biological assessments on coral, fish and seagrasses in Belize. She is a certified CMAS 3* diver (PADI Divemaster equivalent).

After progressive management positions in England, Mark set off to travel the world in 2009 and made his life long passion his job. Becoming a PADI and SSI Dive instructor, he spent the last eight years teaching diving and marine conservation, focussing on Artificial Reefs. Mark dedicates his spare times to the defense of the ocean and has spent so far thirteen months as bosun on Sea Shepherd vessel M/V Farley Mowat.

As managers of Tobacco Caye Marine Station, Mathilde and Mark offer field-based experiential education programs on the tropical marine ecology of Belize and the wider Caribbean to local and international groups from middle school to post-graduate level.

Our Supporters


Protected Areas Conservation Trust Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary MARFund
Belize Fisheries Department World Lionfish Hunters Association Project Aware