Texas Tech University

Texas Integrated Diving and Ecological Studies Laboratory


Caribbean Coral Reef Research

The Texas Integrated Diving & Ecological Studies (TIDES) Laboratory is a multi-institutional undergraduate research program that focuses on student driven research projects on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System between McLennan Community College and Texas Tech University. The laboratory is lead by Dr. Stephanie Lockwood (TTU) and Professor Stephanie Randell (MCC). The joint program has been running since 2016. 

Student conducting researchTTU Student Program

Texas Tech students register for Tropical Marine Biology (Biol 3303) and Coral Reef Research (Biol 4300). The Spring course focuses on concepts in oceanography; marine biology; including coral reef ecology, coral biology, zooplankton, marine algae, coral disease, common reef organisms, as well as marine research techniques. During the semester, student design their research projects collaboratively with other TTU and/or MCC students.  

After the Spring semester, we travel to Roatan, Honduras to conduct their research projects. Students also receive other marine lectures from the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences (RIMS).

Upon return from Honduras, students analyze their data, develop and present a research poster. The Coral Reef Research (Biol 4300) is repeatable.

Previous Student Research Projects  

Students with multiyear data work on comparable studies and are generally working on manuscripts for publication.


Fish Assemblages on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef in Roatan, Honduras (2017) Scheila Corujo, R'Shel Pacheco, Karla Ramos, Donna Hamilton, Shannon Hill, Traesha Robertson, Stephanie Lockwood and Stephanie Randell. 

Frequencies and Substrate Associations of Excavating Sponges on the Mesoamerican Reef , Utila and Roatan Honduras (2017) Collin Harvey, Gregory Pugh, Shannon Hill, Donna Hamilton, Traesha Robertson, Stephanie Randell, and Stephanie Lockwood.

Poriferan Abundance Associated with Orbicella and Monestraea Coral Health on the Mesoamerican Reef in Roatan, Honduras (2017) MacKenzie Kroll, Gabrielle Franklin, Shannon Hill, Donna Hamilton, Traesha Robertson, Stephanie Randell, and Stephanie Lockwood. (In Manuscript)

Prevelance and Intensity of Aspergillosis on Gorgonia ventalina and G. flabellum on the Mesoamerican Reef, Roatan, Honduras (2017) Austin Biddy, Karla Resindez, Traesha Robertson, Shannon Hill, Donna Hamilton, Stephanie Randell, and Stephanie Lockwood.

Sea Fan Abundance and Frequency of Millepora spp. on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef in Roatan, Honduras (2017) Sarah Cole, Shirley Stewart, Donna Hamilton, Traesha Robertson, Shannon Hill, Stephanie Randell, and Stephanie Lockwood.



Fish Bite Prevalence of Yellow-Band Disease on Monestraea and Orbicella complexes in Roatan, Honduras (2016) Kara Schmidt, Traesha Robertson, Stephanie Randell, Kendra Phelps, Donna Hamilton, and Stephanie Lockwood. (In Manuscript). 

Frequency of Sponge Disease on Xestospongia muta on the Mesoamerican Reef in Utila, Honduras (2016) Alfredo Sandoval, Lori Tergerson, Stephanie Lockwood, Donna Hamilton, Traesha Robertson, and Stephanie Randell.

Poriferan Association with White and Yellow Band Coral Diseases on the Mesoamerican Reef, Utila, Honduras (2016) Andrea Edie, MacKenzie Kroll, Bobby Rodriguez, Traesha Robertson, Stephanie Randell, Donna Hamilton, and Stephanie Lockwood.



Over the course of the program, faculty from several different universities and colleges assist and dive with students: Dr. Donna Hamilton, University of North Texas - Dallas; Dr. Shannon Hill, McLennan Community College; Dr. Stephanie Lockwood, Texas Tech University; Dr. Kendra Phelps, Texas Tech University; Prof. Stephanie Randell, McLennan Community College; and Dr. Traesha Robertson, College of Coastal Georgia. With faculty from across different biological disciplines, students receive information and guidance from faculty with expertise in those fields. 

Faculty dive with and monitor students while completing research projects. Faculty also ensure that students are following proper protocols when it comes to dive limits and dive logs.






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2017 TIDES Group

2017 TIDES Group

Roatan, Honduras




 2016 TIDES Group 

2016 TIDES Group

Utila, Honduras




Department of Biological Sciences

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    Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University, Box 43131 Lubbock, TX 79409
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