Students of the 2007 Barbados Field Study Semester

The Bellairs Research Institute of McGill University is a Canadian research and teaching laboratory in the tropics. The Institute was founded and endowed in 1954 by the late Commander Carlyon W. Bellairs to provide a facility through which staff at McGill might develop a scholarly interest in the tropics.

A turtle swims in the waters surrounding the Bellairs Research Institute in Barbados.

Although the Institute feels a special obligation to support Canadian research in Barbados, it also encourages the participation of scientists and students from around the world. As a consequence, an open-door policy to all researchers with academic interests in tropical terrestrial and marine environments is maintained. Because of Barbados' advantageous position as an oceanic island, the research interests of the Institute were historically directed towards the marine sciences. In recent years, however, interests have broadened to include a wide spectrum of disciplines in science and the humanities.

Patrick Bethell of Friendship Plantation with McGill students from the course Tropical Food Systems which was given for the first time in 2001.