Mote Marine Laboratory

Mote Marine Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit marine science organization founded in 1955 with five Florida campuses from Sarasota to the Florida Keys. Mote scientists conduct research in the oceans surrounding all seven continents.

With more than 20 research programs, the Lab emphasizes conservation and sustainable use of marine resources. Originally focused on sharks and other fishes, Mote’s research has expanded to include studies of human cancer using marine models, the effects of man-made and natural toxic substances on humans and on the environment, the health of wild fisheries, developing sustainable and successful fish restocking techniques and food production technologies and the development of ocean technology to better understand the health of the environment.

Mote research programs also focus on understanding the population dynamics of manatees, dolphins, sea turtles, sharks and coral reefs and on conservation and restoration efforts related to these species and ecosystems.

Since the early days of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which began April 20, 2010, Mote has played a significant role in research investigating how oil exposure can affect marine life during and after a spill. Currently, Mote scientists are working toward developing rapid health-diagnostic tests based on sub-lethal responses that will better predict short- and long-term impacts of oil exposure in Gulf of Mexico fishes. Mote Senior Scientist Dr. Dana Wetzel is Toxicology Task Lead in the Deepwater Horizon research consortium CIMAGE II (and its predecessor, C-IMAGE).

To translate and transfer research findings, Mote’s vision also includes positively impacting public policy through science-based outreach and education. Showcasing its research is Mote Aquarium, which is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily in Sarasota, Florida, and reaches more than 340,000 people per year. In addition, Mote’s Education Department provides informal science education to tens of thousands of children and adults per year.

Mote has more than 30 Ph.D. scientists, 200 staff members and 1,500 volunteers.

  • Read about Mote, their 2020 Vision & Strategic Plan, annual reports and other organization information.
  • Find information about all Mote research programs, internships and fellowships and other resources.
  • Review Mote's environmental updates for the Lab’s most frequently used environmental monitoring services, including Florida red tide resources, Florida Keys environmental observations, sea turtle nesting in southwest Florida, and more.

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