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Annual 2012-2013



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Letter from the president EACH OCTOBER, DURING OUR annual black-tie fundraiser, Oceanic Evening, our many supporters join with us to celebrate our oceans and the many scientific achievements made by our staff during the previous year. But in 2012, we turned the tables and invited our supporters to a special evening at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota where we celebrated them — and specifically the legacy they have provided for our oceans. During this year’s event, Mote unveiled our new Legacy Society and welcomed its inaugural members — people who have included Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium in their estate plans. The members of our Legacy Society run the gamut from long-time supporters like our Founding Director, Dr. Eugenie Clark, to those who are more recent acquaintances like our new Chief Advancement Officer, Tom Waters. (Learn more about the Society on p. 28.) The Legacy they are providing to Mote is a gift that will allow us to continue our efforts to unlock the many mysteries of our oceans and to help us ensure that we conserve and sustain them for generations to come. Through their support and generosity, Mote can continue to attract the best and brightest scientific minds and next generation of researchers like Dr. Emily Hall (p. 12). She is attacking the complex problem of ocean acidification as part of Mote’s efforts to restore coral reefs in Florida and beyond (read “Seeking Relief for Reefs” on p. 6). Such support allows Mote research staff to answer complex questions about animal behavior (read about Dr. Nick Whitney’s study of great whites on p. 14), about animal biology (read about snook genetic research on p. 24) and play an international leadership role in aquaculture (p. 5). It also allows us to share what we’re learning with the public through our annual Special Lecture Series (preview on p. 31), programs like our new partnership with Girls Inc., which is dedicated to keeping girls engaged in science (p. 22), and our conservation partnerships with national organizations (p. 5). When we first opened our doors in 1955, it was clear that the community was interested in the marine world and eager to learn more. And the members of our new Legacy Society prove to me that people are no less interested in our oceans today. That’s wonderful news to us, because the challenges our oceans face would be daunting without the interest and steadfast support of our friends. With gratitude,

Kumar Mahadevan, Ph.D. Preisdent & CEO Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

Board of Trustees Robert E. Carter CHAIRMAN Eugene Beckstein VICE CHAIRMAN Mickey Callanen SECRETARY Howard G. Crowell, Jr (USA Ret.) TREASURER Kumar Mahadevan, Ph.D. PRESIDENT & CEO Arthur L. Armitage, Chairman Emeritus Ronald D. Ciaravella Eugenie Clark, Ph.D., Founding Director Frederick M. Derr, P.E., Chairman Emeritus Richard O. Donegan Sylvia Earle, Ph.D. Dean H. Eisner James D. Ericson Robert Essner William S. Galvano, Esq Susan C. Gilmore Judy Graham, Chairman Emeritus Edward H. Jennings Mary Lou Johnson The Hon. Ronald A. Johnson Kirk Malcolm Penelope Kingman G. Lowe Morrison Alan Rose Howard Seider, Jr., M.D. HONORARY TRUSTEES Richard Angelotti, Chairman Emeritus Charles R. Baumann, CPA Pauline Becker Veronica Brady Sandi Burns Howard C. Cobin Bruce Frerer Alfred Goldstein, DCS DHL, Chairman Emeritus Jean Purcell Hendry The Hon. Andy Ireland The Hon. Robert Johnson, Chairman Emeritus Elaine M. Keating J. Robert Long Peter Hull Jean Martin Margaret Mason The Hon. Dan Miller Myra Monfort Runyan, Chairman Emeritus Ronald R. Morris Helen L. Pratt Rande Ridenour William Ritchie Peter Rosasco, CPA Sue Stolberg Beth G.Waskom William R. Mote s 1906-2000 Perry W. Gilbert s 1912-2000 MOTE MAGAZINE | A n n u a l 2 0 1 2 - 2 0 1 3


PUBLISHING PARTNER Mote magazine is proud to recognize Sarasota Magazine as its publishing partner. For information on sponsorship, please contact Sarasota magazine at 941487-1109.


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COVER PHOTO A great white shark on the M/V Ocean. Photo by Mark Frapwell

Expedition: Tagging Great White Sharks Using new technology to uncover the secrets of the ocean’s most famous predators.

Seeking Relief for Reefs New programs to restore reefs.


It’s all in the Genes Snook research focuses on DNA.


Generation Next


Legacies Preserved


Powering Science Solar power equals sustainability.

29 An Artful Plate


Match Made in Science

30 Come See the Sea Lions

Mote & Girls Inc. partner to keep girls interested in science.

31 Special Lecture Series Preview

Emily Hall and ocean acidification.

Mote’s Special Collections.

5 Mote Milestones 27 Charlotte Harbor Partnership 28 Honoring a Legacy

!..5!, s6/,5-% Mote Magazine | A unique mission Mote Magazine (ISSN 1553-1104) is published by Mote Marine Laboratory, a nonprofit organization dedicated to today’s research for tomorrow’s oceans. By sharing these stories, Mote hopes to enhance

President and CEO Dr. Kumar Mahadevan

Contributing Writers Emily Leinfuss, Hayley Rutger, Laura Tangley

Editor Nadine Slimak

Contributing Photographers Mark Frapwell/, Lawson Mitchell Andre Stroman, Chirs Rush, Diane Nelson, Cary Wein/, Chris Fitzgibbons

Creative Director Lawson Mitchell

public understanding of marine research.

Info: (941) 388-4441

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and Freshwater Aquaculture Research Program at Mote Aquaculture Park in Sarasota. “Aquaculture is among the fastest-growing food sources in the world, and each year aquaculture science brings exciting new developments in sustainable and responsible seafood production,” Main said. “At this pivotal time, I’m honored to lead the World Aquaculture Society in its important mission to aid and inform aquaculture around the globe.”

MOTE SCIENTIST NAMED PRESIDENT OF WORLD AQUACULTURE SOCIETY Dr. Kevan Main — a pioneer in sustainable aquaculture at Mote Marine Laboratory — has been elected president of the world’s largest aquaculture organization.

The World Aquaculture Society was founded in 1969 as the World Mariculture Society. Today, WAS has nearly 3,000 members around the globe. WAS has Chapters in the United States, Japan, Korea, Latin America and the Asian-Pacific region and is associated with other aquaculture organizations in multiple countries.

The World Aquaculture Society (WAS), which advances progressive and sustainable aquaculture through members in nearly 100 nations, instated Main’s leadership recently during its annual meeting, co-organized this year by the European Aquaculture Society and held in Prague, Czech Republic. Main was elected by WAS members around the globe. Her inauguration comes at a key time for the $100 billion worldwide aquaculture industry, which now supplies half the seafood consumed in the U.S. and even larger percentages in many other countries. Main, whose career spans more than 28 years, has pioneered sustainable aquaculture at Mote since 2001 as a senior scientist and manager of the Marine

Since then, the TRCP media summits have evolved into a key gathering point for the nation’s top outdoors and environmental journalists to learn about conservation policy central to natural resources management and our outdoor heritage. In 2011 and 2012, Mote hosted the TRCPs Saltwater Media Summit. This dynamic event gave attendees the opportunity to learn about marine fisheries issues ranging from habitat conservation and restoration efforts to improved management practices, offshore energy development and the economic power of activities such as fishing and boating. Featured speakers included Eric Schwaab, head of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service, Ken Haddad, former director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Ray Scott, founder of B.A.S.S., Roy Crabtree of NOAA Fisheries, Rob Kramer of the International Game and Fish Association and Frank Peterson of the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation. Sponsors included the American Sportfishing Association, Costa, Florida Lottery, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Mote Marine Laboratory, Orvis, Outdoor Industry Association, Patagonia, Proguide Direct, Pure Fishing, Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation, Visit Sarasota and Visit Florida.

CONSERVATION PARTNERSHIP HOSTS SUMMIT AT MOTE In 2003, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) convened a group of influential outdoor journalists to discuss critical conservation issues affecting fish, wildlife and hunting and angling. MOTE MAGAZINE | A n n u a l 2 0 1 2 - 2 0 1 3






By Laura Tangley


HE PROJECT WASN’T MUCH TO LOOK AT: two tidy rows of 10-gallon aquariums tethered by clear plastic tubing to a pair of cisterns supplying a steady stream of water. Not a single colorful tropical fish graced these saltwater tanks. The only living things they did contain were a few dozen thumbnail-sized pieces of coral, each brownish bit glued to a small cement block resting on the bottom.

But this unassuming experiment, launched in January 2012 at Mote’s Tropical Research Lab on Summerland Key, in the Florida Keys, represents the first step of an ambitious new effort that may help scientists rescue coral reefs throughout the Caribbean and beyond. The clue? Two lime-green pH meters, one affixed to each seawater-supplying cistern. The first, labeled pH 8.2, “reproduces average acidity of the world’s oceans today,” explained Dr. Dave Vaughan, biologist and director of the Summerland Lab. The second, reading pH 7.4, dispenses water at the acidity projected by the end of this century as a consequence of carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution. The world’s oceans naturally absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But these days, they’re taking in too much of the gas. Scientists say that about a third of all human-produced CO2 emissions are ending up in the ocean — radically altering its chemistry by reducing pH

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Coral was once abundant in the Florida Keys. Today, Mote scientists are growing coral fragments in a nursery and then replanting them on now-depleted reefs.

(increasing acidity) and depleting compounds that corals and other marine organisms need to build their calcium carbonate shells and external skeletons. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), sea-surface waters have grown approximately 30 percent more acidic since the start of the Industrial Revolution. By 2100, they are likely to be between 150 and 250 percent more acidic — pH values lower than the oceans have experienced in at least 20 million years. That is particularly bad news for corals, clams, crabs, oysters and other calcium carbonate-dependent creatures. But because these organisms are keystone species in many marine food webs, entire ecosystems also are at risk. MOTE MAGAZINE | A n n u a l 2 0 1 2 - 2 0 1 3


“We now have evidence that ocean acidification affects not just calcification but many other marine biological processes, including nitrogen fixation, photosynthesis, reproduction and carbon cycling,” says marine ecologist and geologist Dr. Joan Kleypas of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Such findings worry many scientists. “For years, when marine scientists talked about climate change, we were concerned mainly about the effects of higher water temperatures,” says Dr. Michael Crosby, Mote’s senior vice president for research. “Today we know that ocean acidification will be the most significant challenge facing marine environments in the decades to come.” Patty Glick, senior climate change specialist for the National Wildlife Foundation (NWF), agrees. “Since I began working on climate change and coral reefs more than a decade ago, concern about ocean acidification has transformed into true alarm.” Last year, NWF launched a five-year partnership with Mote, with the initial efforts targeting science-based coral reef ecosystem restoration. The project on Summerland Key is critical to such efforts. Made possible by a unique 80-foot-deep well that supplies naturally acidic, CO2-rich seawater, the experiment

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initially is comparing the health and growth of three kinds of coral — great star coral, boulder star coral and diffuse ivory bush coral — in water at today’s ocean acidity versus what is projected by the turn of the century. (Bubbling air into the high-acidity tank drives off CO2, raising the pH.) Preliminary results show that all three species of coral in the high pH tanks have more open polyps and extended tentacles, says Dr. Emily Hall, manager of Mote’s Ocean Acidification Program, who has been running the experiments. Meanwhile, the corals in the low pH tanks appear more stressed. This study will continue to look at the differences in the corals’ growth rates in the low and high pH tanks. Once the protocol is refined, researchers plan to add other coral and non-coral species to the system, as well as test

LAST STRAW? The planet’s most biologically diverse marine ecosystems — home to at least 800 coral species and more than 4,000 fish species — are coral reefs. And they’ve been struggling for decades. From the Florida Keys and elsewhere in the Caribbean to Southeast Asia to the Indian Ocean, reefs are being devastated by a combination of pressures, including coastal development, pollution, soil erosion, invasive species, overfishing and destructive fishing practices such as the use of dynamite and cyanide. In most places, coral ecosystems are confronting several of these stresses simultaneously. The most recent threat, and ultimately the most serious, scientists say, comes from climate change. As CO2 and other greenhouse gases have built up in the atmosphere, the average temperature of water surrounding reefs increased about 0.9 degrees F between 1870 and 2005, and oceans are heating up even faster today. Combined with local stresses, warmer waters have increased the incidence of coral bleaching, which occurs when corals expel the symbiotic algae that both nourish and give them their vibrant colors. First reported in the 1980s, mass coral bleaching events have become both more frequent and widespread. Though some corals recover from a temporary loss of symbiotic algae, many die, and those that survive become more susceptible to diseases — which also are on the rise.

assemblages of organisms found together in the wild. “We want to learn which species and which genetic strains are most resilient under ocean conditions expected in the future,” says Vaughan. The results will be key to restoring beleaguered coral reefs.

Last year, the World Resources Institute, in collaboration with more than two dozen national and international partners, released a report called Reefs at “Risk Revisited”, which concluded that three-quarters of all coral reefs are threatened. By 2050, without significant changes, nearly all reefs will be at risk. “In recent decades, we already have lost more than 20 percent of the world’s MOTE MAGAZINE | A n n u a l 2 0 1 2 - 2 0 1 3


coral reefs,” says Dr. C. Mark Eakin, who coordinates NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch program. Given these grim figures — and growing awareness that ocean acidification prevents corals from rebuilding — many scientists are turning their attention to restoration. “Human intervention absolutely will be required to bring back the world’s coral reefs,” Crosby says. CORAL GARDENERS Five miles off Summerland Key, human intervention is well under way in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. At the stern of the research vessel Lady Lynne, Mote staff scientists Erich Bartels and Cory Walter pulled on wetsuits and stuffed the pockets of their dive vests with toothbrushes, putty knives, cattle ear tags and other supplies on a cool, cloudy morning. Perching briefly on the edge, they flipped backwards into the water.

under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. “Staghorn and elkhorn corals were once the oaks and maples of the Keys’ coral forest,” recalls Vaughan, who has been diving in the region since the 1960s. “Now 98 percent of them are gone.” Mote’s staghorn garden is one of eight coral nurseries coordinated by TNC and distributed from the Upper Keys south to the U.S. Virgin Islands. Containing a total of 30,000 fragments, and growing, this network represents the world’s largest coral restoration effort. An estimated 10,000 corals from this network were planted on damaged or destroyed sections of reefs throughout April and May 2012 and work continues now to monitor the corals for signs of new disease and to remove predators like snails (particularly Coralliophila).

Leaving only bubbles visible from above, the scientists sank 30 feet to the seafloor to tend their “garden” — a 35-square-meter plot of staghorn coral fragments affixed to cinder blocks lined up in rows. During the next hour, Bartels and Walter worked quickly and meticulously, scraping off algae, replacing missing ID tags and inspecting each fragment for signs of bleaching or disease. From an initial planting of 100 staghorn fragments five years ago, this underwater nursery (funded by a grant to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) from NOAA’s Restoration Center through the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009) has grown to a crop of more than 3,000 tiny corals. Staghorn, along with elkhorn, coral began declining sharply in the 1980s. Staghorn was once the most common coral species throughout the Florida Keys — and one of the Caribbean’s most important reef builders. In 2006, both species were designated as threatened

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© Cary Wein

BENEFICIAL BACTERIA At Mote’s main laboratory in Sarasota, microbiologist Dr. Kim Ritchie is pursuing another strategy to boost the natural resilience of corals. As anyone who has taken a high school biology class probably knows, corals are tiny animals called polyps. Critical to

polyp survival are symbiotic plants — algae called zooxanthellae — that live safely inside the polyp skeleton and in return produce oxygen and energy to nourish corals. Ritchie is proposing that a third player may be involved in the relationship: symbiotic bacteria that help keep corals, and perhaps zooxanthellae, healthy. For the past eight years, Ritchie, who manages the Marine Microbiology Program, has been collecting mucus from the surface of healthy elkhorn corals in the Florida Keys marine sanctuary. Analyzing the substance in her lab, she’s discovered it harbors several kinds of bacteria that produce disease-killing antibiotics. “For a long time, scientists have been studying coral diseases — what makes the organisms sick,” says Ritchie. “What’s more interesting to me is what keeps corals healthy. If you don’t understand its immune system, you won’t understand why a coral is sick.” Bolstering her case for beneficial bacteria, Ritchie also has discovered that when seawater temperatures rise, the composition of bacterial species present in coral mucus changes. “The Vibrios increase, and the Pseudomonas decline,” she says. Ritchie believes this shift makes corals more vulnerable to diseasecausing microbes — similar to when MOTE MAGAZINE | A n n u a l 2 0 1 2 - 2 0 1 3



people develop diarrhea after antibiotics disrupt the balance of “good bugs” in their intestines. Her findings may help explain why corals frequently develop white pox, black band and other devastating diseases soon after a bout of bleaching. Ritchie’s results also may offer new ways to fight, or at least prevent, coral disease. “We’re not revving up the engines of our spray planes to inoculate reefs with bacteria just yet,” says Dr. Billy Causey, Southeast regional director of NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. “But this work does provide a potential tool for resource managers trying to protect coral reefs in the future.” Even as Ritchie and other scientists work overtime to help corals, some experts fear the pace of climate change and other assaults is growing too quickly and that reef ecosystems may vanish in the coming decades. “I’m an optimistic person, so I don’t predict doomsday for reefs — just yet,” says NCAR’s Kleypas, who recently received the Heinz Award for her work on climate change and coral reefs. “In the future, reefs probably will make it in at least a few places. But they’re likely to look more like marginal reefs and less like the big vibrant structures most of us think of today.”

—This article was originally printed in the August/September 2012 issue of National Wildlife magazine. It is reprinted here with permission through a special partnership between Mote Marine Laboratory and the National Wildlife Federation. Copyright National Wildlife Federation 2012.

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NEXT “I grew up going to Mote and I love the idea of aquariums and research… sharing what scientists are learning with the general public.”


EMILY R. HALL, 36, was born in Cooperstown, N.Y., but grew up right here in Sarasota after moving to town at age 5. As the daughter of a physician, science was always a part of her life. And, in fact, so was Mote. “I grew up going to Mote and I love the idea of aquariums and research… sharing what scientists are learning with the general public,” said Hall. Hall received her Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering Sciences from the University of Florida in 2004 and then joined Mote’s red tide researchers. As a grownup, she’s swam in red tide blooms to collect water samples, collaborated with colleagues in other countries and even had manatees sneak up behind her while wading in waist deep water. Today, she’s the manager of Mote’s Ocean Acidification Program, which studies the effects of the ocean’s increasing acid levels on different organisms, especially coral reefs and the animals that live on and around them.

to work in that field. “We were outside for the majority of the class work and I absolutely loved it,” Hall said. “Most of my graduate work was on carbon studies, so it was an easy transition to the world of ocean acidification.” The world’s oceans naturally absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But the more they absorb, the more acidic the oceans become. That, in turn, affects the ability of animals like corals and clams to build their skeletons or shells. Since these organisms are keystone species in many marine food webs, the entire ecosystem is

“I’ve always loved science and being outside,” Hall said. “Growing up, I remember visiting my dad’s office and the hospital with him and wanting to be able to play with all of the science-y-looking toys. I also grew up being on the water — sailing, boating, swimming — and knew I wanted to continue down that path.”


But it wasn’t until she took an environmental science course as an undergraduate that she knew she wanted

is going on, especially concerning climate

Today, one of the biggest questions she considers is whether her research and that undertaken by other scientists will lead to real change. “Ocean acidification is a very ecologically, economically and politically important topic, but are we going to pay attention and understand the research that change, and learn to preserve some of the amazing ecosystems on earth?”

At Mote Aquarium, we’re getting excited about our next special exhibit. Did you know that Mote Members receive free admission to The Aquarium and can visit us again and again throughout the year?

Mote Marine Laboratory & the Protect Our Reefs program would like to thank Reef Safe Suncare for donating 2% of their Florida sales to help fund coral reef restoration and research in the Florida Keys.


Become a Mote Member or upgrade your Mote Membership today.


Help keep our oceans clean by using Reef Safe Biodegradeable SunCare.


Cost savings. Regular adult admissions are $17. Members receive free unlimted visits for yourself and your guests.* Members also receive special discounts in our gift shops and to our many events and programs.


Reduced or free admission to more than 100 other zoos, aquariums and museums in the U.s., Canada and mexico. ( reciprocal for details.)


The chance to be a repeat visitor at Mote Aquarium’s next special exhibit, slated to open in fall 2013.


The good feeling that comes from knowing you have supported a worthy organization that is working to conserve our oceans and our sea-going animals.

For More Information Visit: Use promo code mote12 during checkout to receive 15% off your order, and by doing so Mote will receive an additional 10% donation.

*No. of guests admitted depends on membership level.

Join or renew today at

or call Lisa Abbott at (941) 388-4441, ext. 373.

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EXPEDITION Tagging Great Whites


t 6 feet, 5 inches, Mote shark scientist Nick Whitney is a pretty tall guy. So when he says that the dorsal fin of a shark on a boat deck was almost chest high, well, you just have to stop, look at Whitney, and think, “That must have been one big fish.”

A great white shark is lifted out of the water on a special heavy-duty platform aboard the M/V Ocean.

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A great white shark is lifted out of the water on a special heavy-duty platform aboard the M/V Ocean.

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After being the first to tag a great white shark with an accelerometer during a fall expedition off Cape Cod, Mass., — actually, two great whites — Whitney himself uses words like “impressive,” “massive” and even “enormous” to describe the fish. “It’s days of waiting and disappointment, thinking you’re never going to catch one and then out of nowhere a shark shows up and you’re having the most exciting 30 minutes of your life,” says Whitney, manager of Mote’s Behavior and Physiology Program. Whitney, along with Dr. Robert Hueter, leader of the Lab’s Center for Shark Research, was invited to participate in an expedition to tag great whites in the Atlantic Ocean. The expedition was led by the nonprofit organization OCEARCH and included researchers from the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and other collaborators. OCEARCH uses its unique ship, the M/V Ocean, to lift great whites out of the water so researchers can collect biological samples, apply tracking tags that would be impossible to attach in the water, and then return the sharks to the wild. The M/V Ocean is a former Bering-Sea crabber with a custom lift that can hoist thousands of pounds. One of Whitney’s jobs during the expedition was to attach accelerometers to the white sharks. These tags are motion-sensing devices that can record every tail beat and tilt of an animal’s body. It’s based on the same motion-sensing technology found in smart phones that allows the screen to change from a horizontal to a vertical view. In the past, Whitney has used them to tag nurse and blacktip sharks and even Burmese pythons to learn more about the movements of each, which sheds light on their behavior. But tagging great whites, well, that was a little bit different, Whitney says. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so at first you’re so focused on getting everything right that you don’t think about the shark that much,” says Whitney. “It’s really only when you’re watching her

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swim away wearing one of your tags that you realize you’ve just touched one of the most iconic animals on the planet.” The first female great white Whitney tagged weighed more than 2,500 pounds and measured nearly 15 feet long. “I’ve tagged a 15-foot tiger shark before. It’s not the same,” he says. “I’m tall enough that I can usually step over things — I can step over a shark to work on one side or the other. At one point while I was tagging this shark, I considered it and decided there was no way. There’s a big difference between the girth of a 15-foot tiger shark and a 15-foot white shark.” The first white shark Whitney tagged was nicknamed “Genie” — after Mote founder Dr. Eugenie Clark. She was the first great white shark to be caught and released by OCEARCH in the North Atlantic — and she made scientific history. Genie was the first Atlantic great white to be tagged with a satellite transmitter that could send scientists real-time updates on her geographic location. She was also the first great white tagged with an accelerometer. Attaching multiple tags and gathering several biological samples from the same

shark allows scientists to better understand the movement, behavior and physiology of great white sharks, which are considered vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and are protected by many national governments, including the U.S. While Genie the shark was on the lift, crew members collected biological samples for multiple research projects by Mote and the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. The shark was also fitted with an acoustic transmitter that provides data on her position by sending a signal to receivers placed in coastal waters of the eastern U.S., and she was fitted with the satellite tag for real-time tracking by Dr. Gregory Skomal, senior scientist with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. Skomal, the scientific leader of the expedition, nicknamed the shark Genie. “Mote’s contribution to this expedition has been significant, and it’s no secret among the scientific community that Genie (Clark) is a pioneer in shark research,” Skomal said. “She has inspired many scientists, male and female. Many

Dr. Nick Whitney, wearing the Mote Marine Laboratory shirt, attached accelerometer tags — like the one pictured below — on two great whites caught and released off Cape Cod.


of us probably wouldn’t be studying these animals if not for Genie Clark.” The second shark tagged by the group was a 3,500-pound, 16-foot female nicknamed “Mary Lee” after the mother of OCEARCH expedition leader Chris Fischer. Despite the popular fascination with white sharks, many basics about their life history remain unknown; the new tags deployed on Genie and Mary Lee are helping uncover brand new information about great whites. The accelerometer stayed on Genie the shark for 10 hours before detaching and floating to the surface, as it was programmed to do. Whitney and collaborators retrieved the tag on the afternoon of Sept. 14. “We were thrilled,” Whitney said. “The data showed us that she swam off the lift really well. She surprised us by swimming very level. Other sharks we’ve tagged tend to go up and down constantly in the water column, but she was as stable as a 747 jet. She started with frequent tail beats of lower power, and then she resumed a stronger, more typical swimming pattern with more force behind each tail beat.

During the last few minutes before the tag came off, she was very active — she might have been swimming in strong currents or chasing prey.” Mary Lee’s tag stayed on overnight and then detached. “When you have two adult females, any similarities could be the sign of a pattern starting to reveal itself,” Whitney said. “With only one, it’s hard to say whether the behavior you’re seeing is normal or not, because you have nothing to compare it to.” In this case, the tags on each animal showed that they recovered well after swimming off the lift, but they also showed some differences. “Typically after being tagged with accelerometers, we’ve seen sharks swim in a pattern called yo-yo diving,” says Whitney. “The sharks use their negative buoyancy to glide down to the bottom and then swim back up. It’s a way of swimming that conserves energy. Mary Lee showed this behavior but Genie did not.” Which of these two patterns is the most common one for white sharks? “With only two sharks we have no way of knowing,” says Whitney. “We need more data!”

Read more at the OCEARCH Web site: MOTE MAGAZINE | A n n u a l 2 0 1 2 - 2 0 1 3



LEGACIES PRESERVED Mote collections offer portal into science and histor y By Emily Leinfuss

Laboratory Collection at the Arthur Vining Davis Library & Archives at Mote Marine

The story of the Bass Biological Laboratory unfolds like a dramatic adventure film. In 1988, a Mote marine biologist named Dr. Ernest D. Estevez learns that the archives from an old science lab are about to be bulldozed by developers. He investigates and finds an old barn full of everything from species identification cards to dangerous chemicals. Realizing

Laboratory, have profound significance in several ways. They serve as a chronicle of the history of science and scientific development of the time, including the use of new technologies. They provide a veritable ‘who’s who’ of the leading naturalists, biologists and zoologists of the day, plus they show social and political testaments about the

he is in the presence of something very


important, he saves what he can.

The Bass Lab was the first full-time

Movie aside, the significance and legacy

marine station on the Florida mainland

of the Bass Biological Laboratory, established in Englewood between

and its mission was to promote scientific marine exploration in the Southwest

1931-32 by John Foster Bass, Jr.

Florida region.

(1897-1939) and his wife Else Bass

Dr. Estevez, senior scientist emeritus at

(1898-1973), cannot be ignored. Its

Mote, knew he was in the presence of

archives, now named the Bass Biological

something important from the moment

One of the highlights of the archives of the Bass Biological Laboratory — one of Florida’s first biological and marine research facilities — is the first-hand documentation of at least 470 marine and terrestrial species. This and other data may help scientists to further understand and correct the evolution of damage that has occurred in Southwest Florida waters.

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he started looking through piles of stuff in that big barn on the Bass family land. After the archives were moved and safely ensconced on his front porch he started investigating. “At night I would go through a couple of inches worth of material. It was addicting. Some would crumble like dust, but slowly I started building a series of bank boxes with file folders. As I spent countless nights on the screened porch I realized more and more of these things were really substantial and significant.” He was right, said Erin Mahaney, Mote’s archivist. “The strength of these collections lies in their duality,” she said. “These records reflect not only concrete scientific research and data, but the history of scientific development, methodology and the scientific community itself.”


obtained their credentials, to the love

“Creating virtual archival repositories facilitates the dissemination of information in unique, little-known collections to a greater number of people, and reveals the invaluable resources available for historical research and education,” said Susan Stover, Mote’s long-time Library & Archives director. She outlines a few ways digitization is particularly useful:

lives of employees, and the rationing


Mahaney is particularly fascinated by the correspondence in the collection. “It offers a rare look at the network of scientists scattered across America during the first half of the 20th century, all connected by their association with the Bass Biological Laboratory,” she said. “The details cover everything from how these professionals sought work and

rules that governed people during WWII.” The Library is currently working to process this collection and others in its holdings to increase their accessibility to the general public, in academia and to scientists working at Mote and other institutions by digitizing these important archives. The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations has provided a generous grant to allow Mote to preserve and promote the use of these archives.


events — for example, the potential effects of climate change and oil spill pollution — also show the relevance that historical ecological aresources have today. “These historical collections tell us how things were at one period of time and we have current observations to know what things are like today,” Stover said. “By comparing them we can see how

By providing online access to these materials, researchers, educators and the general public can easily trace the past and assess current environmental and cultural issues.

things have changed — for better or

And reviewing these historical perspectives can increase understanding of environmental and cultural dynamics and provide reference for assessing contemporary patterns and processes. Present environmental

The Bass Biological Laboratory Collection

worse — over time.”

MOTE SPECIAL COLLECTIONS at the Arthur Vining Davis Library & Archives is not the only special collection Mote holds. Mote has a series of archives that serve as an irreplaceable collection of primary-source documentation about the coastal environment spanning the

The Bass Biological Laboratory was unique historically for its social aspects as well as scientific. As these photos show, John Bass Jr. encouraged women scientists to work at the Lab and and there is some indication of integration depicted in images of social activities.

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period from the 1920s to the present. These first-hand accounts of Florida’s pre-development marine environment provide scientifically valid data to positively impact the work of today’s scientists, ecologists and researchers looking into areas such as biodiversity, system structure, the environment and much more. Dr. Charles M. Breder, Jr.

by the door of Dr. Perry W. Gilbert. This noted biologist — who corresponded with celebrities such as Jacques Cousteau, Lloyd Bridges and, of course, author Peter Benchley — was one of the world’s foremost experts on shark anatomy and behavior, particularly shark attacks. His papers and correspondence are a valuable part of Mote’s collections. Dr. Eugenie Clark

Dr. Perry Gilbert

The collection of books and published papers by Mote’s founding director, known today as “The Shark Lady,” provides an irreplaceable look at Mote’s early years, as well as information about the earliest studies of shark associative learning. In the late 1950s, Clark and colleagues first demonstrated sharks’ capacity to learn using an operant conditioning regime. (Dr. Clark was also mentored by Dr. Breder.)

The road to the movie “Jaws” passed right

Mote Technical Reports

The scientific field journals, photographs and hand-drawn illustrations of Dr. Charles M. Breder, Jr. — a prominent icthyologist — provide meticulous documentation of aquatic, marine and zoological research in Florida, parts of the Caribbean and Mexico, New York, New Jersey and North Carolina from the 1920s to the 1970s.

The archives of prominent ichthyologist, Dr. Charles M. Breder, Jr. hold a wealth of primary scientific data, including the discovery of at least five new genera and 23 new species. Dr. Breder, seen here, was also known for his use of new technology in pursuit of scientific information and documentation. The manuscripts also represent what might be the nation’s most thoroughly documented interplay among institutions of science, private enterprise, philanthropy and government — one that helps to define features of contemporary research in marine and environmental examination and the role of science in 20th century America.

The Arthur Vining Davis Library & Archives at Mote Marine Laboratory are open to the public by appointment from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call (941)388-4441, ext. 333.

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The scientific and technical data collected by Mote scientists from 1964 to the present is another vital collection in its library. Important reports include research on the environmental health issues related to red tide and formative microbiology research on coral reefs. Mina Walther Collection This beloved journalist’s newspaper columns and writing on Florida, most of which were originally published in the Herald-Tribune, cover nature and wildlife from 1977 to 2003. They include valuable descriptions of a variety of animals, birds, fish and endangered species such as sawfish, manatees and the Florida panther. To learn more about these collections visit the Library at or view its online repository https://

By Hayley Rutger


n September, Mote launched a new Sustainable Energy Initiative with the installation of two solar panel systems that are now helping to power the Dolphin and Whale Hospital and the Aquaculture Park.



Each photovoltaic system could offset about 82,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per year — the equivalent of saving more than 4,600 gallons of gas — according to estimates provided by the installer, RegionSolar. One new system consists of 126 photovoltaic panels, valued at about $115,000, was donated by Willis A. Smith Construction, Inc. The 2,310-square-foot, 30.2-kilowatt solar-power system, which was mounted on the southern roof of Mote’s Ann and Alfred Goldstein Marine Mammal Research and Rehabilitation Center, is supplementing electrical power supplied to Mote’s nationally recognized hospitals for dolphins, small whales and sea turtles. A second 30.2-kilowatt system provided by local donor and solar-energy supporter Jim Lampl was installed to supplement power at Mote Aquaculture Park — the Lab’s environmentally responsible fish farm and research facility in eastern Sarasota County. Mote has been doing research in Southwest Florida since 1955 and has been at its current home on City Island, Sarasota since 1978. Most buildings were constructed when sustainable energy and high-efficiency systems were not as readily available as they are today. Mote is committed to retrofitting for energy efficiency and adding sources of sustainable energy — an important effort for an organization committed to natural resources, said Mote President and CEO Dr. Kumar Mahadevan.

Over time, such systems will translate into significant savings. For instance, each solar system is expected to save up to $6,000 per year. “We’re grateful to Willis A. Smith Construction and to Jim Lampl for supporting our vision of energy efficiency for a brighter future,” Mahadevan said.

to be a part of Mote’s green movement,”

The two new solar arrays build upon the Lab’s other energy-saving efforts. Solar panels power some Mote-designed research instruments, such as BreveBusters™ attached to buoys and channel markers to monitor for Florida red tide. Solar heating systems provide more than half the hot water used by staff, volunteers and guests in Mote’s public outreach facility, The Aquarium, and the Deep Sea Diner.

Energy Initiative at Mote designed to

John LaCivita, Willis Smith Vice President, said the company was pleased to help Mote expand on its sustainable energy initiatives. “As a leader in sustainable construction and a partner of Mote for 22 years, Willis A. Smith Construction is proud

he said. “This donation will serve to further our conservation knowledge of our natural resources through Mote’s research, for now and for future generations.” The two new photovoltaic systems also mark the creation of a new Sustainable increase the number of solar arrays powering the facilities. Each donation of about $960 will cover the cost of one new solar panel. “Willis A. Smith Construction is proud to sponsor Mote’s new solar energy system,” said David Sessions, President of Willis A. Smith Construction. “We hope our gift will inspire others to consider contributing to Mote’s sustainable efforts.” —For more information or to donate to Mote’s Sustainable Energy Initiative, visit and click the button for the Initiative or contact Barbara Meyer at 941-388-4441, ext. 309. MOTE MAGAZINE | A n n u a l 2 0 1 2 - 2 0 1 3



Nine-year-old Kaylen Rivers tried out a handheld GPS for the first time on a mission to rescue endangered sea turtles. The turtles were plastic, but the fun and learning were real. “That was the first time I used a GPS,” said Rivers, a fourth-grader at Phillippi Shores Elementary in Sarasota. “I was pretty nervous about how it would go. We didn’t find the turtle that time, but it was awesome to work together and use the GPS.”

Later, with the help of educators from Mote Marine Laboratory and Girls Inc., Kaylen and her teammates followed the path of a real sea turtle tracked by Mote scientists via a Web site. “I was amazed,” Kaylen said. “I saw dots in different colors showing that it went to Jamaica.” Rivers and her classmates are finding their way — no pun intended — into marine science thanks to a brand-new afterschool program led by Mote and Girls Inc., which have partnered in a new program focused on sharing science with girls. Girls Inc. of Sarasota County is a local affiliate of a national nonprofit youth organization

dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold. The organization fulfills its mission of empowering girls ages 5 and older to be self-confident, responsible and well-rounded individuals by delivering research-based, age-appropriate, afterschool and summer educational and sports programs designed specifically for girls. Mote is a natural partner — girl power has been a driving force here since “Shark Lady” Dr. Eugenie Clark founded the Lab in 1955. Today, most of Mote’s research and conservation programs include women, and many programs are led by female Ph.D. scientists. Women across the U.S. are gaining steam in STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — but a gender gap remains: Women filled fewer than 25 percent of U.S. STEM jobs in 2009, even though they held nearly half the nation’s total jobs, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economics and Statistics Administration. “Girls tend to lose interest in science and math during late elementary to early middle school — either they’re not supported in that path or they feel like they can’t do it,” said Aly Busse, director of education at Mote. “We can make a difference for them if we provide the right kind of education and make it relevant to their lives by showing them natural habitats in their community and real mentors — women in science.” Mote educators tapped into a brand new educational toolbox in 2011, when Mote was selected to become an affiliate of SciGirls — a national-level program that

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helps organizations like museums and aquariums to bring science education to girls in their communities. Using SciGirls tools and techniques, Mote educators came together with like-minded leaders at Girls, Inc. “We and Girls Inc have been doing parallel efforts in science education for girls for a long time,” Busse said. “It was natural for us to work together.” During the Mote-Girls Inc. program, the girls started out with a six-week segment about sea turtles — endangered and threatened marine reptiles that nest on local beaches, where Mote scientists have led sea turtle research and conservation for more than three decades. The girls completed five weeks of classroom programs taught by visiting Mote educators at the Girls Inc. and then had the opportunity to meet real sea turtles on a field trip to Mote, which provides a permanent home for several sea turtles that were injured and could not return to the wild. “They see our sea turtle training in action — how we have trained the turtles for a behavioral audiogram — a hearing test that the turtles participate in to help us learn more about them,” said Gina Santoianni, leading Mote educator for the collaboration with Girls Inc. During the field trip, the girls had the opportunity to watch a research session, record the data

gathered and even do the math as if they were conducting the research themselves. The girls will enjoy other six-week segments throughout the school year focusing on manatees, sharks, other animal species and marine habitats, finishing each segment with a field trip to The Aquarium at Mote or a trek into the natural environment. The girls attend these afterschool programs from 4-5:30 p.m. — and often can’t get enough. “I told my parents that this is awesome and don’t pick me up until 5:45,” Kaylen said. “I think this kind of program between Girls Inc. and Mote has been a longtime-wish for both organizations,” said Kay Mathers, director of community relations at Girls Inc. Two generous donors — the Guy Harvey Foundation and Mote board member Mary Lou Johnson — provided grants to support the effort. Then Girls Inc. leaders selected a spectrum of girls to participate, including those with little interest in science and those who had demonstrated their love for it. “We have a program at Girls Inc. called Operation SMART — it’s a national curriculum of science, math, and relevant technology — but very few components focus on marine science,” Mathers said. “A lot of the girls in our group want to be

marine biologists, though. We had to do something to help with that. There are so many career opportunities for them in science, but if we don’t broaden their knowledge of what they can achieve, they will never know.” In addition to learning straight science, the girls hope to create an awareness and fundraising campaign about marine animals, to educate other students at the Girl Inc. headquarters and even raise funds for Mote’s conservation efforts through their MicroSociety program — a girls-only society with simulated money and businesses. Girls Inc. finds real-world donors to support the causes championed in their MicroSociety. “These girls already understand responsibility, and they’ll be learning about philanthropy and helping nonprofits,” said Busse. “But most of all, we hope that our work at Mote can make marine science real for them and build their confidence, so they can succeed in scientific careers — and someday maybe even work with us at Mote.”

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© Andre Stroman

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GENES By Nadine Slimak


NOOK ARE ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT catches in Florida’s saltwater recreational fishing industry. Their popularity, however, has a downside: fishing pressures have placed them on the state’s list of “species of special concern” and resulted in the need for fishing restrictions and careful monitoring.

Depletion of snook in the wild has led to numerous ongoing scientific studies at Mote designed to help uncover the types of habitats that are most important for snook survival at each stage of their life cycle. It has also led to studies at Mote Aquaculture Park of the best way to rear fish in captivity so that they can be returned to the wild to help boost the overall fishery. Rearing marine species for restoration programs is a complicated process. Wild snook spawn naturally from May through September when groups of males and females gather in passes and release eggs and sperm into the water column. Once fertilized, the eggs float on top of the water until they hatch into larvae. In order to have enough fish for a full-scale restocking effort, scientists have to be able to get the snook to spawn in a captive environment — mimicking as many natural environmental cues as possible — then be able to collect the

MOTE MAGAZINE | A n n u a l 2 0 1 2 - 2 0 1 3




© Chris Rush

Can sharks help us heal? Mote scientists have uncovered cancer-fighting compounds in sharks that could support better cancer treatments for humans.

Visit The Aquarium at

(941) 388 4441 |

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fertilized eggs and grow them to the juvenile stage. Mote has been successful at doing all of these things since 2006, when our first group of captive fish spawned at Mote Aquaculture Park. Now, Mote scientists are working to refine the process using molecular techniques.

identify genes involved in reproduction

“Over the years, we’ve done different things to manipulate and improve the reproductive success of the broodstock we use in our restocking programs,” says Nicole Rhody, a Ph.D. student at the University of Stirling in Scotland who studies the reproductive biology of snook at Mote Aquaculture Park. “Now, we’re ready to refine the process even more. By identifying genetic markers in snook, we can use them to tell which adult fish are the most successful breeders and remove fish that aren’t contributing. In the wild, we will also be able to use the same tools to monitor the genetic fitness of snook populations there as well.”

fish’s hormone levels change throughout

Scientists at Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have mapped portions of the snook’s genome and found microsatellites, which are small portions of a gene that can be used to identify genetic differences between individual fish.

“Technological advances developed in

Now, Rhody and her colleagues are developing new molecular tools to understand an even smaller piece of the genetic puzzle: They’re working to

and how they respond to different environmental cues. By collecting and analyzing blood samples from wild fish at different times of the year, Rhody already knows that the the breeding season. “So we know what hormone levels should look like when snook are ready to spawn,” Rhody says. “Similarly, we can now take blood samples from our broodstock fish to determine where they are in the reproductive cycle. Essentially, it’s a test for fish that we can use to make sure we’re more efficient in our fishproduction methods.” The news isn’t just good for growing snook though, says Dr. Kevan Main, director of Mote’ Aquaculture Park. this project will increase our understanding of the cues that trigger reproduction in wild and in captive snook populations,” she says. “But equally as important is the idea that we will be able to apply these new molecular tools to other high-value species that we grow for food and stock enhancement.”

Charlotte Harbor Partnership


OCA GRANDE is the historical site of the tarpon fishery, the center of tarpon reproduction, and a waystation for tarpon that make up the fishery for much of the region.

The region is also Mote Marine Laboratory’s historical home. When Mote opened its doors in 1955 as the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory, it was based in nearby Placida. While infrastructure needs eventually forced the Lab to move north, the independent marine research laboratory has long maintained an interest in the health of the region’s environment and in public outreach related to it. Mote played a strong role in the establishment of the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program in 1995 and, more recently, created the Charlotte Harbor Initiative, which brought together marine researchers of all types to focus on the ecology and health of the Harbor. In 2001, Mote established its Charlotte Harbor Field Station on Pine Island, which continues to have robust research programs related to the tarpon and snook fisheries. Studies of red tide and sharks are also focused on Charlotte Harbor and adjacent Gulf waters. In January 2013, Mote’s regional presence will grow as it opens a new satellite office in Boca Grande to help engage the community and region in tarpon and other marine research undertaken by Mote in Charlotte Harbor and Southwest Florida. The office, in Railroad Plaza, is designed to be a focal point and resource

where residents and visitors can learn more about local tarpon, snook, shark and red tide research programs under way now. With it will come a series of regular lectures on relevant marine science topics, other programs of interest in the community and updates on Mote’s worldwide activities. The office is being opened under the auspices of a community-wide grassroots committee to increase knowledge of — and support for — the region’s important marine environment and the conservation of it. The effort is being spearheaded by Boca Grande residents Andy Ireland, an honory Mote trustee, and Capt. Philip O’Bannon. “This is the world’s tarpon fishing capital and it’s also a pretty important place for snook and other gamefish,” Ireland said. “This fishery alone is worth millions of dollars to the region’s economy, but more importantly, it’s an invaluable part of the fabric of our community.” But the privilege of living in the Tarpon Capital of the World also comes with a responsibility, Ireland said. “We need to be good stewards of our marine environment. To have good stewardship of a resource, you need to have the participation of knowledgeable residents. We hope the creation of this new satellite office will help bring that about.”

For more information, go to MOTE MAGAZINE | A n n u a l 2 0 1 2 - 2 0 1 3


HONORING A LEGACY Fittingly, the event also honored Dr. Clark and celebrated her contributions to Mote’s legacy as a founder and, today, as a donor. “Mote has meant so much to me over the years. I can’t believe that what we started has grown into this big scientific laboratory that has meant so much for Sarasota, so much for the west coast of Florida and so much for marine biology and science in general,” says Dr. Clark. “I’m glad that I’ll be able to leave something to Mote when I’m gone so its work can continue. Ever since I have had a will drawn up, I’ve put Mote in it.” Tom Waters, Mote’s chief advancement officer, calls such support “philanthropy in action.” “Mote’s mission covers such a breadth of areas, from ecology and conservation to biomedical and cancer research that it will build a legacy for generations to come,” Waters explains. “The kind of hands-on research and experiential learning that Mote conducts is the way of the future.”

@ Chris Fitzgibbons

Next generation Mote shark researcher, Dr. Jayne Gardiner (left) with “Shark Lady” Dr. Eugenie Clark at Mote’s Legacy Society inaugural event.

By Emily Leinfuss

fisheries and produce seafood using earth-friendly methods, and much more.

When Dr. Eugenie Clark opened a small marine research lab in 1955, she had no idea that the venture would turn into a world-class, independent, marine research facility also dedicated to public outreach and education. But 57 years after Genie Clark opened the Lab, Mote continues to conduct worldclass, groundbreaking research through a wide range of initiatives and programs including studies of sharks, dolphins, manatees, sea turtles, coral reefs and on developing ways to restore healthy

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Behind the scenes there are more than 1,665 volunteers who support Mote’s educational aquarium and hands-on learning programs and who have helped

Waters, too, has remembered Mote in his estate planning and is on board to urge others to do the same. “It is philanthropy in action — these planned gifts are tailored to what is most important to the giver,” he says. “We’re excited that this year, we were able to celebrate Dr. Clark’s leadership as well as acknowledge an honored group of supporters who have included Mote in their estate planning and have become charter members of the Legacy Society.”

create a hub for the groundbreaking scientific efforts of 200 staff members, including 31 Ph.D.-level scientists. Mote celebrated its oceanic accomplishments — as well as those who support them — during a special Oceanic Evening event themed this year to highlight the launch of the Mote Marine Laboratory Legacy Society.

— For more information about Mote Marine Laboratory and its Legacy Society please call Ann Hayes at 941-388-4441, ext. 261., or visit

An Artful Plate


ote Caviar has a melt-in-your-mouth silkiness that summons the storied history of this delicacy once controlled only by kings. Caviar is created when the roe of sturgeon are lightly salted. This process, called “malossol,” cures the roe, preserves the delicate eggs and creates the briny sweetness that gourmets have craved for hundreds of years. The Mote Caviar we grow using earth-friendly methods in eastern Sarasota County is sold by some of the most wellrespected purveyors in the world. The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota’s new executive chef, Dwayne Edwards, even created a special dish that he calls “The Artful Plate” to showcase this local delicacy. “I wanted to create a dish that was artistic and playful yet let the ingredient be the star of the dish.” And he has the experience to know. As an aspiring culinarian growing up in Portland, Oregon, Edwards landed a job at Morton’s of Chicago, where he quickly forged his way up the line to executive chef of the popular national steakhouse. Along the way he studied, practiced and brought many types of

cuisines into his menus, including classical French, Mediterranean, Spanish and Northwest Cuisine with a heavy focus on Italian. In 2002, an offer to open two Portland eateries — Alessandro’s Northern Italian Restaurant and Fernandos Hideaway — lured Edwards to expand his culinary experience as co-owner and executive chef. Edwards was promoted to the executive chef position at the Ritz in October. “Today’s consumers are incredibly food savvy, curious and even more adventurous than ever before. I see this as a welcome challenge to create memorable experiences through the foods I prepare as well as the items I use. At The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, we source and utilize the finest possible ingredients available to us at all times and then prepare them in ways that yield the highest quality dishes.”

— Learn how to make Edwards’ Artful Plate featuring Mote Caviar at our new website Click on “recipes.” MOTE MAGAZINE | A n n u a l 2 0 1 2 - 2 0 1 3


Come See the Sea Lions!

On Dec. 1, Mote’s limited-time exhibit featuring sea lions will open to the public. Sea Lions: On The Water’s Edge is an exciting exhibit featuring California and Patagonian sea lions that will be open through spring 2013 in The Aquarium at Mote Marine Laboratory. The exhibit will allow visitors to get up close to California sea lions Sparky, 9, and Zoey, 7, and Hansi, a 2-year-old Patagonian sea lion. The exhibit will include special narrated demonstrations that highlight sea lions’ intelligence and natural abilities at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. each day. Visiting the exhibit will be included with your regular Mote admission. Mote Members always get in free. The Aquarium at Mote Marine Laboratory is at 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota. Online at


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MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR SPECTACULAR SEA LION EXTRAS We’re planning special sea lion programs that allow people of all ages to learn more about these fascinating marine mammals. Pre-registration is required. Find full details (including cost) online at education. Mommy and Me — “Merry Mammals” program. 10-11 a.m. or 1:30-2:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6. Children ages 2-5 and their favorite adults. Participants will learn all about sea lions through crafts, songs, stories, role playing and visiting our sea lion exhibit. Contact Miranda Wrobel, 941-388-4441, ext. 264, or miranda@ Family Program — “Let’s Learn About Sea Lions”: 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. All ages welcome. Contact Gina Santoianni at 941-388-4441, ext. 514, or

Adult Program — “Sea Lions: A Closer Look from the Water’s Edge”: 3:30- 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11. Geared toward ages 14 and older, but families may bring younger children. Contact Gina Santoianni at 941-388-4441, ext. 514, or SeaSnooze — “Sea Lion Sleepover”: 6:30 p.m.-9:30 a.m. Saturday through Sunday, Dec. 15-16. All ages welcome. Once The Aquarium has closed for the night, join us for this fun and exciting SeaSnooze featuring our sea lion guests. The Sea Lion Sleepover includes interactive educational programs, a pizza party, snacks and breakfast, sleeping in front of the exhibits at Mote and plenty of sea lion surprises. Contact Dana Henderson 941-388-4441, ext. 133, or

Mark Your Calendar:

THE 27TH ANNUAL RUN FOR THE TURTLES! Time has flown by and we’re readying for our annual Run for the Turtles. The run is the major fundraiser for Mote’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program and has been helping to support sea turtle conservation for 27 years. The event includes a 1-Mile Run/ Walk and a 5K run sanctioned by the Manasota Track Club. Teams are also welcome.

© Diane Nelson

2013 Special Lecture Series Diane Nelson first met Dr. Genie Clark in 1982 when Clark was teaching a class at Temple University. Back then, Nelson had no idea that she would later become close friends with Clark and join her on more than 15 expeditions. Mote’s 2013 Special Lecture Series brings Clark and Nelson together to talk science in the lecture “From Water Bears to Whale Sharks” on Monday evening Feb. 4, 2013. Nelson is a Ph.D. scientist who taught biological sciences at East Tennessee State University for 35 years. Her own scientific career focused on the study of water bears, or Tardigrades. They’re microscopic animals with segmented bodies and eight legs that can survive extreme hot and cold, dehydration and even the vacuum of space. These water-dwelling creatures crawl among mosses and lichens and can even live between grains of sand. (If you’re a Mote supporter, we’re guessing that you probably already know that Clark is our founding director who is still doing research today.)

The lecture will start with water bears and then head over to some of the expeditions that Clark and Nelson — who is also an underwater photographer — have undertaken in places like the Sea of Cortez, the Red Sea, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. Additional lectures are scheduled for each Monday through March 11. Lectures begin at 7:30 p.m. and take place in Mote’s Immersion Cinema. Find tickets, the full list of lectures and the final

WHEN: Saturday, April 6, 2013. WHERE: Siesta Key Public Beach, 948 Beach Road, Siesta Key. REGISTER ONLINE NOW: com through March 23, 2013. REGISTRATION FEES: Adults: $25 through March 23, 2013; $30 from March 23, 2013 through race day. Children 10 & younger: $15 through March 23, 2013; $20 from March 23, 2013 through race day.

schedule online at

For more info or to become a sponsor, contact Paula Clark, (941) 388-4441, ext. 357, or Thanks to our partners for their ongoing support: and Manasota Track Club and Sarasota County.

—Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium offers a special thank you to Bob and Jill Williams, who help sponsor the Special Lecture Series each year.

PARTY ON THE PASS It’s time to get down and Party on the Pass! Join us for this casual party offering guests great food and drinks provided by the Sarasota-Manatee Originals, auction items and plenty of fun. Saturday, April 27, 2013. For more information or to become a sponsor, contact Stacy Alexander,, 941-3884441, ext. 509. MOTE MAGAZINE | A n n u a l 2 0 1 2 - 2 0 1 3


sponsor ed repor T

chiEf fund-raiSEr iS a MotE donor

non profit orG. u.S. postage paid Manasota, fl permit #1201

1600 ken thompson parkway Sarasota, fl 34236-1004 (941) 388-4441

LEaVinG a LEGaCy: tom Waters tom Waters was a man on a mission almost from the start. a Massachusetts native, he graduated from american international college in 1978 with a solid foundation for the work he would spend many years doing. tom joined the united Way a year later and worked in louisville and denver for more than 10 years, raising funds for the many charities the famed organization supports through public donations. “that’s where i learned how to bring people together for a common cause — how to inspire them to give from the heart,” says Waters today. “it’s an act that can reward the donor as much as the recipients.” in 1997, tom came to Sarasota where he worked first for Easter Seals and then for the community foundation of Sarasota county. through his gift-planning expertise, tom helped raised more than $200 million for the foundation which, in turn, helps to support many local, regional, national and international organizations — including Mote Marine laboratory and aquarium. When he joined Mote earlier this year, tom immersed himself

in Mote’s history, its many marine research projects, its education initiatives and got to know the organization’s dedicated staff. tom also made an unsolicited personal donation to the laboratory, putting his own money where he is now asking others to put theirs. tom energized the Mote legacy Society by joining major donors to support Mote’s mission to sustain a viable marine ecosystem worldwide through his estate plan.. donors may be from anywhere in america or abroad, including Mote’s own staff and the 1,600 volunteers who already donate their time to the aquarium or the laboratory. to help you find the best way to donate, perhaps through a gift annuity or a trust that will provide a lifetime income while leaving Mote a nice legacy, please have a talk with ann hayes or your own financial advisor. as director of Major Gifts and planned Giving, ann is knowledgeable about ways your legacy can help Mote succeed. and, of course, tom is always happy to sit down to speak with you about the legacy you would like to leave!

There are many ways you can support Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. For more information and help in planning your contribution, go to or contact Ann Hayes at (941) 388-4441, ext. 261. MOTE MAGAZINE | A n n u a l 2 0 1 2 - 2 0 1 3


Mote Magazine, Annual 2012-2013  

Expedition: Great White; seeking relief for reefs and preserving legacies. Mote Magazine is published by Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquariu...

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