Coral Restoration: Grazers URE (Sarasota)

Internship Mentors: Tom Waldrop and Dr. Jason Spadaro

The Grazers team, part of the Coral Reef Restoration Research Program, focuses on ecological interactions that drive coral reef community composition and function. The team is primarily engaged in research involving reef herbivores and their functional role of removing algae from degraded reefs. At Mote Aquaculture Park, the Grazers team is developing and implementing methods for the mass production of Caribbean King Crabs, a promising native grazer, to support landscape scale coral reef restoration efforts in the Florida Keys and throughout the wider Caribbean region. Interns will gain valuable and transferable skills and hands-on experience in marine invertebrate husbandry, aquaculture production of invertebrates and algae, water quality and chemistry monitoring, and laboratory research. Participants will have numerous opportunities to participate in hands-on data collection including snorkeling in large aquaculture tanks to help monitor and manage the animals in culture. Participants must be able to lift heavy objects up to 70 pounds. We are looking for enthusiastic and engaged individuals who are seeking to gain experience and knowledge in the fields of aquaculture, ecology, and life support system operations. Please note the majority of research activities are carried out at the Mote Aquaculture Park (MAP); a satellite site located in eastern Sarasota County, Florida, approximately 17 miles from the main laboratory.