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Ray Biology & Conservation URE

Internship Mentor: Dr. Katie Flowers

Working under Mote’s Sharks & Rays Conservation Research Program, Dr. Flowers seeks to fill fundamental biological and ecological knowledge gaps for rays in order to contribute to management and conservation. The focus of her research is on understanding the anthropogenic and environmental threats to ray populations and finding ways to mitigate or eliminate those threats without negatively impacting livelihoods. At Mote, we are building baselines for benthic rays in Florida and Belize to use for long-term abundance monitoring. Through standardized catch-and-release programs and baited remote underwater video station surveys, we can assess the possible impacts of fisheries regulations, human pressures, and environmental conditions on ray abundance. The successful intern applicant will have a general interest in any aspect of fish biology, fish behavior, fish ecology, fisheries, and/or conservation. Previous lab or field experience are not required and applicants from backgrounds other than biology are encouraged to apply.