From its humble beginnings in tiny shed in a small Florida town, Mote Marine Laboratory has expanded to include a 10.5-acre campus in Sarasota, Fla., with field stations and public exhibits in Key West and field stations in eastern Sarasota County, Summerland Key and Charlotte Harbor. Florida's extensive coastline and marine and estuarine environments have enabled Mote scientists to build a platform of marine research conducted in the oceanic and nearshore environment.

Mote is dedicated to today’s research for tomorrow’s oceans with an emphasis on world-class research relevant to conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity, healthy habitats and natural resources. From the original focus on sharks, Mote research has expanded to include studies of human cancer using marine models, the effects of man-made and natural toxins 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 help us 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.

Mote Marine Laboratory is one of the world’s few remaining private marine research laboratories and, as a nonprofit organization, is funded through federal, state and local grants and through the generosity of individual donors and foundations. Over decades since Mote was created, the world has learned many things about its oceans. One lesson has remained constant: There is still much to discover.

Mote’s vision includes positively impacting public policy through science-based outreach and education. Showcasing this research is Mote Aquarium, open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 365 days a year. Mote Marine Laboratory, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236.