A year-long celebration for Mote's Founding Director, Dr. Eugenie Clark

The scientist who started it all

May 4, 2022, marked the 100th birthday of a marine science legend: Dr. Eugenie ("Genie") Clark, the "Shark Lady" who founded Mote Marine Laboratory in 1955. Throughout her 100th year, Mote will celebrate Genie's incredible life and positive impacts with special events, activities and opportunities to help support and grow her legacy of marine science and education.

Genie passed away in 2015 after a lifetime of studying sharks and other fishes. She was a scientist ahead of her time—back in the 1950s, she'd already caught on that sharks are complex and fascinating rather than mindless and frightening, and that women belong in marine science fields once dominated by men. Her trailblazing mindset has led to many of Mote's greatest impacts today and inspires our progress toward an even brighter tomorrow.

See Clark's amazing life in pictures

Click the button for our special tribute website featuring photos from Genie's adventures, newly digitized by Mote's Arthur Vining Davis Library & Archives.

Her Forever Stamp on marine science

This year, the U.S. Postal Service is honoring Genie with a new USPS Forever® Stamp—a mini piece of art as vibrant as she was. The stamp was designed and created by Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya. You can help us spread the word on social media with: #eugenieclarkstamp

Get the stamp (available starting May 4)

Learn about our Shark Lady through this video tribute from the U.S. Postal Service:


How has Genie's life and legacy enriched your own?

Are you a scientist or student who has cited her research or drawn inspiration from her journey? A Mote supporter inspired by her generous spirit? A friend, family member, or one of the many other people whose lives she has touched? 

A selection of your messages will be shared through Mote's digital and print outreach in honor of Genie's 100th year. 


Right-side photos:

Top: While researching the phenomenon of “sleeping” sharks off the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, Dr. Eugenie Clark comes across a bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas), 1974. Photo credit: David Doubilet
Middle: USPS Forever® Stamp honoring Clark
Bottom: Dr. Eugenie Clark and Dr. Heinz Steinitz examine moray eels at Cape Haze Marine Laboratory, September 1963. Photo credit: Mary Edwards Braden