Hear true stories of marine research! In each episode of "Two Sea Fans," Mote Marine Laboratory scientists and their partners have fun and educational conversations with hosts Joe Nickelson and Hayley Rutger, who love communicating marine science to help listeners become more ocean-literate. New episodes are available every two weeks. Download episodes free by searching "Two Sea Fans" in the iTunes store.

All episodes of “Two Sea Fans” are © Mote Marine Laboratory. If you have questions, comments or an interest in featuring "Two Sea Fans" on your website, please contact Hayley (hrutger@mote.org) and Joe (videojoe@mote.org).

listen on apple

Marine wildlife rescue mission never stops

Marine wildlife rescue mission never stops

Our Medical Care & Rehabilitation Coordinator Lynne Byrd returns to the podcast to share stories of the sea turtles being treated in Mote Marine Laboratory's Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital! During this recording on March 31, 2020, many were working from home because of COVID-19, while marine wildlife responders like Lynne and her team continued their essential roles of treating animals in critical condition. Hosts Hayley and Joe joined Lynne for a wonderful conversation—sitting a good distance apart but enjoying the amazing shared experience of talking about sea turtle rescue, rehabilitation and release. Lynne and her colleagues in Mote's Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital and Stranding Investigations Program are a ray of light even in the most challenging times.  Tune in for this fun, fascinating conversation, and get ready for more episodes of Two Sea Fans in the coming weeks!

Listen

After red tide, are snook showing up?

After red tide, are snook showing up?

Dr. Jim Locascio is studying common snook along beaches that experienced major fish kills due to Florida red tide in 2018, to help understand the status of these popular sportfish following this major challenge. Lately, that research has included an uncommon tool: a flying drone that offers a bird's-eye view of these fish in the shallows. In this episode, Dr. Locascio tells hosts Joe and Hayley how he's applying this tool and others, and he shares what he's learning about snook in the wake of red tide.

Listen

Coral ‘matchmaker’ shares the science of reef romance

Coral ‘matchmaker’ shares the science of reef romance

Dr. Hanna Koch has been given many nicknames, including "coral matchmaker" and "coral fertility doctor." She's conducting managed breeding efforts with threatened coral species, part of the coral reef science and restoration mission of Mote Marine Laboratory scientists in the Florida Keys. In this episode of "Two Sea Fans," Koch explains where coral babies come from, how scientists are helping native corals reproduce sexually in a controlled setting, and why sexual reproduction is so important for providing fresh genetics to coral populations that are struggling in the wild. Tune in and add some science to your Valentine's Day! Koch is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the German Research Foundation and Visiting Research Scientist at Mote’s Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration (IC2R3).

Listen

ECOmittee: Mote’s green team

ECOmittee: Mote’s green team

Going green is one of our favorite subjects at Mote Marine Laboratory. Lately, a team of dedicated staff known as Mote's ECOmittee has been working to adopt and share best practices for environmental sustainability, to help inspire others lead by example. In this episode, Mote's ECOmittee member Greer Babbe tells hosts Joe and Hayley how the group formed and launched its first projects at the Lab, particularly a growing effort to encourage composting. Join us for a fun and uplifting chat about one of our favorite parts of Mote life!  

Listen

Discoveries from 350 feet deep

Discoveries from 350 feet deep

In May and September 2019, Mote scientists and partners undertook their deepest explorations to-date into the Gulf of Mexico's blue holes, underwater caves, springs and sinkholes that attract diverse marine life. The team deployed a “benthic lander”—a framework holding multiple scientific instruments collectively weighing more than 600 pounds—into the offshore Amberjack Hole, whose bottom extends deeper than 350 feet. In this episode of Two Sea Fans, Mote scientists Dr. Emily Hall and Jim Culter share what the team discovered inside this deep, dark and fascinating blue hole. Tune in to hear what they learned!

Listen

Manatee science by air, land and sea

Manatee science by air, land and sea

Florida manatees are iconic for the Sunshine State. They're on license plates, they're the focus of major conservation and management initiatives, and they delight residents and ecotourists who are lucky enough to watch these 1,000-pound-plus mammals from a safe distance in the wild. Mote's Manatee Research Program has studied wild manatees for decades, and their efforts are just as interesting as the animals they study. In this episode, hosts Joe and Hayley talk to Mote Senior Biologist Sheri Barton about how she and her colleagues recognize individual manatees in the wild, monitor them from boats and shore, count manatees from the air, study the habitats used by these threatened mammals, and more.

Listen

Helping snook rebound after red tide

Helping snook rebound after red tide

After red tide caused serious fish kills along the Gulf of Mexico in 2018, three fish-friendly organizations joined forces in a science-based effort to help the popular sportfish common snook rebound faster in certain hard-hit areas. Mote Marine Laboratory, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), and Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) launched the Adopt-A-Snook program allowing the public to donate toward raising and releasing juvenile snook in a fisheries enhancement effort based on more than two decades of research. In this episode of “Two Sea Fans,” Mote Staff Scientist Dr. Ryan Schloesser tells hosts Hayley and Joe how many snook have been raised and released with special tags, and how often the snook been detected by scientific equipment since release. The answer might surprise you!

Listen

Toolbox for addressing red tide

Toolbox for addressing red tide

Dr. Cindy Heil studies microscopic living things with huge impacts: phytoplankton. These ocean-dwelling, plant-like organisms are known for producing 50% of the oxygen we breathe along with food for other living things; a minority of species can produce toxins or have other negative impacts. Dr. Heil and her Mote colleagues focus on one of the most challenging phytoplankton: the Florida red tide algae species, Karenia brevis. In this episode, Dr. Heil tells hosts Joe and Hayley about her efforts to understand Florida red tide ecology and to test methods for mitigating and controlling the toxin-producing Florida red tide blooms that challenge coastal communities along the Gulf of Mexico. Tune in to learn how scientists are expanding the possible "toolbox" of technology for directly mitigating red tides, while continually working to better understand how red tides function. That knowledge is important for societal leaders working to protect the public and reduce possible water quality issues that may help "feed" a red tide after it forms offshore and moves to the coast. Dr. Heil is Director of the new Red Tide Institute at Mote, which formed to investigate red tide mitigation and control tools thanks to its Founding Donor, the Andrew and Judith Economos Charitable Foundation.

Listen

Caiman conservation in Argentina

Caiman conservation in Argentina

Mote Aquarium Biologist II Veronica Garcia just returned from an adventure in Argentina, where she assisted the program Proyecto Yacaré in their conservation and research efforts with broad-snouted caimans — reptiles related to alligators and crocodiles. Garcia tells hosts Joe and Hayley what it was like to visit Argentina, help incubate caiman eggs and care for the hatched caimans, visit nest sites in the field with a local guide and participate in Proyecto Yacaré’s student research projects. Many thanks to the Florida Association of Zoos & Aquariums for the competitive grant that allowed Garcia spend two weeks with this exciting project!

Listen