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).

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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Sharks, sea snakes & lobsters - oh my! Ecological adventures

Sharks, sea snakes & lobsters - oh my! Ecological adventures

From sea snakes in Australia to nurse sharks in the Dutch Caribbean, Dr. Rob Nowicki studies fascinating animals around the world, to better understand the ecology of natural communities and sometimes to solve immediate problems, such as how to keep nurse sharks out of lobster traps to benefit both the sharks and lobsters. With a case of self-described "academic ADD," Nowicki has an excitingly diverse and adventurous research career. In this episode, he educates hosts Hayley and Joe on the complex interactions among multiple marine species, which must be understood for effective conservation - especially as big challenges like climate change reshape natural communities.

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Getting schooled by two awesome marine educators

Getting schooled by two awesome marine educators

Since 1968, passionate ocean educators have been joining the Florida Marine Science Educators Association (FMSEA). This episode features two of our favorite FMSEA friends — Jason Robertshaw of Mote’s Virtual Learning Program and Kasey Gaylord-Opalewski of EarthEcho International — sharing how they train teachers in safe, legal collection of aquatic organisms and lead multiple efforts focused on conservation and ocean literacy. What is ocean literacy anyway? What ocean topics are “hot” among educators right now? Why is Joe so good at answering ocean trivia questions? Do FMSEA educators really have THAT much fun at their conferences? Tune in to find out! Educators can register for the May 2-5 FMSEA conference in Crystal River at: fmsea.org Mote Marine Laboratory's education programs mentioned today include Virtual Learning (seatrek.tv) and Teacher Professional Development (mote.org/teacher) EarthEcho International, earthecho.org, features monitorwater.org and stemexplore.org. Please rate and review Two Sea Fans in the iTunes Store or Apple podcast app. It really helps! In those apps, you can also download episodes free.  

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On the front lines of a coral disease epidemic

On the front lines of a coral disease epidemic

The world's third-largest barrier coral reef is losing its battle with an unprecedented coral disease outbreak, and Mote Marine Laboratory scientists are determined to do something about it. Dr. Erinn Muller, Science Director of Mote’s Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration, is on the front lines of the response to the stony coral tissue loss disease outbreak on the Florida Reef Tract. She updates hosts Hayley and Joe on the intensive efforts by Mote and numerous partners to study the disease and investigate how coral restoration can help the reef bounce back.

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From elephants to otters - veterinary stories

From elephants to otters - veterinary stories

Veterinarian Dr. Whitney Greene has worked with “all creatures great and small” – more than 100 species ranging from tiny frogs to massive elephants. She joined Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium in 2018 to apply her skills with marine veterinary medicine for the care of sea turtles, manatees, sharks and other species. Before working with Mote, she served as Staff Veterinarian at Buttonwood Park Zoo in Massachusetts. In this episode, she tells hosts Joe and Hayley about some of her most challenging and rewarding veterinary cases, and she shares how aquarium and zoo vets have to think outside the box to treat a diverse array of species. If you enjoy "Two Sea Fans," please rate and review the program in the iTunes store or Apple podcast app, and share your favorite episodes with friends. The sea fans thank you!

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