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).

‘Croc School’ graduate

‘Croc School’ graduate

From crocodilians to cuttlefish, Brian Siegel takes care of several species that capture our imaginations. Hosts Joe and Hayley especially wanted to hear about Brian's work with crocodilians - a group including alligators, crocodiles, caimans and gharials. Did you know that there are only two alligator species? Do you know how gators replace their teeth? Are you curious why Brian attended "Croc School"? That's the nickname for the Association of Zoos & Aquariums' program officially called Crocodilian Biology and Captive Management. Brian, a Senior Aquarium Biologist at Mote, is learning new reptile facts all the time and loves engaging in croc talk.

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Fishes in your backyard

Fishes in your backyard

Waterside residents: You probably have fishes in your backyard, whether you know it or not! Dr. Ryan Schloesser knows all about those fishes in southwest Florida, especially the treasured sport fish common snook. In this episode, he tells hosts Joe and Hayley how he and Mote colleagues release hatchery-reared snook to study their habitat preferences, likelihood of survival, ability to enhance the wild fishery, and more. Tune in for fish facts both practical and fun: How can southwest Florida anglers get involved in fisheries research, how are snook tagged for science, and how hard is it to catch a hatchery-reared fish with your hands? Stay for some nerdy discussion — for instance, why do scientists care so much about fish “otoliths,” or ear stones? Also, anglers should mark their calendars for the William R. Mote Memorial Snook Shindig on Sept. 28 and 29. This catch, sample and release tournament targets snook released by scientists from Mote’s Fisheries Ecology and Enhancement Program and colleagues at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

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Deluxe dwellings for awesome animals

Deluxe dwellings for awesome animals

How do Mote Aquarium staff develop exhibits healthy for animals and engaging for visitors? Mike Collins, Curator of Exhibits at Mote, tells Joe and Hayley about the excitement of developing a naturalistic home for Mote’s resident otters, the routine of cleaning fish habitats, and everything in between. How did Mike get involved in the professional aquarium world, why is the yellowhead jawfish one of his favorite fish species, and how does he gather and give great advice for marine animal care and exhibit development? Also, why shouldn't you tap on the glass? Tune in to find out!

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Mote interns: An ocean of possibilities

Mote interns: An ocean of possibilities

Are you seeking a marine science internship? Or simply want to know how Mote works with students from various states, countries and backgrounds?  Mote’s internship guru, Student Engagement Coordinator Gina Santoianni, tells Hayley and Joe how Mote interns participate in lab and field research, aid science educators, apply graphic design skills to ocean outreach, and much more. Students can learn a thing or two from Gina’s own career path, starting with an education and early internships focused on environmental policy, moving through marine science education to her current position coordinating internships at Mote. Whether you want to apply or simply want to discover the work of Mote’s mighty interns, you’ll learn plenty!

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Taking a manatee’s temperature: Trickier than it sounds!

Taking a manatee’s temperature: Trickier than it sounds!

Manatees can sicken or even die from cold-stress syndrome when winter temperatures plummet in Florida. Why are these big mammals so cold-sensitive, and how can we take their temperatures? On this episode, Dr. Nicola Erdsack shares some emerging answers; she and her colleagues are investigating new methods to detect temperature change in manatees, and those methods have the potential to benefit manatee rehabilitation and even research in the wild. Erdsack is an international Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Mote whose work is supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

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Meet a seafood farming scientist

Meet a seafood farming scientist

Dr. Kevan Main is a global pioneer in aquaculture, often called seafood farming but encompassing much more. Want to know how much of your seafood is farmed? Curious about whether farmed fish are good for you and the environment? Main shares ideas and stories about aquaculture done right — using improved technology to make this rapidly growing practice more sustainable and economically sound. Beyond simply farming fish, Main is studying how to raise fish together with salt-tolerant "sea vegetables" in a practice called marine aquaponics, and the results are tasty.

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Sponge vs. coral vs. seaweed… and other biogeochemical battles

Sponge vs. coral vs. seaweed… and other biogeochemical battles

Can you say “biogeochemistry” three times quickly? Great: Now can you define it?  In this episode, Dr. Heather Page helps Hayley and Joe get their heads around this important subject, which affects all life whether you’re in a forest or on a coral reef!  Heather, a Mote Postdoctoral Research Fellow, wants to understand how one biogeochemical issue, ocean acidification, affects corals, sponges and seaweeds that fight for space on the ocean bottom. It’s not exactly a boxing match, but this silent competition must be understood to help scientists make predictions about our planet’s future, when biogeochemistry shifts could mean a very different ocean.

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Florida reefs are our sanctuary, says conservation leader

Florida reefs are our sanctuary, says conservation leader

Sarah Fangman, Superintendent of NOAA's Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS), and her team work to balance conservation with human enjoyment of Florida's natural treasure: 2,900 square nautical miles of FKNMS-protected ecosystems. There, vast coral reefs and thousands of wildlife species amaze visitors and fascinate scientists, including Mote Marine Laboratory researchers who have worked closely with FKNMS for years. In this episode, Sarah tells hosts Joe and Hayley: what it was like to join FKNMS just as Hurricane Irma arrived; how coastal systems like reefs and mangroves can help protect communities during storms; why science is important to a healthy marine sanctuary; and how public-private partnerships can support key efforts such as studying a coral disease outbreak, restoring and monitoring coral reefs, informing FKNMS management goals, and more. Learn more about FKNMS: floridakeys.noaa.gov Have fun while benefiting Keys coral reefs during Mote's Ocean Fest on April 14 at NOAA's Eco-Discovery Center & Truman Waterfront in Key West: mote.org/oceanfest

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Snapshots of science and sea life

Snapshots of science and sea life

Conor Goulding is an underwater photographer who captures images of Mote Marine Laboratory's scientific research, related ocean environments and wildlife, along with the resident animals of Mote Aquarium in Sarasota, Florida. Though he makes photography look easy, it requires careful observation and knowledge of the subject, a good grasp of technology and technique, and a storyteller's mindset to get meaningful shots of science in action. In this episode, Conor tells Joe and Hayley about some of his favorite photo shoots and he offers tips for those getting into nature photography. Check out Conor's work by visiting motemarinelab.photoshelter.com and clicking the "galleries" link to see Mote's public photo archive.

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