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).

You wouldn’t feed a bear? Don’t feed wild dolphins!

You wouldn’t feed a bear? Don’t feed wild dolphins!

A great way to help wild dolphins is to leave them alone - and we've got the research to back that up!  Dr. Katie McHugh of the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, a Chicago Zoological Society program in collaboration with Mote Marine Lab, tells Hayley and Joe what she's learned as a scientist in the world's longest running study of a wild dolphin population. Sarasota Bay, Florida, is one of many places where people and wild dolphins share the environment. Tune in to learn about the lives of these marine mammals and how humans - including boaters, anglers and coastal residents and visitors - can be good neighbors. That includes never feeding wild dolphins. Resources: Dolphin-friendly fishing and viewing tips Sarasota Dolphin Research Program: www.sarasotadolphin.org Report injured, dead or distressed marine mammals and sea turtles: In Sarasota and Manatee counties, Florida, Mote's Stranding Investigations Program: 941-988-0212 Anywhere in Florida: FWC Wildlife Alert hotline, 1 (888) 404-FWCC (3922). Elsewhere: See NOAA's stranding network phone numbers or get the smartphone app Dolphin and Whale 911.

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Losing corals? Not on our watch!

Losing corals? Not on our watch!

Coral reefs are critical to Florida’s economy, ecology and natural beauty, but reefs around the world are declining due to multiple threats. Mote staff scientist Erich Bartels tells Joe and Hayley about the latest efforts to monitor and restore coral reefs of the lower Florida Keys — including how you can help report reef conditions — and describes Mote’s coral nursery for reef restoration. He also shares experiences from working underwater: Guess which fish mistook his fingers for a snack...

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Investigating OA: The evil twin of climate change

Investigating OA: The evil twin of climate change

Dr. Emily Hall, manager of Mote's Ocean Acidification program, shares how the harmful chemistry change called ocean acidification (OA) is a growing challenge for marine ecosystems, including vital coral reefs. OA happens when excess carbon dioxide enters the ocean, causing the water to acidify. If you're a coral building a calcium carbonate skeleton: Watch out! OA may work like "osteoporosis of the sea" affecting your skeleton and your survival odds. Hall and colleagues want to know which marine life will be "winners" and "losers" in a more acidic ocean.

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Sounds fishy: Acoustic studies of Florida fish

Sounds fishy: Acoustic studies of Florida fish

Dip a hydrophone into the Gulf of Mexico and you’ll be eavesdropping on plenty of “chit chat.”  Many fish species make sounds, especially during important life history events such as mating. Dr. Jim Locascio, Manager of Mote’s Fisheries Habitat Ecology Program, plays some fish sounds and shares knowledge from his acoustic research.

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Not your typical day at the aquarium

Not your typical day at the aquarium

Mote Aquarium, an informal science education center in Sarasota, Florida, shares the research of Mote Marine Laboratory with the public and features animals native to Florida waters and other places where Mote works. Joe and Hayley learn from (and laugh with) Evan Barniskis, Assistant Vice President of Mote Aquarium, about what it takes to keep the Aquarium running, what stories Barniskis has accumulated during a decade with Mote and some specific ways the Aquarium shares Mote research.

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Blue hole explorer

Blue hole explorer

Jim Culter, Manager of the Benthic Ecology Program at Mote, is a technical cave diver who ventures where few dare to go: into Florida’s underwater caves and sinkholes called blue holes. Jim tells Joe and Hayley what he’s learning, as the leader of the first scientific expeditions to several blue holes off west Florida. Also, Joe interrupts Hayley incessantly.

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When marine life strands, who you gonna call?

When marine life strands, who you gonna call?

Mote’s Stranding Investigations Program responds 24 hours a day, 365 days per year, to reports of injured, sick or dead marine mammals and sea turtles in Mote’s local area, Sarasota and Manatee counties in southwest Florida. Gretchen Lovewell, Manager of this program, tells Hayley and Joe what it takes to rescue dolphins and other animals in need, what people can expect when they call Mote’s stranding pager, and about the occasional “false alarm” calls that add surprising humor to a challenging job. (To report stranded marine life in Sarasota and Manatee counties, call this program at 941-988-0212.)

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Fish and their billions of “friends”

Fish and their billions of “friends”

Helpful bacteria live on and inside fish (and us).  Dr. Andrea Tarnecki, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Mote, shares her research geared toward understanding fish-related bacteria and using some helpful bacteria to raise healthier fish in aquaculture, also called fish farming. And of course, Dr. Tarnecki indulges Joe’s interest in fish poop. Episode transcript provided by intern Mary Alice Blackstock.

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Beach conditions and health conditions

Beach conditions and health conditions

With a focus on the Florida red tides (harmful algae) that can kill fish and make Gulf of Mexico beachgoers cough, Hayley and Joe learn about Mote’s Environmental Health Program from its manager, Dr. Tracy Fanara.

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