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).

Machines and mud

Machines and mud

Tech-savvy listeners: Dr. Jordon Beckler is your guy. Jordon, manager of Mote’s Ocean Technology Research Program, tells Joe and Hayley about: autonomous underwater vehicles that monitor the ocean for harmful red tide algae; an Ocean Technology Club where young people program simple computers to be scientific sensors; seeking better ways to monitor the success of environmental restoration projects; and best of all… mud! Using ocean technology, Jordon studies the chemistry where undersea mud meets water — part of the carbon cycle that influences Earth’s climate.

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Who knows every fish in the Aquarium?

Who knows every fish in the Aquarium?

Matt Seguin, Curator of Husbandry & Records for Mote Aquarium, oversees the care and record-keeping efforts for a staggering number of animal species that Aquarium visitors view every day. Learn why his favorite fish have a special “job” in the Aquarium, how he finds the fun in animal parasite prevention, and how he teaches college courses — occasionally using Star Wars references to make science a little bit cooler. Hayley and Joe are impressed, indeed: When it comes to marine animal knowledge, Matt is a true Renaissance man!

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Delicious, declining stone crabs

Delicious, declining stone crabs

Stone crabs are famous for their delicious claws, but Florida’s multi-million-dollar stone crab fishery has shown declines in recent years. Dr. Phil Gravinese, Mote Postdoctoral Research Fellow, shares his research focused on young stone crabs and the environmental changes that might affect them. Hayley finds a way to mention sea monkeys. Talk of a stone crab lab makes Joe hungry. But seriously: Stone crabs are critical to Florida’s culture and well deserving of the scientific spotlight. Tune in and learn more!

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Marine medic

Marine medic

Sick marine animals need a very special E.R. — should we call it a SEA-R.?  Mote’s animal hospitals have treated hundreds of sea turtles and dozens of dolphins and small whales — patients who arrive with no medical history, no health insurance and no ability to say where it hurts. Lynne Byrd, Mote's Medical Care & Rehabilitation Coordinator, tells Hayley and Joe about the detective work, extensive knowledge and dedicated attitude required to rehabilitate and release marine animals.

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Oh the Hugh manatee… and Buffett manatee!

Oh the Hugh manatee… and Buffett manatee!

Manatees Hugh and Buffett are science stars. As long-term residents of Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, they are trained to participate in their own health care - such as giving a voluntary blood sample or being weighed - along with innovative research projects focused on manatee senses and physiology. Their lead trainer and caregiver, Mote Aquarium senior biologist Kat Boerner, explains why manatees are interesting, important and just plain weird. Hosts Joe and Hayley have different reactions when they learn how manatees got their name.

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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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