Aquarium Fish & Invertebrates Program

Fish & Invertebrate Program interns must have an interest in all aspects of the husbandry of public aquarium exhibits.  Interns will gain hands on experience and knowledge of what a daily, although not always typical, routine is of an Aquarium Biologist.  Primary responsibilities include assisting with exhibit maintenance, assisting with exhibit projects and completing an independent project.  Daily duties include cleaning exhibits, preparing food and feeding, testing water quality parameters, maintaining life support systems, behind the scenes housekeeping, making exhibit/animal observations and keeping accurate records.  Applicants must be able to lift 50 pounds and be able to tolerate the flora, fauna and humidity of southwest Florida.  While this position does provide an excellent overall experience, applicants may be placed into one of three concentrated areas depending on interest and skill level.  Should any of the concentrations be of particular interest, please specify in your letter of interest.  Those concentrations are as follows:

Jellyfish & Live Foods

This exciting concentration will offer a wide range of experience focusing on live foods and jellyfish.  An essential part of jellyfish husbandry includes the successful rearing and maintenance of live food cultures such as Rotifers, Artemia, Copepoda and Mysid Shrimp.  Because interns will gain more in depth husbandry expertise, including tank design, water flow and jellyfish lifecycles, preexisting basic husbandry skills are a must.  Depending on current needs, interns will be in charge of their own jellyfish specimens all the way from polyp through medusa.


Mote maintains 11 exhibits at 7 different locations throughout the city of Sarasota.  Traveling around town with an Off-Site Exhibits Aquarium Biologist at least three days per week for anywhere between a half and a full day, this position helps to teach excellent time management and pre-planning skills.  Interns in this concentration will gain experience on what it takes to maintain top notch exhibits outside of the typical public aquarium setting.

Seahorse Conservation Laboratory

Within the seahorse lab, interns will learn techniques and procedures of syngnathid propagation.  Daily duties include fry rearing, exhibit cleaning, food preparation and feeding, water quality testing, filter cleaning/changing and record keeping. Applicants should have a strong interest in syngnathid and general fish husbandry. 

Coursework in biology, animal behavior and zoology is required.  Experience or interest in animal enrichment is beneficial, although not required.  Computer skills are helpful, as well as the willingness to work independently.  This program deals primarily with teleosts, elasmobranchs and invertebrates NOT sea turtles or marine mammals.

This internship can be completed in one of the following durations:

Full Time:

  • minimum 10 week commitment
  • 40 hrs/week
  • Typical work hours are 8am-5pm, with a daily schedule of Sunday through Thursday, Monday through Friday or Tuesday through Saturday. Additional hours may be required on occasion.

Part Time:

  • approximately 25 week commitment throughout the fall and spring semesters 
  • minimum 16 hrs/week 
  • Typical work hours are 8am-5pm, with a weekly schedule to be determined based on program need and intern availability.

*Note: Although preference is given to applications received by the deadline, the Aquarium Fish and Invertebrates program will review late applications submitted to their program.