The Coral Health and Disease program is located at two locations. If interested, please apply for Coral Health and Disease Program in your internship application, but specify one or several of the following program locations or projects in your statement of interest.

Marine Microbes and Genetics – Dr. Grace Klinges and Marina Villoch Diaz-Mauriño

Microorganisms have a significant influence on animal host fitness and resilience to stressors. Beneficial microbes contribute to host metabolic capabilities and pathogen defense, allowing for optimal host response to changing environmental conditions. Environmental stress can drive the loss of these beneficial species and contribute to increases in harmful species. Such shifts in microbial community composition often lead to negative host health consequences. Our program uses diverse molecular methods to better understand the role of microorganisms in coral health and disease. Our research interests include understanding the role of bacteria and viruses in coral disease, culturing beneficial bacteria to combat pathogens, and tank- and reef-based studies of microbial community response to environmental stress. We also utilize assessments of coral genetic variation to inform management decisions which maximize diversity and resilience of the corals we restore to the reef. Our team works closely with the Coral Resilience, Reproduction, and Restoration programs on several collaborative projects to reach our shared goals of protecting our reefs.

We seek highly independent and motivated interns for these projects, to be performed at the Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration (IC2R3) located on Summerland Key, FL. Daily tasks will vary with each project, but will generally include basic laboratory maintenance (e.g., cleaning glassware, operating an autoclave), animal husbandry (e.g., maintaining tanks, monitoring water quality, coral health assessments), assessing coral physiological traits (e.g., photosynthetic and respiration efficiency, calcification rates) culturing of microorganisms, biological sample processing using molecular techniques (e.g., DNA extractions, qPCR, gel electrophoresis), and growth assessments using ImageJ and 3D scanning methodology. Student interns will have numerous opportunities for professional and academic development.

Interested applicants should indicate “Marine Microbes and Genetics” as their preferred program in their statements of interest.

Coral Resilience – Chelsea Petrik and Dr. Erinn Muller 

Primary responsibilities will consist of working in an outdoor wet lab system involving coral resilience research projects.  Primary duties often include completing daily water quality measurements, coral-based health assessments, and coral related husbandry. In addition, working within a dry Laboratory space to complete physiological assessments on corals may also occur. Opportunities to adopt a small project may also be possible if working with preserved samples when available. Applicants must be willing to learning new software/programs, as needed, and become familiar with current data entry protocols. Data analysis and data interpretation are a possibility, given prior experience. Some weekend work is required. Ideally a candidate would have knowledge of basic experimental sampling/design skills and basic animal husbandry methods.  Strong organizational, communication, and planning skills are critical. There will be opportunities to attend outreach and work-related events.

This non-paid internship positon is based in Summerland Key, Florida, USA. Working hours are full-time, approx. 9 am to 5 pm, with one hour lunch break. Some late hours and weekend work may be required.  Applicants must have a positive attitude while being self-motivated, reliable, and display strong core characteristics that would align with Mote Marine Laboratory’s mission. This position involves working in humid outdoor work spaces, maintaining high safety standards while in aquaria and within the Molecular/Microbiology Laboratory spaces at MML, and working closely with diverse backgrounds. The applicant should be prepared to multi task, think critically, and readily solve problems.

Interested applicants should indicate “Coral Resilience” as their preferred program in their statement of interest.