Environmental Laboratory for Forensics
Contaminant detection of toxic substances.
The Chemical & Physical Ecology Program addresses both research and applied science questions on the impacts and interactions of nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and silica) and physical parameters (salinity, light) in riverine, estuarine and coastal environments. The group forms a NELAC-approved water quality laboratory with certification inspections conducted by the Florida Department of Health and a Quality Manual which addresses all aspects of sample collection, analytical and reporting practices. These quality measures are applied to all projects to ensure acceptable accuracy and precision of all analytical results.
Areas of focus for the program include statistical analyses of the nutrient regimes associated with blooms of Florida’s “Red Tide,” Karenia brevis, as well as other phytoplankton taxa. We are examining the variations in the supply of nutrients from the major SW Florida estuaries, and are also studying the responses of both typical coastal phytoplankton and K. brevis to selected nutrient additions under more controlled laboratory experiments. Novel sources of nutrients that may support harmful algal blooms have also been examined, quantifying either the amount of nutrients supplied as flux from the sediments to the water column or measuring the nutrient concentrations of sediment interstitial waters.
Freshwater supplies to estuaries are under considerable pressure as Florida’s population and drinking water demands increase. The Program has performed a number of studies to establish the chemical and physical conditions of tidal rivers as a function of flow rates to allow Florida’s Water Management Agencies to set appropriate withdrawal limits that are protective of estuarine biota and habitats. We also continue to provide monitoring services to permitted entities to ensure that these limits remain effective and appropriate and to permit municipalities to track the conditions and trends of their respective estuarine waters. Projects include both routine discrete sampling at selected stations, intensive surveys with flow through instrumentation and water quality measurements, stormwater sampling and installations of continuous monitors of weather, water level and water quality.
Funding agencies have included the U.S. EPA, NOAA, the State of Florida, Southwest and South Florida Water Management Districts, Tampa Bay Estuary Program, Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program, Florida Department of Environmental Regulation, Florida Department of Health, as well as local counties and cities.
Contaminant detection of toxic substances.
Bottom-dwelling organism response to environmental disturbance.
Basic and applied research on the health and immune systems of marine vertebrates
Understanding processes and environmental factors that influence coral reef health.
Investigating how marine & freshwater chemicals impact public health
Coral diseases are one of the greatest threats to reefs worldwide.
Long term study of dolphin populations in Sarasota Bay.
Study of the Ocean's Phytoplankton Community
Study responses of ecologically important species to projected levels of ocean acidification.
Rehabilitation hospital to provide provide state-of-the-art critical care & chronic care for stranded sea turtles and dolphins.
Developing strategies for fishery stocking & restoring endangered species
Seeking to develop systems and techniques to grow coral and other reef species.
Studying habitats and trends in turtle nesting to conserve Sea Turtles.
The Sharks and Rays Conservation Research Program is dedicated to studying the biology, ecology and conservation of sharks, skates and rays.
Study of how fish interact with their habitats & how disturbances influence these interactions.
Studying sharks, skates and stingrays as laboratory animal models for basic & applied research
Studying manatee behavioral ecology, distribution, habitat use, genetics, and population status in Florida.
Developing technologies to produce fish & invertebrates to meet growing demand for seafood & fishing stocks.
Investigating the source, fact & effects of toxins in the environment
Using technology to further study & management of our local coastal environment.
Studying the impacts of nutrients and physical parameters in riverine, estuarine and coastal environments.
The Stranding Investigations Program (SIP) provides 24-hour response to sick, injured and deceased marine mammals & sea turtles.
Help Mote save dolphins and sea turtles.