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Kumar Mahadevan

Mote President Emeritus & Senior Scientist Emeritus

Emeritus Senior Scientists

Today's Research for Tomorrow's Oceans



Dr. Mahadevan joined Mote Marine Laboratory in 1978 as a senior scientist. He became CEO in 1986 when the Laboratory’s annual budget was $2 million with a single campus, 58 staff and 68 volunteers. In May 2013, Dr. Mahadevan officially retired, transitioning to President Emeritus status and assuming a new role as ambassador and advocate for Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium. By the time he stepped down, the Lab included a 10.5-acre campus on City Island, Sarasota, field and education stations in Punta Gorda, Boca Grande, Demere Key, Summerland Key, Key West, an Aquaculture Park in Eastern Sarasota County and the popular Aquarium at Mote Marine Laboratory, which is one of the most-visited attractions in Southwest Florida with an annual budget of 20 million, 200 staff and 1600 volunteers. An oceanographer trained in benthic ecology, he has conducted a wide array of research studies in the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa & Sarasota Bays, the Persian Gulf, the Arctic Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean.


Ph.D. (Biological Oceanography), Florida State University; 1977 M.S. (Marine Biology), Annamalai University, India; 1971 B.S. (Chemistry), Madras University, India; 1967

Current Publications

Kakuma, S., Yanagi, T., Sato, T. (2024). “Models for Implementing the Satoumi Concept via Residential Research Institute Collaborations with Citizen Scientists in the United States” in Satoumi Science: Co-creating Social-Ecological Harmony Between Human and the Sea. .
Dziobak MK, Wells RS, Pisarski EC, Wirth EF, Hart LB (2024). A Correlational Analysis of Phthalate Exposure and Thyroid Hormone Levels in Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from Sarasota Bay, Florida (2010–2019). Animals, 12.0(824.0).
Patton, P. T., Cheeseman, T., Abe, K., Yamaguchi, T., Reade, W., Southerland, K., Howard, A., Oleson, E. M., Allen, J. B., Ashe, E., Athayde, A., Baird, R. W., Basran, C., Cabrera, E., Calambokidis, J., Cardoso, J., Carrol, E. L., Cesario, A., Cheney, B. J., Corsi, E., Currie, J., Durban, J. W., Falcone, E. A., Fearnbach, H., Flynn, K., Franklin, T., Franklin, W., Galletti Vernazzani, B., Genov, T., Hill, M., Johnston, D. R., Keene, E. L., Mahaffy, S. D., McGuire, T. L., McPherson, L., Meyer, C., Michaud, R., Miliou, A., Orbach, D. N., Pearson, H. C., Rasmussen, M. H., Rayment, W. J., Rinaldi, C., Rinaldi, R., Siciliano, S., Stack, S., Tintore, B., Torres, L. G., Towers, J. R., Trotter, C., Tyson Moore, R., Weir, C. R., Wellard, R., Wells, R., Yano, K. M., Zaescmar, J. R., Bejder, L. (2023). A deep learning approach to photo-identification demonstrates high performance on two dozen cetacean species. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 00, 1-15.
Stephanie M. Rosales, Lindsay K. Huebner, James S. Evans, Amy Apprill, Andrew C. Baker, Cynthia C. Becker, Anthony J. Bellantuono, Marilyn E. Brandt, Abigail S. Clark, Javier del Campo, Caroline E. Dennison , Katherine R. Eaton, Naomi E. Huntley, Christina A. Kellogg, Mónica Medina, Julie L. Meyer, Erinn M. Muller, Mauricio Rodriguez-Lanetty, Jennifer L. Salerno, William B. Schill, Erin N. Shilling, Julia Marie Stewart and Joshua D. Voss (2023). A meta-analysis of the stony coral tissue loss disease microbiome finds key bacteria in unaffected and lesion tissue in diseased colonies. ISME Journal, 3, 19.
Shikha Grover, Thao Pham, Anna Jones, Cristina Sinobas-Pereira, Marina Villoch Diaz Maurino, Evan C. Garrad, Nyasha J. Makoni, Antanisha Parks, Ryan J. Domalewski, Gabriel Riggio, Hannah An, Kunhua Chen, Michael R. Nichols (2023). A new class of monoclonal Aβ antibodies selectively target and trigger deposition of Aβ protofibrils. Journal of Neurochemistry.
Dr. Kenneth Hoadley, Grant Lockridge, Audrey McQuagge, K. Blue Pahl, Sean Lowry, Sophie Wong, Zachary Craig, Chelsea Petrik, Courtney Klepac, Erinn Muller (2023). A phenomic modeling approach for using chlorophyll-a fluorescence-based measurements on coral photosymbionts. Frontiers in Marine Science, 10, 379.
Shaver, E. C., McLeod, E., Hein, M. Y., Palumbi, S. R., Quigley, K., Vardi, T., Mumby, P. J., Smith, D., Montoya-Maya, P., Muller, E. M., Banaszak, A. T., McLeod, I. M., & Wachenfeld, D. (2024). A roadmap to integrating resilience into the practice of coral reef restoration. Global Change Biology, 28.0, 4751– 4764.
Lu, Haiyan; Toyoda, Jennifer H.; Wise, Sandra S.; Browning, Cynthia L.; Speer, Rachel M.; Croom-Perez, Tayler J.; Bolt, Alicia; Meaza, Idoia; Wise, Sr., John Pierce (2024). A whale of a tale: whale cells evade the driving mechanism for hexavalent chromium-induced chromosome instability. Toxicological Sciences, 199(1), 49-62.
Locascio, J.V., Koenig,C.C., Malinowski, C.R. (2023). Absolute Abundance Estimates of Atlantic Goliath Grouper (Epinephelus itajara) on Spawning Aggregation Site. Fishes, 8, 394-407.
Kiel, P., Formel, N., Jankulak, M., Baker, A., Cunning, R., Gilliam, D., Kenkel, C., Langdon, C., Lirman, D., Lustic, C., Maxwell, K., Moudling, A., Moura, A., Muller, E., Schopmeyer, S., Winters, S., Enochs, I. (2023). Acropora cervicornis Data Coordination Hub, an open access database for evaluating genet performance. Bulletin of marine science of the gulf and carribbean, 99(2), 119-136.

Additional Publications

2010 Mote Marine Laboratory exploring the secrets of the sea since 1955. Gulf of Mexico Science 28(1-2):180-199. 1991 Evaluation of long-term studies of the benthic community in the vicinity of Big Bend, Tampa Bay, (co-authored with J.R. Leverone, J.K. Culter, J.S. Sprinkel and M.R. Milligan). Pp. 219 236. In: Treat, S.F. and P.A. Clark (eds.). Proceedings, Tampa BASIS 2, February 27 March 1, 1991, Tampa, Florida. Tampa, FL: TEXT. 528 p. 

1991 Comparison of benthic macroinfauna between natural and planted areas from Tampa Bay, (co-authored with J.K. Culter, M.R. Milligan and J.R. Leverone). Pp. 193-216. In: Treat, S.F. and P.A. Clark (eds.). Proceedings, Tampa BASIS 2, February 27 March 1, 1991, Tampa, FL: TEXT. 528 p. 

1989 Heavy industry of Tampa and Sarasota bays, (co-authored with T.D. Phillips, S.B. Tippin and R.D. Garrity). Pp. 157-170. In: Estevez, E.D. (ed.). Tampa and Sarasota Bays: Issues, Resources, Status, and Management. Proceedings of the NOAA Estuary-of-the-Month Seminar Series No. 11, December 10, 1987, Washington, D.C. Washington, DC: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 215 p. 

1988 Fine mesh screens: A new approach to preventing entrainment, (co-authored with D. Bruzek, V. Bruggemeyer and E.P. Taft), Pp. 315-347. In: Mahadevan, S., R. Evans, T. Biffar, P. Behrens and L. Olsen (eds.). Proceedings of the Southeastern Workshop on Aquatic Ecological Effects of Power Generation, December 1986, Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, Florida. Sarasota, FL: Mote Marine Laboratory. Mote Technical Report No. 124. vi, 546 p. 

1987 Southwest Florida Coastal Research Center: A cooperative effort in solving estuarine management issues, (co-authored with R. Evans). [Abstract]. In: Estuarine Research Federation. Abstracts of Papers for the 9th Biennial International Estuarine Research Conference, October 25-29, Clarion Hotel, New Orleans, Louisiana. New Orleans: Estuarine Research Federation. 46 p. 

1987 Growth of the snook (Centropomus undecimalis) in different salinities and with various commercially-available formulated diets [Abstract]. 51st Annual Meeting of the Florida Academy of Sciences, March 26-28, Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida. Florida Scientist 50(Suppl. 1):14. 

1980 Ecological effects of power plants in Hillsborough Bay [Abstract]. In: Yousef, Y.A. (ed.). Urban Stormwater and Combined Sewer Overflow - Impact on Receiving Water Bodies, Proceedings of the National Conference, Orlando, Florida November 26-28,

1979. Cincinnati, OH: Municipal Environmental Research Laboratory. EPA Research Report Series, EPA 600/9-80-056. viii, 664 p. 

1976 Some methodologies and problems associated with assessment and impact of power plant cooling water systems on estuaries, (co-authored with R.D. Garrity). Environmental Impact News 2:7 10. 1974 The effects of hydrostatic pressure on living aquatic organisms v. Eurybiotic environmental capacity as a factor in high pressure tolerance, (co-authored with R.J. Menzies). Internationale Revue der Gesamten 59(2):199 205.  

1974 The effects of hydrostatic pressure use on living aquatic organisms vi. Organic complexity and pressure sensitivity. Internationale Revue der Gesamten Hydrobiologie 59(2):206 212.  

1974 The effects of hydrostatic pressure on living aquatic organisms vii. Size and pressure effects. Internationale Revue der Gesamten Hydrobiologie 59(2):213 218.