Coral Reef Restoration

Dakotah Merck

Coral Restoration Inventory Manager and Staff Biologist

Dakotah Merck is the onsite Coral Restoration Inventory Manager/Coral Restoration biologist at IC2R3 in Summerland Key Florida. Prior to his employment with Mote he worked as a biologist in aquaculture, artificial reefs, and the office of fisheries management within the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. His current duties include maintaining appropriate inventory of corals reared with IC2R3’s land-based nursery, updating and curating coral restoration’s ZIMS Species 360 database, conducting coral husbandry duties associated with Mote’s coral nurseries, outplanting of corals to offshore restoration sites, field monitoring, construction and maintenance of equipment associated with those tasks, liaise with collaborative research organizations and veterinarians, conduct data entry/management, and captain marine vessels for field operations.


Bachelors of Marine Science, University of South Carolina, 2015


Merck, Dakotah E., et al. “Optimizing Seawater Temperature Conditions to Increase the Productivity of Ex Situ Coral Nurseries.” PeerJ, vol. 10, 2022,