Executive Office

Dr. Kumar Mahadevan

Dr. Kumar Mahadevan

President Emeritus & Senior Scientist

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 and 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


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.

Awards & Honors

Association of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean, Member 1985-Present, President 1988
Deep Sea Biological Society, Honorary Member since 1972
The Explorers Club, Fellow National 2003-Present
Florida Governor's Ocean Committee, Member 1998-1999
Florida Ocean Alliance, Charter Member and Vice Chairman 2001-Present
Gulf of Mexico Regional Marine Research Program Board, Vice-Chair, 1992-1996
Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, Advisory Board, Charter Member 2001-2013, Founding Honorary Board Member 2013-Present
National Association of Marine Laboratories, Charter Member 1991-2013, President 1994-1995, Emeritus Member 2013- Present
National Merit Scholar in Marine Biology, India 1969-1971
Rotary Club of Sarasota, Florida, Member 1996-present
Sarasota County Science and Environment Council, Charter Member since 2000, Chairman 2003-2006
Sigma XI Society, Member since 1974
Southern Association of Marine Laboratories, Charter Member 1985-2013, Emeritus Member 2013-Present, President 1990, Treasurer 1996-Present
Member, Board of Directors, Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, 2005-2013
Florida Coastal Ocean Observing System (COOS) Consortium, Chairman 1996-1999, Member 1997- Present
Mote Scientific Foundation, Trustee, 1999-Present