From left: Dr. Greg Tolley, Chair of the Department of Marine Science and leader of The Water School at FGCU; Dr. James Llorens, provost at FGCU; Dr. Michael Crosby, president and CEO at Mote.

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium and Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) have entered into a memorandum of understanding to kick off a partnership that addresses impacts of harmful algal blooms to Florida’s environment, economy and quality of life.

The agreement, signed by Mote president and CEO Dr. Michael P. Crosby and FGCU president Dr. Michael V. Martin, sets the framework for future collaboration between the two organizations. Mote and at FGCU will pursue productive scientific research, innovative technology development, and undergraduate and graduate education with a focus on harmful algal blooms. The MOU was signed Thursday, April 4.

Several opportunities for partnership between the two organizations are outlined in the MOU, with a term of five years and the option to renew. Mote and FGCU will collaborate on improved understanding of dynamics and forecasting of harmful algal blooms; developing effective and ecologically-sound mitigation technologies to decrease the adverse effects of harmful algal blooms; and joint appointments of instructional and research faculty for undergraduate and graduate courses, procurement of funding for research, and implementation of cooperative research projects.

“We’re very excited about this partnership with Mote Marine Laboratory,” says Greg Tolley, who leads The Water School at FGCU. “We have been working with Mote scientists off and on since we opened, but this new collaboration will bring together the best talent in Southwest Florida to address one of our most pressing water issues—red tide.”

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