Dr. Kevan Main leads the team at the 200-acre Mote Aquaculture Research Park, a facility dedicated to developing sustainable aquaculture systems that could help feed the world, restock depleted species and support the growth of a viable aquaculture industry in Florida and around the United States. With growing human populations, limited freshwater resources and decreasing fish populations, aquaculture—farming animals and plants in water—can lead the way towards a sustainable future. Dr. Main’s team is unlocking ecologically-friendly and cost-effective water filtration systems and animal care strategies that produce high-quality fish, all while limiting the impact on the surrounding environment. Whether it’s growing and releasing juvenile snook to enhance the local populations of this important sportfish or identifying new fish or plants, such as Almaco jack and sea purslane, that can be grown in closed-loop recirculating systems, Dr. Main’s team is dedicated to improving the lives of humans and our oceans.
A leading expert in the field worldwide, Dr. Main has served as the president of the World Aquaculture Society. Dr. Main received her Ph.D. from Florida State University and has more than 30 years of experience in the aquaculture of fish and invertebrates. She has published seven books and more than 80 peer-reviewed publications and has worked in aquaculture facilities around the world. In 2016, Dr. Main was recognized as a “White House Champion of Change for Sustainable Seafood.” Her current research is focused on developing marine aquaponic systems to produce local seafood for local communities.
- Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium was started in 1955 by world-famous shark researcher Dr. Eugenie Clark.
- The Mote Aquaculture Research Park was established in 2001 and is located in east Sarasota County.
- Expanding to address new issues facing our oceans, Mote Aquaculture Research Park now also includes an International Coral Gene Bank and the Florida Red Tide Mitigation & Technology Development Initiative facility.
- Mote’s research programs span the globe and range from aquaculture research to coral reef restoration in the Florida Keys to efforts to conserve sharks in countries around the world.
- Science will be the attraction at the new Mote Science Education Aquarium, currently being constructed at Nathan Benderson Park. Working labs will showcase current Mote projects, such as Dr. Main’s aquaculture research.
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236