FGCU partners with Mote Marine Laboratory for harmful algal bloom research

Author: Florida Gulf Coast University
Published: Updated:
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Florida Gulf Coast University and Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to launch a partnership that focuses on addressing the impacts of harmful algal blooms to Florida’s environment, economy and quality of life.

This MOU, signed by Mote President & CEO Michael P. Crosby and FGCU President Michael V. Martin, sets the guidelines for the partnership between the two organizations.

“Working in partnership, Mote and FGCU will use science to develop innovative technologies to decrease the impacts of red tide and other harmful algal blooms,” said Crosby. “This MOU will facilitate collaboration through productive basic and applied scientific research, innovative engineering and technology development, and education related to harmful algal blooms. Our joint goal is to not just gain a greater understanding about the ecological forcing functions of red tide and other harmful algal blooms, but to actually do something to decrease the devastating impact of HABs to our environment, our economy and our quality of life.”

Mote and The Water School at FGCU will be pursuing productive scientific research, innovative technology development, and undergraduate and graduate education with a focus on harmful algal blooms, according to the announcement made by FGCU and Mote.

“FGCU is very pleased to formalize an ongoing partnership with Mote Marine Laboratory,” said Martin. “Most assuredly working together, and with other colleagues across the state and nation, we can bring science to bear on the challenges of maintaining Florida’s critical water resources. This is a great day for FGCU and the citizens we serve, current and future,” said FGCU President, Michael V. Martin.

Multiple 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 said they 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,” said Greg Tolley, who is leading 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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