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Movers and Shakers: Mote Scientist to Join Florida Institute of Technology

Dr. Aaron J. Adams

BRADENTON – Dr. Aaron J. Adams, Mote Marine Laboratory Senior Scientist and manager of Mote’s Habitat Ecology Program, will soon take a new position at the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT).

At Mote, Adams’ snook research in Charlotte Harbor has been closely followed by anglers and by state wildlife managers who make rules that govern snook fishing, and his work uncovered new information about how common snook (Centropomus undecimalis) use beaches for spawning and the connections between mangrove creeks and estuarine habitats. Adams, who is also director of the Bonefish Tarpon Trust, has also been known for his tarpon and bonefish research and for his work connecting anglers and scientists to learn more about the life histories and conservation status of these popular gamefish.

In his new role, Adams will take a professorship in FIT’s Institute for Marine Research and oversee operations at the university’s Vero Beach Marine Laboratory.

Adams will continue to hold adjunct status at Mote and this new connection between Mote and FIT could help create additional opportunities for the next generation of scientific experts — particularly FIT graduate students who could help Mote continue to advance important research efforts in Charlotte Harbor.

Mote is currently working to gain support for several initiatives through its new office in Boca Grande, including the first-ever, large-scale acoustic tagging project of adult tarpon and studies of snook that include acoustic tagging, genetic tracking and otolith chemistry. The snook and tarpon research initiatives of the Mote-Boca Grande Partnership will now be led by Dr. James Locascio, who has been doing research in the region since the 1990s and whose family lives on Little Gasparilla Island. He has been collaborating with Adams for the last several years, and Locascio’s studies include a focus on the population structure of adult snook on beaches and barrier islands and he intends to examine the reproductive role of snook found during the spawning season at sites several miles off the beaches.

“Aaron’s research at Mote has built a strong foundation of knowledge for Charlotte Harbor and for a number of important gamefish species here,” said Dr. Michael P. Crosby, Senior Vice President for Research at Mote. “We look forward to continued research relationships with Dr. Adams from his FIT position.  Mote is committed to the expanding Dr. Locascio’s fisheries research programs, which build upon that of Dr. Adams’, and continuing to move forward with implementation of the Mote-Boca Grande Partnership as an integral component of our broader Charlotte Harbor research enterprise."


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