Hi, my name is Elijah, and I will be talking about my experience with coral spawning at Mote and in the ocean. There will be two different places I will be talking about. The first subject will be about Mote and the other will be in the ocean.

White lights disrupt the spawning process, so all work must be done using red lights only.

On 8/13/2022 there was not enough room on the boat so, I stayed at Mote and helped the reproduction lab. Around 9:00 PM I went downstairs to the tanks that held the coral that Mote was monitoring to help with the coral spawning. I was assigned to look after two tanks that had two to three pieces of coral in them. After a couple of hours, a different tank that I was not watching over started to spawn while my coral never started to set. Setting is the process where the coral start to create their gamete bundles. I went over to the tank and for about 10-15 minutes all the little gamete bundles slowly went to the surface.


When corals spawn in the lab, various researchers collect and count the gamete bundles to determine which genetic combinations are reproducing.

After everything was done, I helped clean up and everyone went up to the wet lab and we talked about what happened and I got to know some of the Mote staff there. After everything was said and done, we said our goodbyes and I went to bed.


In The Field


On the nights when I was not at Mote, I was in the water looking at coral for hours waiting for them to start setting and eventually spawn. There were two different spots I went to. The first spot we looked at in the afternoon then we dove that night for a couple of hours and after an hour the coral started to set, then for the rest of the night nothing else happened.


The second spot was less interesting aside from the jellyfish that were there who stung me a couple of times. At this spot none of the coral I was looking after even set. Even though I saw the spawning once diving is really fun, and I am glad I am here.


— Elijah C., Naut-in-Training, Tampa Chapter