Mote hires experienced red tide researcher for new institute
SARASOTA — Mote Marine has hired a researcher to direct its new Red Tide Institute who has decades of laboratory and field experience under her belt studying red tide and other harmful algae.
Cynthia Heil comes from Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in Maine, where she developed an independent research program focused on water quality, harmful algal blooms and ecosystem management.
She will join Mote on Jan. 1 at the institute, which focuses on studying and testing Florida red tide mitigation and control technologies to improve quality of life for coastal communities affected by the blooms. It was launched in October through a $1 million investment from its founding donor, the Andrew and Judith Economos Charitable Foundation.
By accepting the new position, Heil renews her long-term focus on Karenia brevis (red tide) research in Florida, where she previously served as senior research scientist and administrator and Harmful Algal Bloom Group Leader for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. Earlier, she performed algal bloom research at the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science.