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Dr. Kumar Mahadevan

Dr. Kumar Mahadevan is Volunteer, President Emeritus and Senior Scientist for MOTE Marine Laboratory, acting as ambassador and advocate for the lab and aquarium. Dr. Mahadevan joined Mote Marine Laboratory in 1978 as a senior scientist. He became CEO in 1986 when the Laboratory’s annual budget was $2 million with a single campus, 58 staff and 68 volunteers and lacking an endowment. By the time he retired in May 2013, the Lab included a 10.5-acre campus on City Island, Sarasota, field and education stations throughout Southwest Florida (including the Florida Keys), and the popular Aquarium at Mote Marine Laboratory, which is one of the most-visited attractions in Southwest Florida, with an annual budget of almost $20 million, about 200 staff, 1600 volunteers and a $13 million endowment. An oceanographer trained in benthic ecology, he has conducted a wide array of research studies in the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa & Sarasota Bays, the Persian Gulf, the Arctic Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean.

Prior to joining Mote, Dr. Mahadevan was employed by Conservation Consultants, Inc. (CCI) where he conducted various environmental impact assessment projects. Before joining CCI, Dr. Mahadevan served as a consultant to the Arabian Oil Company to assess the effects of oil refinery effluents on marine organisms. His areas of expertise include: Marine Policy; Research Administration; Public Aquarium Management; Environmental Assessment/Prediction; Oceanography; Benthic Ecology; Deep-Sea Biology; Aquatic Baro-Biology; Biometrical and Statistical Data Analysis.

He received his Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from Florida State University; his M.S. in Marine Biology from Annamalai University in India as a National Merit Scholar; and his B.S. from Madras University in India. Dr. Mahadevan resides in Sarasota on Siesta Key with his wife, Linda.