Mitch Carl
Bio Topic - Sunday September 5 @ 11 am

Mitch Carl was born and raised in the hotbed of Marine Biology, Omaha, Nebraska. After a brief stint in freshwater, he began his saltwater career at Animal Talk Pet Center in 1994. After quickly realizing that he had no customer skills whatsoever, he obtained his Biology degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Not because he wanted to go there, but because he could afford nothing else. With degree in hand, he marched immediately to the Henry Doorly Zoo and demanded/pleaded for a job. After being mocked mercilessly, he was offered a volunteer scuba/underwater custodian position. Soon after, one of the aquarists mysteriously disappeared, and he was offered the job and began his zoo career in 1997. On his way to his current position as Curator of Aquatics, Mitch tore down and renovated 4 coral displays. In his job as curator, he oversees the entire zoo's aquatic collection. The zoo's coral exhibits include a 10,000gal Sulawesi Beach tank, a 3000gal stony/sps tank and a 1000gal Symbiotic tank. Mitch also started the Zoo's coral propagation program. This 1000gal system produces over 1000 frags each year, and supplies many zoo's and aquarium's with captive corals. Mitch's latest project is in conjuction w/ the SECORE (SExual COral REproduction, project. Four more troughs have been set up and the adventure of getting corals to have sex has begun. Before becoming a father to three beautiful daughters, he and his wife dove reefs around the world (Bonaire, Grand Turk, Roatan, Catalina, Thailand, Fiji, and Sulawesi). Now he only dives when others foot the bill. Which we all know, is the best kind of diving you can do.


The SECORE project was started by Dr. Dirk Peterson of the Rotterdam Zoo. This project was started in order to bring the coral nerds of the public aquarium world together to figure out captive coral sexual reproduction. While many strides have been made in this arena, the SECORE group has focused on helping the endangered coral, Acropora palmata, for the last four years. Workshops have been planned in Puerto Rico and Curacao to coincide with the annual coral spawn. The SECORE group collects, fertilizes, settles and grows thousands of A. palmata each year. After much success in bringing these corals back to their aquariums and raising them up, the focus is now on repopulating reefs with thousands of captive raised Elkhorn coral. Right now a facility is being built in Curacao for just this purpose. This talk will focus on the history of SECORE, our successes, our failures and our hopefully bright future!