The Florida Aquarium is committed to supporting, facilitating and conducting mission-focused research that has scientific merit, rigor, defensibility and need; aides in the conservation of species and/or ecosystems; improves animal husbandry and/or welfare; adds to the scientific knowledge of the species in our care; and/or forwards our guest experience and education impacts.
Mission-focused research includes any project undertaken by, or involving, The Florida Aquarium that:
- Involves application of the scientific method: It is hypothesis-driven, involves systematic data collection and analysis of those data, and draws conclusions from the research process.
- Primarily focuses on studying questions relevant to the Aquarium’s mission and conservation, animal care and welfare, science or learning programs and/or priorities.
- Includes any of the following and occurs in situ, ex situ with the Aquarium’s collection, and/or in collaboration with external partners:
- Systematically conducted surveys related to the areas above which are analyzed to draw conclusions;
- Applied research that informs our understanding and management of animals, including reproduction, nutrition, epidemiology, sensory biology, physiology, population biology, behavior, welfare, etc.;
- Basic research that focuses on increasing understanding of fundamental biological principles, including evolutionary biology, physiology, behavior, etc.;
- Research focused on species, habitat, or related conservation of those species or habitats;
- Research in conservation education, public engagement, or how our guests use, are influenced by and view the Aquarium.
The Florida Aquarium’s Research Committee works to assure that all research projects, related grant requests and Memorandums of Understanding are:
- Directly relevant to the Aquarium’s mission and conservation, animal care and welfare, science or learning programs and/or priorities;
- Science-based and ethical;
- Facilitating collaborative partnerships;
- Disseminating critical information and findings to maximize the Aquarium’s conservation impacts
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
Any in-situ or ex-situ project in which animals will be involved in invasive procedures that may result in pain, harm, distress or significantly and or/adversely altering of behavior as part of the research protocol (excluding veterinary or husbandry procedures) must receive an IACUC approval recommendation before it can be considered for approval by the Aquarium’s Research Committee.
Research Project Inquiries
All research projects and related grant funding requests and/or Memorandums of Understanding (MOU), whether conducted internally or in collaboration with external partners that utilize Aquarium resources, will be critically reviewed, evaluated and either approved or rejected by the Aquarium’s Research Committee.
Research projects and related grant funding requests and/or MOUs that are NOT directly relevant to the Aquarium’s mission and conservation, animal care and welfare, science, or learning programs and/or priorities should not be submitted.
Internal Research Projects – If an individual(s) employed by The Florida Aquarium is/are serving as the PI, s/he must seek approval to conduct the research project by following the research project processes and protocols.
External Research Projects – If an individual(s) from outside The Florida Aquarium seeks to conduct a research project that includes Florida Aquarium personnel and/OR assets, s/he must do so in partnership with The Florida Aquarium employee, who will be responsible for following the research project processes and protocols.