Pritzker marine Biology Research Center

New College of Florida is the nation's only liberal arts college with a marine research center located on its campus.

State-of-the-Art Research Center Housing More Than 400 Different Species of Marine Life

Built in 2001, the Rhoda and Jack Pritzker Marine Biology Research Center features seven research labs housing more than 100 aquaria, anchored by the “Living Ecosystems and Teaching Research Aquarium” (LETRA) room. LETRA houses a 12,000-gallon research and display tank and six large aquaria (up to 2,000 gallons each), each of which features a different local ecosystem. LETRA is used for teaching classes, hosting research seminars, workshops, and K-12 summer programs. LETRA is also a public aquarium, open year-round and receiving over 1,200 visitors per year.

More than 400 different species of marine and freshwater organisms, including fish, aquatic frogs, and invertebrates are housed in the 10,000-square-foot Pritzker Marine Biology Center that is located just over 100 yards from the Sarasota Bay. Three storage silos (10,000 gallons each) hold the conditioned seawater supply for the building. Seawater is pumped from the bay, filtered, ozonated, and then continuously circulated throughout the building. Aquaria effluent is returned to the bay through a unique constructed wetland west of the building that acts as a natural filtration system, scrubbing gray water before it becomes bay water. This wetland was constructed as a part of a senior thesis project and is maintained as a part of class and service projects.

The Pritzker Marine Biology Research Center has a strong record of research, teaching, and outreach. The lab is a member of the National Association of Marine Laboratories and its southern division, the Southern Association of Marine Laboratories, as well as the Florida Institute of Oceanography and the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System Regional Association; faculty and staff are also active in the Florida Marine Sea Educator’s Association and the Council for Undergraduate Research.

Hands-on Research, Education, and Outreach Programs

Marine Biology Research

Marine biology researchers at New College study all aspects of the marine environment with a focus on local organisms and ecosystems in Sarasota Bay.

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Education and Outreach Programs

Education is at the core of the Pritzker Marine Biology Research Center's mission. Faculty and staff strive to provide authentic, hands-on research experiences to exceptionally talented undergraduates who will become the next generation of scientific research and conservation leaders.

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