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Influential Mote scientist Dr. John Reynolds III dies at 65

Reynolds was an advocate of marine mammal conservation and did work that impacted scientists and marine mammals around the world.

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  • | 11:43 a.m. January 3, 2018
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Dr. John Reynolds III, one of Mote Marine Laboratory’s most influential scientists, died Dec. 23 surrounded by family.

He was 65.

Reynolds joined Mote in 2000, and became a full-time senior scientist in 2001. During his time at Mote, he helped the lab become a leader on conservation-focused science, particularly through his work with Mote’s Manatee Research Program.

“John was truly dedicated to conservation and the protection of the environment, and his legacy will live on in his comprehensive work and through his mentorship of others,” said Mote Senior Scientist and longtime research partner and friend of Reynolds, Dr. Dana Wetzel in a release from Mote. “The loss of John will be felt deeply and for a long time, by many across the world.”

In addition to his work with Mote on manatee conservation, Reynolds created the International Consortium for Marine Conservation in 2013, which bridged scientific communities around the world. He worked to develop and implement a Caribbean-wide Marine Mammal Action Plan. From 1991 to mid-2010, he was appointed by three U.S. presidents to lead the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission.

Before his time at Mote, Reynolds was a professor of marine sciences and biology and the chairman of the Natural Sciences Collegium at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg.

“It would be hard to imagine a more competent, caring and accomplished person and scientist than John,” said Patrick M. Rose, Executive Director of Save the Manatee Club in the release. “He will be sorely missed. I do take some comfort, however, in knowing just how many people and programs are set to carry forward because of his groundbreaking initiatives, dedication and superb, selfless mentoring.”

Reynolds is survived by his wife, son, daughter-in-law and grandson, as well as his sister, niece and nephew. For those interested in sharing a memory, tribute or condolence for the family, email [email protected]



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