Kim Bassos-Hull is a Research Associate with the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program (since 1993) and a Senior Biologist with Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida (since 2001). Kim began her studies with dolphins in 1988 as an undergraduate at University of California at Santa Cruz’s Long Marine Lab and graduated with a B.S. in Biology in 1990. Between 1990-1993 she conducted her master’s thesis project on the reintroduction of two bottlenose dolphins from Tampa Bay, Florida as a graduate student of Dr Randy Wells (CZS/SDRP Director) at UCSC.
Kim’s main focus with the SDRP is assisting with photo-identification surveys of dolphins along the west coast of Florida and assessing population abundance trends and distribution. Additionally, Kim does research and outreach for the SDRP on human impacts on dolphins and other marine megafauna and co-chairs the Florida Marine Debris Reduction Plan’s Wildlife and Habitats Impacts Group. In 2009, Kim initiated the Spotted Eagle Ray Conservation Program at Mote which has provided important information on biology, behavior, population structure and fisheries impacts in Florida, Mexico, Cuba and Brazil and in more recent years her research has expanded to include mobulid rays (manta and devil rays). Currently Kim is investigating movement patterns and diet in marine rays using acoustic telemetry and molecular techniques and Kim manages the Sarasota Coast Acoustic Network (SCAN), a network with over 50 Vemco receivers, and participates in the larger Gulf of Mexico iTAG network.
Kim has co-authored over a dozen peer-reviewed journal articles and several popular articles on aspects of her dolphin and ray research and presented over 100 professional and public talks. Kim has worked for Mote’s Education Program as a research mentor for high school students since 2007 involving them in various aspects of her research. One of Kim’s career goals is to connect research and education in order to inspire conservation action.