Contact Information

Mailing/Classroom address:


35246 US Hwy 19 N 

Suite 230

Palm Harbor, FL 34684

Marina address:

Home Port Marina

135 Orange St.

Palm Harbor, FL 34683 








While in undergraduate school, Moriah wanted to take as many opportunities as she could to gain experience in her field so that she would be a better candidate for graduate programs and for getting a job.  She found several opportunities in the US and abroad and began the lengthy application processes for several organizations.  These internships and research opportunities were very expensive and it was actually easier to get accepted into a study abroad organization than it was to get a position in the US.  Moriah took a 10 week internship in Auckland, New Zealand and gained valuable experience with lab equipment and lab procedures, but did not get to do much field work at all.  During those 10 weeks only about 16 hours were spent in the field.  Many of the other interns in New Zealand had flown halfway around the world from landlocked states, had never done any field work, and expected to gain that experience through the internship.  They were very disappointed.  Moriah was still able to gain some field experience from her classes at the University of West Florida, but did not get to work in the field enough to add anything to her resume.  Many of Moriah's friends opted for an internship at several labs and aquariums in the US, and again they were very disappointed to find that most of their time was spent in the lab or preparing food for animals at the facility, and only a few hours a week (if any) were spent in the field or working directly with the animals at the facility. 

CMERA was founded to provide students the unique opportunity to be in the field and work directly with marine life. This program was designed to be 100% hands-on and in the field, so that each day you spent with CMERA you are on a boat catching and handling live animals.  We are trying to give students the chance to use equipment, handle wild animals, and to participate in ongoing research.  Many students choose a major without having any experience in their field of study. CMERA provides that experience so students can get a feel for real science outside a classroom or lab.  Our application process is simple and we try to accommodate every applicant as best we can. 

We hope that this experience will ignite a passion for science and research in the students involved, and we hope that this experience will help guide each student's path after they graduate. This experience has helped many of our previous students choose a specialty for graduate school, get accepted into other internships and into a career and we are thrilled to assist in that process!

Our staff...

Moriah Moore - CMERA President - Lead Marine Biologist

Moriah is the President of CMERA. She has a master's degree in Coastal Marine and Wetland Studies from Coastal Carolina University, a bachelor's degree in Marine Biology from the University of West Florida and a United States Coast Guard Captains masters license.  Her specialty is elasmobranchs, but she is very knowledgeable in all areas of marine biology and has experience teaching marine biology at elementary, college, and public levels.  She has gained experience in field research with different organizations around the globe, and has conducted her own independent elasmobranch research for several years. You can contact Moriah at

Alan Moore - Director of Operations and Development

Alan is the CMERA Director of Operations and Development. He creates new programs and classes to constantly update and improve the learning experience at CMERA. He is a United States Coast Guard licensed masters boat captain and has many years of experience in field research, handling and tagging animals, and species identification. He previously owned and operated a scuba diving charter company that was in Sport Diver Magazine UK and on the Military Channel documentary Quest for Sunken Warships: USS Oriskany. He also has numerous years of experience in law enforcement with the federal government. You can contact Alan at

Matilda Miller - Marine Biologist
Matilda is a graduate of the University of Tampa. Matilda has been volunteering with the Clearwater Marine Aquarium on the dive team to increase her experience with diving and marine animals. She is also working on a research project focusing on the feeding frequencies of dwarf seahorses in different temperature environments. This is Matilda's fourth year working with CMERA tagging and collecting data on elasmobranchs in the Gulf of Mexico. Matilda is planning on going into field research after obtaining her masters degree. You can contact Matilda at

​Billy Rivard - Captain & Marine Biologist
Billy is a graduate of Western Michigan University and currently a middle/high school science teacher in Mendon, Michigan. He grew up spending his summers on a lake driving boats, fishing, and developing an interest for the environment. He currently holds a U.S.C.G. Captain's license and operates a research vessel for CMERA. Each of the past five years he has spent part of his summers as a CMERA student and brings whatever he learns from the field back to his classroom.​

Tom Carlysle- Captain

Tom has been a boat captain with CMERA for two years and has a passion to help our students realize their dreams of success in the biological sciences. Tom lives in Tucker, GA, but travels to our area each summer to captain our research boats. His life experiences make him a great mentor for our students. 

Alex Morris - Marine Biologist

Alex is from Annapolis, MD where she graduated from American University with a Bachelors in Environmental Science and Biochemistry.  She played 4 years of Division I Field Hockey along with doing undergraduate research on the population genetics of sea grass in the Mariana Islands.  The project goal is to identify genetic markers to identify the genetic diversity among the sea grass populations to give a suggestion on island health.  Alex has is a PADI certified diver and loves to spend time learning about the ocean by experiencing it first hand.  She is working on her Masters at the University of West Florida studying Marine Biology.

Taylor Truett - Marine Biologist

​Even though she’s from Colorado, Taylor always had a passion for the ocean. She graduated from the University of South Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in biology with a concentration in Marine Science completing her undergraduate marine biology research experience at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. After graduating, she moved to Key West where she got experience diving and worked with a nonprofit organization educating the public on coral reef conservation. She now hopes to direct those efforts towards elasmobranch conservation and research.

Brody Arens - Marine Biologist

Currently enrolled at Bowling Green State University, planning to graduate at the end of this Spring with a bachelor’s degree in biology and specialization in marine and aquatic biology, and a minor in chemistry. I have spent time taking care of fish in the marine lab on BGSU campus. I’m from Ohio, but travelling with my family has given me lots of experience in and around the ocean. I participated in CMERA research in the summers of 2016, 2017, and 2019. I am a certified diver through PADI and SDI, hoping to continue to advance my diver certification level to assist me with field research after I graduate college.