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Marine Science & Technology Center Stranding Team Training at Highline Community College

The Jelly Program

Five years ago, through the dedication and interest of Volunteers, the MaST Center implemented the Jelly Team. The program, which revolves around the  Aurelia labiata (Moon Jelly), began under the direction of Mikiko Williams, followed by Nicole Bostic, who was then succeeded by Bri Gabel. By 2013, the Jelly Team made large strides towards expanding the program under the direction of Jelly Team volunteer, Matt Wilson. Today, the program is run by Jacqui Silva.

Dedicated volunteers have developed the program from a one tank, live catch system, to a multi-tank and life stage operation. Silva guides the program, which is currently serviced by 4 volunteers. Together they maintain 3,000-10,000 jellies at any given time.

Ten tanks holding over 200 gallons of seawater house jellies that are in distinct stages of their lives. Typically, Polyps that naturally form in our adult tank are collected and then transferred to the lab where they are maintained until strobilation. During strobilation, polyps release young jellies which are called Ephyra. Ephyra are routinely collected and transferred to a secondary tank where they grow into juveniles, and move to our small-jelly tanks.  Once a Moon Jelly has reached a width of 1cm they are moved to a mid-stage tank between the juveniles and adults, where they continue to mature. Finally, adult jellies are moved into their final home, our 85 gallon kreisel aquarium... and the process begins again. 

As well as collecting and developing polyps that are created naturally, the Jelly Team experiments with in vitro fertilization and spawning techniques using harvested gametes to produce polyps artificially. Occasionally volunteers capture wild jellies to keep the genetic pool healthy, however most jellies present at the MaST Center have been created here. Research studying which of the three techniques is most suitable for captive Moon Jellies has yet to be conducted.

The largest Moon Jelly raised at the MaST Center is named Walter. Walter has a bell width of 20cm and is still growing!


Without volunteers this program would not exist, and needs continued support!

If you are interested in joining the Jelly Team, please contact us.
Training is provided on site.

The Jelly Team, like most other programs at the MaST Center, is run by volunteers.
If you don't have the time to volunteer yourself, you can still help out.

Donate to the Jelly Team!