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The World Aquarium conducts bench-level research which solves real-world problems in the areas of sustainable aquaculture, coral reef culture, sustainable agriculture, dead zone chemistry, climate change adaptation, ecosystem restoration, and more. The World Aquarium (St. Louis Aquacenter, Inc.) is the ONLY public aquarium which is a Non-Governmental Organization in Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council since 2013. Through our United Nations Consultative Status, the World Aquarium and its Conservation for the Oceans Foundation helps shape sustainable ocean policies worldwide.

Understanding Cellular Metabolism BOOK COVER

Leonard Sonnenschein, President of the World Aquarium, has Released a New Book!  Understanding Cellular Metabolism takes the research at the World Aquarium and applies it to cellular nutritional uptake within the body.



Ongoing Research Projects

Carver Experimental Farm Co-op

The World Aquarium works with local students who are interested in science careers through the Research and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (REAP). REAP provides opportunities for high school students from historically underrepresented and underserved populations. During the Summer of 2014, agricultural testing was conducted on corn crops at the George Washington Carver Experimental Farm Co-Op in Florissant, MO.





The World Aquarium also collaborates with the Clyde C. Miller Career Academy through internship opportunities as well as creating agricultural research projects for students through the use of the school’s state-of-the-art greenhouse. We tested different mixtures of fertilizers and measured crop growth and water runoff chemicals to determine the impact of each fertilizer mix. Fertilizers are the main cause of aquatic “Dead Zones” worldwide.

Agricultural Research2Agricultural Research Agricultural Research3 Agricultural Research4







The World Aquarium has tested the efficacy of a natural treatment on trout eggs and many other aquatic species. The GroFish treatment, developed here at the World Aquarium, significantly increases the growth rate of fish being farmed for food.

Trout research1 Trout research2










CFTO has conducted aquaculture and aquaculture feed additive research throughout the world.

Indoor aquacultureFeed additive preparation

Mexico Aquaculture Research Mexico Aquaculture Research2

Meeting with Japanese Fishery Scientists Mexico Aquaculture Research  Nutrition co-op lab











When the Gulf Oil Spill happened in 2006, the World Aquarium procured tar ball samples and tested its effects on algae and corals, the results were surprising.  We did research on the residual effects by doing analysis of beach sediment on regional water chemistry and intertidal health and a several year study through the World Aquarium Aquatic & Marine Science Institute and its partnership with Florida State University Coastal & Marine Laboratory on the effects of the oil spill on sea grass habitats. Also, we worked hand-in-hand with the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Florida, to provide homes for sea turtles rescued from the Gulf Oil Spill.

Gulf Oil Spill Sediment Research