Home to dozens of invertebrates and colorful fish native to the Gulf of Mexico like the queen angelfish, Caribbean blue tang and bluehead wrasse, the Aglantis Aquarium is a 300-gallon saltwater tank located at Texas A&M University at Galveston’s Sea Life Facility. Its inhabitants live in a reef-type structure imitating the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, a protected coral reef only 100 nautical miles off the Texas coast that boasts colorful sponges and algae, approximately 250 species of fish and more than 20 species of coral.
The aquarium was originally donated to Texas A&M University for Earth Day in 2013 by Texas Sea Grant and fascinated visitors in the Memorial Student Center for almost a decade until its move to the Sea Life Facility in 2022. There, visitors from the student body and Galveston community can learn about ocean conservation through the tank’s residents—including some who sport Aggiefied names, like the engineer goby nicknamed Zachry after the Zachry Engineering Education Complex in College Station.
Katie St. Clair ’07 ’13 ’14, manager of the facility, oversees its efforts to educate visitors and students alike on marine organisms, aquaculture and aquarium science. “Aglantis is a fantastic outreach and learning platform that allows our students and visitors to visually connect the research conducted at the facility to our coastal and ocean environments,” she said.