Aquaculture Program

Vitae & Bios


Dr. Wade Watanabe Wade O. Watanabe, Ph.D.

dr. md. shah alamMd. Shah Alam, Ph.D.

christopher dumasChristopher F. Dumas, Ph.D.

pamela seaton Pamela J. Seaton, Ph.D.

ami wilbur Ami E. Wilbur, Ph.D.


Patrick M. Carroll (Research Associate/ Aquaculture Facility Supervisor)

patrick carrollI began working for the Aquaculture Program in 1998 after finishing my undergraduate degree at UNCW. I entered graduate school in 2000 where I conducted thesis research on "Production of summer flounder Paralichthys dentatus in a pilot commercial scale recirculating aquaculture system". After graduating with my master's degree in Marine Biology in 2003, I became a full time research associate for the Aquaculture Program. Currently I am involved in all aspects of marine finfish cultivation research, with a concentration in the areas of larviculture, growout and design and operation of recirculating aquaculture systems. As facility engineer, I am responsible for designing systems that range from small-scale larviculture systems to commercial-scale recirculating growout systems.

Thesis: "Pilot production of hatchery-reared summer flounder Paralichthys dentatus in a marine recirculating aquaculture system: the effects of ration level on growth, and nitrification rates of a microbead biological filter medium."

Troy Rezek (Research Associate)

troy rezekI received my BS in Marine Biology at UNCW in 2001. I started as a volunteer at the aquaculture facility in January of 2002. My background and interests are in fish biology and general husbandry, including home and commercial scale culture practices. In the fall of 2002, I was accepted into the UNCW graduate program and received my MS in Marine Biology in December of 2005. I am now employed as a Research Technician working in the areas of live feed production, larval culture, broodstock management and controlled spawning of marine finfish.

Thesis: "The effects of dietary docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3) and arachidonic acid (20:4n-6) on growth, survival and stress resistance of Black sea bass (Centropristis striata) larvae".

Amanda Myers (Research Associate)

Amanda MyersI received my BS in Marine Biology at UNCW in 2000. I interned through NC State University at CMAST in Morehead City, NC, studying migration patterns of flounder and red drum. I then returned to Wilmington to begin graduate school where I studied effluent mitigation by biofilters. After receiving my MS in marine science in 2006, I became employed as a research associate working in the areas of live feed production and microalgal and shellfish culture. My future plans include finding environmentally friendly and economic ways to improve aquaculture systems.

Thesis: "Recirculating aquaculture system integration of bivalve culture for effluent nutrient composition reduction"

Jennifer Gabel (Research Assistant - part time)

jennifer gabelI obtained my BS in Zoology from the University of Rhode Island in 1999. In 2003, I graduated from UNCW with a MS in Biology where I studied the evolutionary relationships of coralline red algae using molecular and morphological techniques. Currently, I am a specialist in the intensive culture of rotifers, a zooplankton essential for the bioencapsulation and transfer of essential nutrients to first-feeding marine fish larvae. I am also assisting in the development of high density rotifer culture experiments using alternative feeds.

Thesis: "Phylogenetic reassessment of the Mastophoroideae (Corallinaceae, Rhodophyta) using molecular and morphological data".

Graduate Students

Dustin Allen (Graduate Research Assistant)

Dustin AllenI received a BS in Biology from UNC - Chapel Hill in 2006. Upon completion of my undergrad, I enrolled in non-degree courses at UNCW to define my interests in marine science. I later transferred those credits to the Masters in Marine Science program. My current research entails methods of effluent management in recirculating aquaculture systems. Specifically my research looks at growing marine microalgae from finfish effluent to support short term growout of juvenile marine shellfish.

Thesis: "Effluent management in recirculating aquaculture systems using the diatom, Chaetoceros gracilis and the Eastern Oyster, Crassostrea virginica"

Daniel Russo (Graduate Research Assistant)

Daniel RussoI received a B.S. in Marine Science from the University of South Carolina in Columbia in 2007. After graduating from USC I worked for two years as a sea turtle patroller, environmental educator, and substitute teacher in South Carolina and Alaska. In the spring of 2009 I enrolled in the Marine Science Master's program at UNC-W. I am currently developing my thesis, focusing on streamlining larval culturing practices with respect to live feeds.

Walker Wright-Moore (Graduate Research Assistant)

walker wright-mooreI began working for the UNCW Aquaculture program in 2005 as an undergraduate intern while persuing my BS in Marine Biology. Upon graduating from UNCW in 2008 I continued working as a hatchery technician and research assistant until entering graduate school in the fall of 2009. In my time with the program I have gained experience in areas of aquaculture feed development, live feed production, larvae culture, broodstock management, controlled spawning of southern flounder and black sea bass, and RAS technologies. My current research attempts to standardize hormone therapies for induced breeding of wild-caught and first generation southern flounder and evaluate free amino acid (FAA) profiles of newly spawned eggs as biochemical correlates of egg quality.

Thesis: "Induced Spawning of F1 and Wild-Caught Southern Flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma) with LHRH and GnRH analogs: Effects of Hormone Dose on egg quality ".

Tyler Gibson (Graduate Research Assistant)

Tyler GibsonI began working with the UNCW aquaculture program as an intern in 2007 while working on my BS in Marine Biology. After graduating in spring 2009, I continued working at the aquaculture facility as a research assistant and entered graduate school that fall. I have continued to work as a research assistant with my focus in production grow-out and effluent management. For my research, I am evaluating the efficiency of several chemical polymers at removing solids from the wastewater of a recirculating aquaculture system by a geotextile bag filter.

Thesis: "Evaluation of Chemical Polymers Applied as Coagulation Aids for Removal of Suspended Solids from Intensive Marine Recirculating Aquaculture System Discharge"