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About Us

A Message from our sponsor

Genetics are the building blocks of any hatchery operation. Host Ben Normand brings together a panel of experts to discuss how genetics and broodstock management have evolved based on today's industry needs. They will talk about the latest research and development, and the importance of a thoughtful program that keeps climate change and sustainability in mind.

This webinar series is sponsored by OxyGuard International.

Moderated by:

Ben Normand is a fish farmer, writer, college instructor, and cheerleader for aquaculture. He has worked with various fin and shellfish species in New Zealand and Canada in production management, compliance, and communications. In his spare time, you can find him spending time with his family, sailing, biking, and tinkering in his workshop.

Dr. Alejandro Gutierrez combines over ten years of expertise in genomics, genotyping, and selective breeding to improve aquaculture outcomes. With a PhD in Molecular Biology from Simon Fraser University and postdoctoral work at the Roslin Institute, Alejandro has significantly contributed to research in these fields. Formerly a lecturer at the University of Stirling, he now leads the Center for Aquaculture Technologies's genetic services team, expanding its client base and services.
Eric Ignatz is a post-doctoral researcher at Dalhousie University currently studying the ecophysiology and genomics of blue mussels farmed in Atlantic Canada. His research aims to identify and validate genetic markers of thermal and hypoxia tolerance that will help the industry sustainably expand despite the challenges of climate change. Of particular interest is developing a commercial breeding program for triploid blue mussels that will be able to thrive in warmer waters. In his PhD from Memorial University, Eric investigated mitigation strategies for the Atlantic salmon aquaculture industry to combat rising sea surface temperatures.
Kyle Martin is a senior geneticist for Hendrix Genetics, where he oversees the selective breeding and genetic improvement programs for both Troutlodge (trout) and Kona Bay (whiteleg shrimp). He has served in various roles in Troutlodge over the last 15 years and is an active board member of both the U.S. Trout Farmers Association. Prior to starting with Troutlodge, Kyle received his Master of Science degree, and Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Molecular Genetics from Washington State University, focusing on the genetics of stress response in rainbow trout.
Dr. Marie Smedley has over 10 years of experience in aquaculture breeding and genetics and currently leads the Breeding Programme Management team at Xelect Ltd. to secure optimum ROI against customer investment in genetics. She has led successful breeding programmes for key customers across the globe including salmonids, bass, bream and other emerging species. Marie has a PhD in Atlantic salmon biology from the Institute of Aquaculture at the University of Stirling’s Reproduction and Genetics Group.