MASNA Press Release: The 2019 - 2020 MASNA Scholarship
** 2019 – 2020 MASNA Student Scholarships Recipients
Contact: Tim Lyons, MASNA Director of Conservation,
2019 – 2020 MASNA Student Scholarships to be Awarded at MACNA 2019
Orlando, FL. – August 19, 2019
At MACNA 2019, MASNA will be awarding its annual MASNA Student
Scholarships at the MACNA Banquet on Saturday, August 31st, 2019. Two
$4,000.00 scholarships will be granted, one to an undergraduate student
and one to a graduate student.
The 2019 – 2020 MASNA Undergraduate Student Scholarship recipient is
Lauren Block. Lauren is a full-time Junior pursuing a Bachelor of
Science in Marine Biology at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa (UHM).
She got involved in the aquarium hobby working at a local fish store in
her hometown. Her freshman year at UHM, Lauren began working in the
Lenz-Hartline Lab culturing copepods (Parvocalanus crassirostris and
Bestiolina similis) and phytoplankton. Since then, she has had the
opportunity to assist in various other ongoing research in the lab
including behavioral studies of copepods, feeding experiments of a
sub-arctic copepod (Neocalanus flemingeri) in Alaska, RNA extractions,
and the investigation of diseased copepods in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu. She has
enjoyed learning a variety of scientific techniques through her
involvement in various projects, and loves the problem-solving that
comes with culturing copepods. She is currently developing an
independent project with Dr. Petra Lenz to create a co-culture that
allows for larval clownfish (A. ocellaris) and copepods (P.
crassirostris) to be timed and raised together in such a way that the
age distribution of the copepods in the tank mirrors that
of the feeding needs of the clownfish to maximize their growth and
passion for fish, culturing, and the aquarium trade has led her to
pursue a career in marine ornamental aquaculture. In the future, she
hopes to develop new and feasible methods for marine captive breeding
with the goal of providing a sustainable source of fish and
invertebrates for the aquarium industry.
2019 – 2020 MASNA Graduate Student Scholarship recipient is J. Alexander
(Alex) Bonanno, a second year masters student studying Marine Science
and Technology at the University of Massachusetts.
Alex received his B.S. in Marine Biology from Roger Williams University
where he gained several years of experience researching and caring for
aquatic organisms by working in the Roger Williams University’s CEED
Marine Laboratory and at the Audubon Society of Rhode Island’s Nature
Center and Aquarium. Alex’s undergraduate research was focused on marine
ornamental aquaculture mainly by developing techniques to rear fish and
invertebrates popular in the marine aquarium trade in captivity to
reduce strain on wild populations and saving them from exploitation.
Alex was also able to study abroad during his time at Roger Williams
University in Townsville, Australia where he had the opportunity to
assist in research on a local food fish called barramundi.
graduate research is conducted at the Intercampus Marine Science
Graduate Program under his advisor Dr. Michael Tlusty of UMass Boston.
Alex has dedicated his graduate work to preserving coral reefs by
preventing a destructive fishing practice called cyanide fishing. He has
teamed up with Dr. Andrew Rhyne and Dr. Nancy Breen from Roger Williams
University along with researchers from Mystic Aquarium to develop an
efficient and reliable test to detect whether or not a fish has been
captured using cyanide. This test would allow for the screening of
captured fish, giving law enforcement a way to crack down on the illegal
practice. To achieve this goal, he has combined chemistry, toxicology,
and genetics to study the toxicokinetics of cyanide exposure and traces
of exposure up to several weeks post-capture. The development of a
cyanide detection test will not only help preserve valuable coral reef
ecosystems, but will also
significantly reduce the mortality rate of fish in the marine aquarium
trade supply chain. Alex will continue to help answer questions critical
in developing a verified detection method to combat cyanide fishing.
While conducting this research, Alex will share his work through
publications and presentations. After completing his M.S. degree, Alex
is dedicated to advancing his efforts to protect and conserve the oceans
whether that be through pursuing his Ph.D. or working in the industry.
Over the past 11 years, the Marine Aquarium Societies of North America
(MASNA) has provided $68,000 in funding for undergraduate and graduate
college students to help continue their degrees in the marine science
discipline. The MASNA Scholarship Program has grown significantly to
include applicants from North America and abroad. It has become a very
competitive and esteemed award.
Applications for the awards are judged based on the applicant’s
enrollment in a marine science undergraduate or graduate degree program,
a G.P.A. of 2.5/4.0 or greater, and their proven contributions and
demonstrated commitment to the marine aquarium hobby.
This year’s scholarship selection committee was chaired by MASNA
Director of Conservation, Tim Lyons, and MASNA President, Dr. Kevin
Erickson. The committee further consisted of Christine Rowe (MASNA
Treasurer), Dr. Roy Yanong (University of Florida Professor and Aquatic
Veterinarian), Dr. Liz Marchio (2015 – 2016, Graduate scholarship
recipient), Mike Connelly (2018 – 2019, Graduate), Liz Groover (2016 –
2017, Graduate), and Kory Enneking (2016 – 2017, Undergraduate), and
Zachary Ostroff (2012 – 2013, Graduate).
This year, with sponsorships from LiveAquaria, Ecotech Marine, and Two
Little Fishies, MASNA is able to again award both a $4,000 undergraduate
student scholarship and a $4,000 graduate student scholarship, and
provide all expense paid trips for both recipients to MACNA 2019 in
MASNA would like to thank LiveAquaria.com, Ecotech Marine, and Two
Little Fishies. Without them, the two $4,000 MASNA Student Scholarships
would not be possible.
More information on the MASNA Student Scholarship program can be found
MASNA Press Release: The 2019 MASNA Aquarist of the Year and
MASNA Award Recipients 2019 MASNA Aquarist of the Year and MASNA Award
to be Awarded MACNA 2019 8/26/19
Orlando, FL – August 26, 2019.
MASNA is proud to announce Dr. Craig Bingman as the 2019 MASNA Award
recipient for his foundational role in understanding the chemical
processes in aquariums, and Tom Bowling as the 2019 MASNA Aquarist of
the Year for his recent achievements & progress in marine ornamental
spawning and aquaculture development.
MASNA will be awarding its annual MASNA Aquarist of the Year and MASNA
Award to the recipients at the MACNA 2019 Saturday Night Banquet on
Saturday, August 31st, 2019 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin
Annually, MASNA awards the prestigious MASNA Award and Aquarist of the
Year Award to deserving individuals for their work in helping shape and
influence the marine aquarium hobby in a way that positively contributes
to the ongoing sustainability of the hobby to the future marine
environment. Together with MASNA, previous recipients of the MASNA Award
confer to decide who has given the most to the hobby and industry to be
deserving of that years’ awards from a selection of nominees.
Dr. Craig Bingman, the 2019 MASNA Award Winner will be speaking at MACNA
2019 at 11 AM in the Neptune Speaker Room at the WDW Dolphin Resort on
Sunday, September 1st, 2019.
Award Recipient Biographies:
Tom Bowling - MASNA Aquarist of the Year, 2019
Tom Bowling is a marine biologist and founder of Biota Marine Life
Nursery in Palau. With an understanding of localized fish population
behaviors, Tom perfected the use of wild gamete collection techniques to
produce and raise many new species, not only marine ornamentals, but
also food fish and threatened species for re-introduction to the wild.
This includes the ever-popular Clown Triggerfish, Blueline Sea Bream
found in public aquaria and the Bumphead Parrotfish. (Photo caption:
Tatiana, Tom, and Maya Bowling at Biota.)
Captive-raised Mandarin Dragonets, various gobies, Aiptasia-eating
Filefish, deep-water Borbonius and Yellow Tangs are among the 20
currently marketed ornamental fish species. Over a dozen asexually
propagated soft corals and half a dozen species of clams are being
produced under Tom’s leadership. Tom has also worked to educate both the
public and interested parties in both Palau and greater Micronesia on
the current state of aquaculture, including an understanding of
sustainable practices that can be incorporated into their local reefs.
Working with research facilities and other partners, Tom is helping
further the knowledge and success of ornamental marine aquaculture.
Dr. Craig Bingman - MASNA Award, 2019
In his own words: “From the primordial ooze of the nascent internet,
people with interesting and quirky hobbies found each other and formed
online communities. One of those problems was ‘how to keep corals alive
in closed aquariums, isolated from the ocean.’ A really amazing group of
people self-organized and worked on this problem in North America, and
across the globe. I was fortunate to have played a foundational role in
understanding the chemical processes in aquariums.
It is my enduring pleasure to have provided solutions to several
important problems that are still used today. This is the tale of the
reef hobby in North America in the 1990s, when corals stopped dying and
we achieved long-term success with these animals in aquariums.
Who am I? I was that eight-year old kid subjecting his first fish tank
to way too much pH down and pH up, in his first real exposure to a
chemical test. I was a member of that group of people who figured out
reef aquarium chemistry. I was and am a biochemist, who uses incredible
x-rays sources at National Labs to make pictures of the molecules that
make life possible. I also love freshwater planted aquariums, orchids,
and carnivorous plants. Most importantly, I’m the father of a two-year
old. Watching his mind bootstrap and develop his own personality and
interests is the greatest pleasure of my life. I’ve noticed he really
To learn more about the MASNA Aquarist of the Year visit:
To learn more about the MASNA Award visit:
About MASNA, Marine Aquarium Societies of North America
MASNA is a non-profit organization composed of marine aquarium clubs,
individual hobbyists and industry partners from North American and
abroad, totaling several thousand individuals.
Marineland orchestration of MACNA events? Hey Bob, Loved your
talk at MACNA. Too bad it will always be remembered as the one where
Anthony became a martyr. <Hee hee! His fave role!>
After dealing with Ron Wishna, I can well understand how it all
happened but now I hear increasingly that Marineland may
have had a hand in pulling the puppetstrings of Wishna.
<I did hear summat re this... but discount the possibility
seriously> If this is
true, then the precedent is disturbing. The
CENTRAL...[cough..] PET-ization of the trade would make
a standardization that would serve to squelch independents and
promote a Home Depot/Wal-Mart style uniformity. <Nah,
doubtful... the trade and ready reserve which is the aquarists
themselves are too "independent"... we'd have a few
"Bob Sherman's" (the founder of Marineland) come forward
and dust off the corporate rogues>
speakers may not see it this way.
Was it really just personal or was Ron making
serious money by serving in the interest of larger players?
What do you think? Sincerely, <I
really think RonW is a business/show coordinator who sees some sort of
income/future from his involvement in shows, but is sadly lacking in
knowledge, expertise re the hobby, business of ornamental aquatics... I
suspect his time is done. Bob Fenner> Steve Robinson
_www.cortezmarine.com_ ( http://www.cortezmarine.com) PS The
MAC / MAMTI / REEFCHECK/ PACKARD mob to rule the
livestock world is already a fact and the funding already
approved to push it. Dry goods as well? <No doubt here.
Hotel idea Re: An international show for ornamental aquatics,
hobby, business and science Well, chalk it up as a dream location,
anyway... [quote] Hydropolis is being built off the coast of Jumeirah.
Jumeirah is an artificial palm shaped peninsula and island with a 75
mile coastline located in Dubai, which is one of the Emirates in the
United Arab Emirates. <Yes... have read stories about this... I
think second largest man-made island... some 2,200 residential spots
have been sold and re-sold... fabulous. Bob F> Here's a picture
20night. Here are some pictures of Jumeirah:
An international show for ornamental aquatics, hobby,
business and science Been cogitating furiously re the start-up of
such a venue... The IOAC... talked with Sue Busch re (RIP), back in the
early nineties. What time of year, city location for the first show or
two do you think would work? Am thinking perhaps 2006 for the inaugural
year. On an unrelated note, Diana called, said the papers in NJ have
stories re HRA's arrest in Germany (had been visiting in Zurich),
pending extradition to the U.S., IRS... Bob Fenner Hey Bob, IOAC????
<The "Intl. Ornamental Aquatics Conference"... a meeting
of all things, folks involved in aquarium and pond science, biz and
enjoyment. Bob F> I have been following the story of HRA. John Dawe
<Yes... a sad semi-ending... at least to his money, freedom.
Re: An international show for ornamental aquatics,
hobby, business and science > What time of year Just before the
tropical season kicks in, or just before the water garden season in...
<And make sure there is no conflict with other shows... Poor Sue
picked "Super Bowl Sunday" weekend!> > city location
San Diego, of course. Sunny and pleasant, and close to Mecca. (er,
L.A.) Not to mention the hometown of our fearless leader... -Zo <Di
had mentioned Miami (!), and I agree/d with you. See you here, soon!