Chad Clayton grew up in Indiana and, as a child, was inspired by Jacques Cousteau and his passion for all things marine. In 1984, armed with this new found inspiration, he started his first marine aquarium at age 14 and kept everything from anemones to an octopus and jellies as well as a number of different species of fish. In 1992, Chad left Indiana to attend Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida and quickly found interest in the emerging field of Aquaculture. After graduating in 1997 with a B.S. in Marine Biology and a B.S. in Aquaculture, Chad began working with fish, invertebrates and live feeds in a variety of different areas. His ultimate goal was to eventually work in aquaculture breeding and rearing marine finfish.
In 1999, Chad applied for an opening in a zebrafish (Danio rerio) laboratory as a husbandry and molecular biology technician position at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO. Chad got the job and began working with zebrafish in a laboratory that studied the genetics of the animal’s melanocytes and ability to regenerate fins. During this time he got his first taste of larviculture and fish husbandry. He quickly learned the art of in vitro fertilization and keeping genetic lines of zebrafish alive and healthy for research purposes.
Since 2002, Chad has worked at Oceans, Reefs & Aquariums (ORA), Kona Blue Water Farms in Kona, HI. In 2008, Chad moved to Santa Cruz, CA. While job hunting, he remembered that Reed Mariculture was in the San Jose area because he had used their products at his previous jobs. He called up and sent in his resume. After an intensive interview process, he landed the job and remains there today. At Reed Mariculture, Chad is involved with product development, copepod culture, trade shows, biosecurity, speaking and overseeing macro algae culture.
During the past 13 years, Chad has successfully cultured 37 species of fish and invertebrates including marine invertebrates, freshwater fish and marine fish. He looks forward to adding to the list and will remain dedicated to sustainability in aquaculture.