2020 Speakers will be announced as soon as they are confirmed.

2019 MBI Workshop Speakers

A Framework for the Selection of Marine Aquarium Fishes to Target for Aquaculture

Paul Anderson, PhD, CAPM

Like many of us, Dr. Anderson has kept marine aquaria since his youth and has turned his childhood hobby into his academic and professional career. After his graduation with a BS in Marine Science from Eckerd College in 1997, he began his career working in public aquaria as an Aquarist at Mote Marine Aquarium (Sarasota, FL; 1997-1999) and then the Education Coordinator of The Pier Aquarium (St. Petersburg, FL; 1999-2002).

His love for learning brought him back to graduate school, where he honed his interests and knowledge base in aquaculture, fish behavior, and physiology, graduating with his Ph.D. in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences from the University of Florida (Gainesville, FL; 2009). Since then, he has driven conservation initiatives in public aquaria as the Conservation and Research Coordinator of The Florida Aquarium (2008-2011) and in his current role as a Research Scientist at Mystic Aquarium (Mystic, CT) since 2012.

Now, Dr. Anderson leads the Coral Reef Aquarium Fisheries Campaign, a multi-stakeholder effort to empower sustainable coral reef aquarium fisheries that support healthy coral reefs, livelihoods and food security for those that trade in these fisheries throughout the global value chain.

From Start to Settlement: Starting a Marine Ornamental Hatchery in
the Dominican Republic

Noel Heinsohn

Noel’s first pet was a betta at the age of 6, from there it was a downward spiral into the freshwater hobby. It wasn’t until high school where he saw the light and started his passion for marine life about as far away from the ocean as possible…Iowa. This is attributed to an Aquarium Science high-school program he attended for several years. While attending high school, he worked at the local zoo as their aquarist and a local fish store which helped to fund his addiction of over a dozen saltwater tanks.

During this time Noel became very passionate about marine aquaculture raising several species of clownfish. After high school, Noel attended Oregon Coast Community College for their aquarium science program to advance his knowledge in the field. While in college he worked for Hatfield Marine Science center as an aquarist and interned for NOAA working with cold water aquaculture.

For five years, he served time at the Long Island Aquarium as an aquaculturist/aquarist. Caring for a vast diversity of animals. During this time he raised over 20 species of fish and invertebrates, including the first captive-bred anthias, Pseudanthias squamipinnis, and the first Genicanthus lamarcks. These days Noel can be found managing a marine ornamental fish hatchery in the Dominican Republic focusing on raising Caribbean species for the aquarium trade.

Tips and Tricks of a Frugal Fish Breeder Hobbyist

Kathy Leahy

Kathy is saltwater fish hobbyist from St. Louis, Missouri. With over fifteen years of experience keeping saltwater fish, many of which were spent raising clownfish for her local and distant markets, Kathy more recently ventured into raising other species of marine ornamentals. Many gobies, damsels, shrimps, pipefish, and mandarins later, she successfully raised Centropyge bispinosa, also known as Coral Beauty Angelfish, from egg to adult, a species-first.

Kathy is a moderator of the Marine Breeding Initiative website, has been an active forum participant, frequent contributor, and has earned the level of Advanced Breeder. She is a wife, mother of two adult children, bicyclist, gardener, and supervisor of a neuroscience research lab at Washington University School of Medicine.

Matt Pedersen

Matt Pedersen is a Sr. Editor & Associate Publisher with Reef To Rainforest Media LLC for the saltwater and reef aquarium publication CORAL Magazine, as well as the publications’ online presence at Reef2Rainforest.com. Serving in the same capacity since the 2011 launch of AMAZONAS Magazine, Reef To Rainforest’s freshwater counterpart to CORAL, Pedersen, and partners Stephan Tanner and Michael Tuccinardi took over the publication of AMAZONAS in 2018 under the new Minnesota-based publishing company Aquatic Media Press, LLC. Along with limited wholesale offerings of fish and plants to the pet trade, Pedersen occasionally offers digital and aquarium-related consultation and production services through his own company, MiniWaters LLC.

Originally from Chicago, IL and currently living in Duluth, MN, USA, Matt’s professional background is in interactive software development and digital marketing. Additionally, Matt has diverse past experience as a professional orchid breeder, a part-time fly fishing guide, and certified fly rod builder.

Matt has been a marine aquarist for 30 years, and an aquarist for 35. After spending time on every side of the aquarium industry (retail, commercial and private maintenance & installation, wholesale, hatchery), he currently considers himself a “professional hobbyist”. Matt has currently spawned 31 species of marine fish, successfully raising 9 of them to date including one worldwide first (the Harlequin Filefish, Oxymonacanthus longirostris), as well as attempted another 6 invertebrate species to date. Most of this was accomplished with less than 100 gallons of total working capacity, and all in closed culture. In 2010, Matt Pedersen was selected as the breeder of choice to work with the now famous “PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish” from the SEASMART program and chronicles the efforts to propagate this one-of-a-kind fish online at The Lightning Project. In 2016, Matt launched the online retailer MiniWaters.fish to compliment his wholesale livestock offerings primarily consisting of regionally-produced aquacultured saltwater aquarium livestock, well-conditioned and privately-bred freshwater fishes, and purpose-grown vivarium plants for the herpetological, paludarium and terrarium hobby.

Matt Pedersen is credited with starting MOFIB (Marine Ornamental Fish & Invertebrate Breeder’s Association) and writing for multiple publications including CORAL, Koralle, Practical Fish Keeping, Marine Habitat, Reef Hobbyist Magazine, Reef Builders, Reefs.com, Advanced Aquarist and more. Matt has spoken at numerous aquarium clubs and events from coast to coast. He currently sits on the MBI (Marine Breeding Initiative) Council, a project dedicated to bringing the concept of a unified Marine Breeder’s Award Program to hobbyist organizations across the country and around the globe. In 2009, Matt was recognized as “Aquarist of the Year” by IMAC West and subsequently awarded with the MASNA Award, aka. “Aquarist of the Year”, by MASNA in 2009, in recognition of his accomplishments and contributions to the marine aquarium hobby.