I grew up in rural western NY south of Buffalo. Growing up in a rural area I learned to enjoy the outdoors where I could fish throughout the year and wander the state land adjacent to my family's house. This lifestyle allowed me to develop and appreciation for the outdoors.
I attended SUNY Cobleskill to study fisheries and wildlife and earned a bachelor’s degree in aquaculture. After SUNY Cobleskill I chose to attend Kentucky State University (KSU) located in Frankfort, Kentucky for my Masters Degree. My thesis work evaluated the production of caged tilapia and freshwater prawn in a pond based system.
After graduating from KSU I accepted a position at the University of the Virgin Islands on St. Croix. It was the start of a 5-year opportunity I was fortunate to experience. I worked with freshwater systems growing tilapia and some shrimp. What really caught my attention there was aquaponics and co-teaching the International Aquaponics and Tilapia Aquaculture course.
I left St. Croix to pursue my doctorate in 2010 at Auburn University. I worked with commercial producers and conducted research experiments evaluating methods to utilize the nutrients in discharged aquaculture effluent (solid and liquid components) for plant production.
I moved to Florida in 2013 and have worked for both private companies in the aquaculture industry and government agencies serving water resources management.