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George Chamberlin

Dr. George Chamberlain began his career as an aquaculture researcher and Extension specialist at Texas A&M University.  He later directed aquaculture programs at Ralston Purina International and Monsanto and led the development of an integrated shrimp farm in Malaysia.  In 2004, he co-founded iAqua, a technology company which operates breeding, nutrition, farming, and processing facilities for Pacific white shrimp in Hawaii and manages other operations in Asia.  Chamberlain served as President of the World Aquaculture Society in 1996.  In 1997, he assisted in founding the Global Aquaculture Alliance and continues to serve as President. GAA’s Best Aquaculture Practices standards account for over 1.5 million metric tonnes of certified seafood.

Bradley Todd

Bradley Todd - Aquaponics Farm Manager Bradley Todd joined the team at Lucky Clays Farm in 2010 and began managing Lucky Clays Fresh in 2013. Todd was raised in Aquadale, North Carolina and spent five years in the Marine Corps. After completing service, he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology and Earth Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. While overseas in the military, Todd began his research in the fundamentals, engineering, and science of aquaculture and hydroponics, which ultimately lead him to learn about the process of combining the two into an efficient and sustainable farming system. Todd intends to incorporate bio-floc technology, Vermiculture, and mycology into an all-encompassing production flow with Lucky Clays Fresh’s established Aquaponics system.

Huy Tran

Huy Tran - Apopka Aquaponic Farms, LLC Graduated from University of Hawaii, 28 years of a aquaculture experience (brood stock manager, production manager, farm manager, design and equipment integration), and 26 years of aquaponics experience (first of aquaponic farm was constructed in 1990, 6,000 square-foot facility).

Kathleen Hartman

Kathleen Hartman - Aquaculture Program Leader for USDA APHIS Veterinary Services [SPRS] stationed in Ruskin, FL at the University of Florida, Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory. Kathleen received her MS from the University of Maryland and both her DVM and Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. She has a courtesy Assistant Professor appointment at the University of Florida, in the Program of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. She has served two consecutive terms on both the AVMA’s Food Safety Advisory Committee as well as the Aquatic Veterinary Medicine Committee. She currently serves on the Professional Standards Committee of the American Fisheries Society-Fish Health Section. She has been a certified AFS FHS Aquatic Animal Health Inspector since 2008. Kathleen is a current member of the World Aquaculture Society (WAS) and is Past President of the USAS Chapter.

Debbie Hamrick
Debbie Hamrick - Director of Specialty Crops, NC Farm Bureau Federation, Raleigh.  Debbie advocates for North Carolina's specialty crops producers and works to leverage existing and new resources into North Carolina's specialty crops agricultural sector, which  includes but is not limited to aquaculture/fisheries, apiculture, fruit and vegetables, nursery, greenhouse and sod production, sustainable/organic producers, and viticulture.  Her portfolio includes issues and areas such as Produce Safety, the Conventional and Sustainable Agricultural Interface, Local Foods and Value Added Entrepreneurism, among others.  Prior to joining NC Farm Bureau, Debbie enjoyed a high profile career in the international horticultural industry with Ball Publishing, West Chicago IL and is well known as the founder of FloraCulture International magazine. North Carolina's specialty crops farmers know her most for her work on boards with a number of groups including NC Aquaculture Development Conference Board, NC Catch, the NC Green Industry Council, NC Local Sustainable Food Advisory Council and as the NC Produce Safety Task Force. She resides in Raleigh with her husband Ed Gaines where she is an avid gardener for beneficial insect habitat.
Jay Styron

Jay Styron - Started his career with UNCW’s NOAA funded National Undersea Research Center where he worked out of Key Largo, FL as well as Wilmington, NC. In 2008, Jay changed careers within the University and moved to Director of Marine Operations. In 2006, Jay started Carolina Mariculture Co. in Cedar Island, NC (which is where he grew up). Carolina Mariculture Co. specializes in off-bottom oyster production for the half shell market. The primary goal of Carolina Mariculture Co. is to produce high quality seafood while not being detrimental to the environment. Carolina Mariculture Co. is a member of Carteret Catch, a grass roots organization devoted to promoting local seafood.


David Brune received his B.S. and M.S. in Agricultural Engineering and PhD in Sanitary Engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has served as Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at the University of California at Davis, The Pennsylvania State University, Clemson University (as Endowed Chair of Natural Resource Engineering) and, most recently, the University of Missouri at Columbia.  A major focus of his research has been directed at quantifying, modeling and optimizing the role of photosynthesis in existing and emerging aquacultural practices.  His R&D activities at Clemson University in South Carolina resulted in the U.S. patented, “Partitioned Aquaculture System” and “Controlled Eutrophication Process.”  Currently, at the University of Missouri, he leads a research and extension effort targeting development and deployment of integrated, zero-discharge aquaculture / algal culture systems supporting sustainable seafood and bioenergy co-production. He is a founding member and past president of the Aquacultural Engineering Society.


Dr. Ami Wilbur is an associate professor in the department of biology and marine biology and serves as the Director of the Shellfish Research Hatchery at the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s CREST Research Park. Dr. Wilbur and her research group use modern molecular genetic techniques to resolve issues in the design, implementation and evaluation of shellfish aquaculture, restoration efforts and other fisheries management practices. As the director of Shellfish Research Hatchery, Dr. Wilbur oversees operations at this state-of-the-art culture facility designed for the production of shellfish. Its mission is to conduct and facilitate research that will both inform and contribute to North Carolina’s efforts to both restore its declining populations of ecologically and commercially important shellfish, and build a sustainable shellfish aquaculture industry. Dr. Wilbur received a bachelor of science degree from the University of North Carolina Wilmington , a masters degree from the University of South Carolina and a Ph.D. from the University of Delaware. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Florida Marine Research Institute before joining the UNCW faculty in 1999.

Sam Thomas

Sam Thomas, President of Thomas Seafood in Beaufort, NC continues a 40-year tradition of supplying premium local seafood throughout the Southeast.  This family owned business specializes in crabmeat as well as other shellfish including: hard clams, oysters, shrimp and conch.  A Food Science graduate of NCSU, Sam has been involved in the industry world-wide. This has included setting up and managing facilities in Florida, Mexico, Indonesia, Columbia, and the Philippines, to name a few. Sam also has expertise in product marketing/development, which included management for a facility by industry giant, Blue Channel Corp.  Sam is also a past Director of the NCSU Seafood Lab.

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