Because Aqua-Spark invests in businesses across a broad range of species and geographies, all requiring different expertise, we have assembled a remarkable team with 50 of the world’s leading aquaculture experts. These experts will help find, filter and vet investment opportunities; play a critical role on our due diligence team; help grow our capacity and manage multiple investments; and support active investments with their experience.
Our network members include:
Malcolm Beveridge, Ph.D.
Visiting Professor at University of Stirling, former Discipline Director of the Aquaculture and Genetic Improvement, WorldFish
Focus The impacts of aquaculture and fisheries on the environment, poverty, and hunger
Education Aquatic Ecology, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
Background Over 20 years of experience in implementation research and capacity building projects with multidisciplinary partners in both tropical and temperate parts of the world, and 30 years research experience in aquatic resources management, including aquaculture and fisheries and their impacts, GIS, habitat restoration, limnology and fish ecology
Notable accomplishment Received the FAO Andre Mayer Research Fellowship at the University of the Philippines (1983) for work on the environmental impacts of cage aquaculture
Why aquaculture? With the right partners, stakeholders and technologies, aquaculture can deliver on its potential to transform lives and feed the planet
Senior Aquaculture Specialist, World Bank
Focus The development of a portfolio of investment in sustainable aquaculture, as well as exploring ecosystem approaches to risk reduction and supporting fish and crustacean farming development in the Middle East and Africa
Education Tilapia population genetics, Auburn University, Alabama
Background 30 years of experience running fish farms and supporting fish and crustacean farming development
Notable accomplishment He was coach of the 1978 Tillaberi (Niger) women’s basketball team to the national finals. They lost.
Why aquaculture? If you care about nature and want to eat fish, better eat farmed fish
Thierry Chopin, Ph.D.
Professor of Marine Biology, University of New Brunswick, Saint John, Canada
Focus Ecophysiology and biochemistry of seaweeds of commercial value and development of Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) systems for environmental sustainability, economic stability, and societal acceptability
Education Ph.D.: University of Western Brittany, Brest, France
Background Past president of the Aquaculture Association of Canada, the International Seaweed Association, and the Phycological Society of America
Honorary Consul of France and Chevalier in the Ordre des Palmes Académiques
Notable accomplishment Honorary Consul of France and Chevalier in the Ordre des Palmes Académiques
Why aquaculture? In tomorrow’s food production systems and value-added derived product biorefineries, aquaculture will have an increasing share. However, the Blue Revolution needs to become the greener Turquoise Revolution by developing innovative technologies and practices
Dr. Barry Costa-Pierce
Henry L. & Grace Doherty Endowed Professor and Chair of Marine Sciences and Director of the Marine Science Center at the University of New England (UNE), Biddeford, Maine, USA
Focus Marine ecology, ecological aquaculture, and the sustainability science of fisheries & aquaculture
Education Ph.D. in Oceanography, University of Hawaii, USA
Background Has been a member of FAO’s efforts to build “An Ecosystem Approach to Aquaculture”
Notable accomplishments Elected as American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow for Distinguished Contributions to Aquaculture. Recipient of President’s Award from the U.S. Sea Grant Association. Distinguished Visiting Scholar in Aquaculture, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA.
Founder and Executive Director of Manta Consulting Inc. and Fish 2.0
Focus The creation of innovative financing strategies and structures for social investment projects and private sector–non-profit partnerships, with a focus on the fisheries and aquaculture sectors
Education Biological Sciences, Stanford University, California and MBA in Strategic Management and Finance, The Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania.
Background Consults to and partners with numerous businesses, private foundations and non-profits including The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, Nestlé S.A., The Nature Conservancy, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and many others. Monica has worked side by side with over 200 organizations and individual change leaders globally in the creation of their visions and ventures.
Notable accomplishment In 2013, Monica founded and launched the innovative Fish 2.0 business competition which connects seafood businesses with investors on a global basis, and serves as a capacity building and investment ready-ness program for the seafood sector
Why aquaculture? Aquaculture is an important source of sustainable seafood for future generations as demand continues to grow. It is also a critical source of livelihoods and employment for coastal communities in areas where alternatives are few.
Sunil Kadri, Ph.D
CEO, Aquaculture Innovation; Director – International Business Development, Europharma
Honorary Lecturer, Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling
Focus Innovation to enhance aquaculture sustainability
Education Fish Behaviour in Aquaculture, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
Background I became passionate about aquaculture’s place in food security and sustainability as a teenager, and have since spent nearly 25 years in the development, research and business sectors , advancing knowledge and technologies in aquaculture.
Notable accomplishment O2 X Awards Male Entrepreneur of the Year 2009
Why aquaculture? I believe in the future of aquaculture as a key contributor to future food security for developed and developing countries alike, and love the company of the like-minded individuals who make up the aquaculture community!
Deborah A. Mosca, Ph.D.
CEO of Marine Bio-Technologies Center of Innovation, North Carolina, USA
Focus Multi-disciplinary project team leader focused on facilitating collaborations between and among universities, scientific researchers, industry, and funding organizations to translate marine science into new products and services
Education Biology and genetics, B.S. Cornell University, Ph.D. New York, and State University of New York, Buffalo, USA
Background Held a series of positions with increasing responsibilities in biotech (PaxVax, Nereus, Elitra, IntraBiotics), non-profit research (The Scripps Research Institute) and large Pharma (Amercian Cyanamid/Lederle Labs)
Notable accomplishments During her career, she has executed critical roles in securing funding totaling more than $33M in contracts and $100M in venture funding as well as served as Program Manager/Leader for numerous inter-institutional/international collaborations in drug discovery and development
Why aquaculture?With an estimated population of 9 billion by 2050, the world faces a global shortage of protein. Since aquaculture has already demonstrated a more efficient feed conversion and lower carbon footprint than that of livestock, it is important that we prioritize efforts to invest in expansion of aquaculture research, development and commercialization today to meet the nutritional needs of the future.
Marc Verdegem, Ph.D.
Lecturer, Fish Culture and Fisheries Group, Wageningen University, the Netherlands
Focus Aquaculture systems management
Education Marine Sciences with specialization in Aquaculture, University of Puerto Rico, USA
Background Since 1980, was or is involved with the execution, coordination and management of numerous projects in the Caribbean, Central America, Africa and Asia. Focuses on recirculation technology, nutrient flows through the aquatic foodweb and interactions between cultured organisms (fish, shrimp, shellfish and algae) and microbiota. Activities include teaching (BSc, MSc and PhD level), research and MSc study coordination
Notable accomplishments Received the highest Wageningen University award for his teaching, 2013
Why aquaculture?Sustainable aquaculture should aim to reconcile our longing for healthy and natural food with the need to feed 9 billion people in the future. This must be done within the resource limits of one planet. Aquaculture can do this. Contributing to the development of concepts en technologies making this to happen I consider important.
Head of Business Developments at Inter Aqua Advance A/S
Focus World renowned expert in Recirculation Aquaculture Systems (RAS) technology, assessment of different RAS concepts for commercial viability and new potential fish species for RAS production.
Education Chemical engineering, Copenhagen Business School.
Background Ivar started at the Water Quality Institute in Denmark (now DHI and the Environment) in Environmental Sciences where he co-founded the Aquaculture Department at the institute. It was here that the first research into commercial RAS development took place (mid 1970’s). Ivar was in the forefront of RAS development and implementation. Ivar moved to Ireland in 1982 and built up a substantial aquaculture production. He worked for 10 years for the world’s largest fish feed manufacturer, Skretting – helping their customers with environmental impact assessments, fish farm developments, RAS projects and other technical issues. For the last 10 years he worked with RAS developments and have for instance been instrumental in implementing technologies within the salmon sector.
Notable accomplishment Member of EIFAC (European Inland Fisheries Advisory Commission), Board member of Aquaculture Engineering Society, Chairman of EU Commission dealing with harmonization of Environmental Legislation within the EU, author of a number educational compilations for aquaculture for the Irish Sea Fisheries Board, who are responsible for aquaculture developments in Ireland.
Why aquaculture? Working as a senior researcher at the Water Quality Institute with the transition from looking at water and pollution problems from scientific angles (wastewater treatment, environmental surveys etc.) to actually using water for a specific purpose (aquaculture) was very exciting and was the beginning to a successful commercial career within aquaculture production. Being in the forefront of RAS development and implementation was an extra exciting.
Carlos Wurmann, M.Sc.Economics, Ind. Civil Engineer
Executive director of AWARD Ltd., International Consultants in Aquaculture and Fisheries;Executive Director CIDEEA, International Center for Strategic Studies in Aquaculture, e.f.
Focus Investment and development projects, planning, markets, sectoral prospective, technology development and transfer
Education Economics, Hull University, United Kingdom, and Industrial Civil Engineering, Universidad de Chile, Chile
Background Over 25 years of experience with private, public and international organizations (FAO, OECD, UNIDO, World Bank) in investment and development projects, planning, markets, sectoral prospective, technology development and transfer
Notable accomplishment Work in several Latin American and Caribbean countries and Lecturer in Aquaculture Development, Markets and Prospective, with several publications and over 50 conferences in more than 15 countries
Why aquaculture? Aquaculture is a promising novel industry in the western hemisphere, whose development is the answer to sustainably providing much needed healthy seafood to mankind and permanent good quality employment in many developing countries, during the coming decades
Professor and Chair of the Department of Marine Biotechnology at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, University of Maryland and Head of its Aquaculture Research Center
Focus Professor Zohar conducts research and development programs in sustainable marine aquaculture and has integrated basic science with applications in the aquaculture industry. Fields of expertise include broodstock management, hatchery technologies, recirculating marine aquaculture and biotechnology.
Education B.Sc. in Biology and M.Sc. in Oceanography/Marine Biology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel; Ph.D. in Fish Biology and Aquaculture, University of Paris, France
Background Over 35 years of R&D experience in marine aquaculture and biotechnology, integrating academia with industry; from 1982-1990 he led the group on fish reproduction at the National Center for Mariculture, Eilat, Israel and from 1997-2010 he served as the Director of the University of Maryland Center of Marine Biotechnology.
Notable accomplishment Published over 200 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters and is the author of 10 issued international patents in aquaculture. He is the inventor of “Reproboost”, a spawning-induction aid that has been used broadly in the aquaculture industry world-wide. Received multiple national and international honors and awards.
Why aquaculture? Our oceans are simply running out of fish. Seafood can not continue to be the last hunt-and-gather animal crop. We must develop environmentally-responsible aquaculture that can provide the growing world population with quality seafood. Diversification in aquaculture will also enable the production of marine-based bioenergy and beneficial natural products and pharmaceuticals.
Member of Falmouth’s Water Quality Management Committee, President of the Coonamessett Farm Foundation
Focus Technical specialist and task manager with nearly four decades of experience on programs involving food security and environmental assessment, aquatic resource management, coastal and inland aquaculture, integrated fish farming, coastal zone planning and fisheries management, biodiversity conservation, and lake and reservoir fisheries particularly in China and several countries in South and Southeast Asia.
Education University of Oregon, Doctoral studies, 1971
Background Worked on programs for the World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), World Food Program, United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), and several U.S. government agencies, private sector entities, and NGOs
Notable accomplishments Recipient of Bank’s Green Award, 2006 for the formulation and adoption of international principles for responsible shrimp aquaculture
Why aquaculture? Sustainable aquaculture development has critical potential for enhancing food security, creating employment and alleviating poverty. It can be an important complement to other food production systems. Its role has also become increasing essential with the yields from inland and ocean fisheries having reached or exceeded maximum sustainable yields over the past 25 years throughout most of the world while the demand for aquatic products continues to rise