Top International Ornamental Aquatic Experts Gather in Singapore
The AquaRealm 2017 Conference has assembled a glittering array of top regional and international speakers and world leading authorities in this specialised field.
The Workshop has been devised in response to high demand for fish-health-associated specialist training from within the industry itself. The programme, which is led by world-renowned fish veterinarian, Dr. Timothy Miller-Morgan from Oregon State University, will consist of illustrated talks on a range of fish health topics, as well as practical demonstrations and hands-on sessions where delegates will participate directly under the supervision of dedicated tutors.
Shane Willis, M.Sc
President - Ornamental Fish International (OFI);
Managing Director - National Aquaculture Training Institute Pty Ltd, Australia;
Emerging And Ongoing Issues Affecting The Ornamental Aquatic Industry
Shane Willis is currently Managing Director of National Aquaculture Training Institute Pty Ltd, which provides training and consulting options for aquaculture and the ornamental fish industry. In May 2016, he was elected President of Ornamental Fish International (OFI) - the peak international association that represents the industry around the world, and hopes to continue working towards a sustainable and vibrant ornamental fish industry.
Shane has worked for more than 25 years in various sectors of the ornamental fish industry, including the exporting, farming, importing/wholesaling and retailing sectors. His work history also includes teaching at the Australian Maritime College and University of Tasmania, and he has worked on a range of consutancy projects for various industry, NGOs and government groups within Australia, the Caribbean and SE Asia.
While shane's experience covers most aspects of the industry, he has developed an interest for biosecurity and intensive production technology for ornamental fish, and has presented at national and international conferences in the areas of intensive production, quarantine and biosecurity for ornamental fish.
Shane holds a Master degree in Aquaculture from the University of Tasmania.
Dr. Peter Podhorec, Ph.D
Research Scientist - University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic;
1. Vertical Farming Systems For Ornamental Fish In The Czech Republic
2. Ornamental Fish Breeding Techniques, With Emphasis On Artificial Reproduction
Dr. Peter Podhorec is a research scientist at the University of Bohemia in Czech Republic. His research work focuses on artificial fish reproduction. He has been a principal leader and co-leader of several projects aimed on improvement of ovulation and spermiation inducing methods in fish.
Dr. Podhorec has authored and co-authored a number of peer-reviewed papers focusing on intensive aquaculture and the use of hypothalamic factors in artificial reproduction. He teaches tropical ornamental aquaculture and supervises Bachelor and Master Degrees students.
Dr. Podhorec cooperates extensively with the Czech tropical fish industry in areas of environmental and hormonal spawning techniques.
Dr. Podhorec holds a Ph.D in Fisheries from the University of South Bohemia.
Matthew Salmon, B.Sc
Senior Research Technician - Australian Institute of Marine Science, SeaSim Facility, Townsville, Australia
LEDvolution 'Illuminating Research'
Matthew Salmon is a Senior Research Technician at the SeaSim Facility, Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville, Australia. He has over 20 years' experience conducting applied marine research on tropical aquaculture species and experimental research systems. His expertise encompasses the development of a selective breeding programme for Penaeus monodon for the Australian Prawn Farmers Association and pioneering culture technologies for the tropical rock lobster, Panulirus ornatus. This involved in-season, and out-of-season spawning of broodstock, as well as the development of formulated feeds, and larval rearing techniques that enabled research into a highly valued aquaculture species. From this aquaculture research, Matthew has co-authored 10 scientific papers.
In his current position at the SeaSim Facility, he is responsible for developing integrated LED lighting technology, which has enabled profiling of daily and seasonal changes in light intensity and moonlight, as well as the ability to manipulate the spectrum for water depth, varying turbidity levels or simulate the solar spectrum. Matthew has also developed advanced control systems for profiling pCO2 concentrations in seawater that are utilised for climate change research under experimental conditions.
Dr. Christopher Marlowe Caipang, Ph.D
Section Head (Agrotechnology) - School of Applied Science, Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore;
Development Of Phytobiotics For Ornamental Fish
Dr. Christopher Marlowe Caipang is currently a Section Head of Agrotechnology at the Temasek Polytechnic's School of Applied Science. He has more than 15 years' experience devoted to research and teaching in fisheries and aquaculture, and has undertaken research activities in the Philippines, Japan, Norway and Singapore.
Dr. Caipang has authored several scientific papers on fish and crustacean immunology, aquatic animal health, vaccine development and disease diagnostics. His research interests include areas on fish health management and sustainable aquaculture.
Dr. Caipang holds a Ph.D in Aquatic Biosciences from the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology.
Dr. Timothy A. Hovanec, Ph.D
Founder and CEO - DrTim's Aquatics LLC, U.S.A;
Modern-Day Approaches To Aquarium Water Chemistry
Dr. Timothy A. Hovanec is a leading provider of innovative natural bacterial-based products to the aquarium industry, including One and Only Live Nitrifying Bacteria. Dr. Hovanec did his Ph.D on the phylogenetics of nitrifying bacteria in aquaria at Mono Lake, CA, and continues to research the microbial pathways of closed aquatic systems and to develop 'green' products for the aquarium industry.
Previously, Dr. Hovanec was the Chief Science Officer for Marineland Aquarium Products and Instant Ocean, where he discovered many novel species of nitrifying bacteria and developed several unique leading products. Other past work experience includes managing an aquaculture facility and US Peace Corps volunteer.
Dr. Hovanec holds over 13 U.S and foreign patents and has authored numerous papers on aquatic microbiology, water quality and filtration techniques for closed system life-support systems (many of which can be accessed at www.drtimsaquatics.com). He speaks regularly at national and international conferences, and is a member of numerous scientific organizations.
Craig Watson, M.Aq.
Director - Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory, University of Florida, U.S.A;
Blue Tang Captive Breeding Breakthrough
Craig Watson has almost 40 years of experience working with ornamental fish and aquaculture, including the past 30 years with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Since 1996 he has served as the director of the Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory, a full service facility focused on research and extension education supporting Florida’s robust tropical fish industry.
Craig and his team of scientists and graduate students have been a key component of the Rising Tide Conservation programme which endeavours to assist commercial producers in achieving success with marine species which have eluded captive production success. In 2016 the team successfully produced the first verified run of the Pacific blue tang (Paracanthuras hepatus), and is now focused on getting them into commercial production.
Craig also serves on the board of directors for the Florida Aquaculture Association, the National Aquaculture Association and the Florida Aquarium.
Kapila Tissera, M.Sc
Independent Consultant - Aquatic Bio-Resource Management, Sri Lanka;
Genetic Applications Within The Aquarium Industry
Kapila Tissera is currently involved in developing larval rearing systems in tropical marine hatcheries and brood stock management programmes in tropical fish farms. He was a key member in the startup teams of John Keells Aquariums and Orna Fish (Pvt) Ltd in Sri Lanka. His work experience extends to Uzbekistan, Los Angeles and India, and he has presented papers at many international seminars, including Aquarama and INFOFISH.
Kapila been a Board Member of the National Aquaculture Development Authority (NAQDA) and the National Institute of Fisheries & Nautical Engineering, and has served on the advisory boards of the Export Development Board and the Southern Development Authority in Sri Lanka. He has also spent five years at strategic advisory level developing ornamental fisheries in the State of Kerala in India.
Kapila has an integrated M.Sc in Ichthyology with specialisation in fish farming from the Technical University of Astrakhan, USSR, and has received training in international trade from the CBI in the Netherlands.
Rajanta Sinardja Rahardja, MBA
Owner & Managing Director - Bellenz Aquarium, Indonesia;
Captive Breeding And Commercial Production Of Plecostomus In Indonesia
Rajanta Sinardja Rahardja built the Bellenz Fish Farm together with his wife Juliawati in 1999. Starting out as a small company which bred Tanganyikan Cichlids, Rajanta expanded his business to breed South American Plecostomus. With the passion of a hobbyist and the necessity as a businessman, Rajanta always try to find ways in breeding these magnificent fish in the best possible ways so every fish lover around the world can enjoy the beauty of these fish in their aquariums with a very reasonable and affordable price.
Rajanta and his wife spent many years learning and perfecting their breeding techniques at Bellenz. They were the invited speakers at three consecutive L-Number Days (2011, 2013, 2015) in Hanover, Germany. In 2014, Rajanta and his wife were also invited to the Universidade Federal do Pará in Altamira, Brazil to share their knowledge in breeding Plecostomus as a mass product fish and help setting up a breeding facility to breed many of the river Rio Xingu’s endemic fish species, such as the beautiful Hypancistrus zebra (L046).
Rajanta holds a MBA from the University at Buffalo, New York, USA.
Secretary General - Ornamental Fish International (OFI);
Purchasing Manager - Ruinemans Aquarium BV, The Netherlands;
Review Of EU Regulations Affecting The Global Aquarium Industry
Paul Bakuwel has 25 years of experience in the aquaculture and ornamental fish industry. In 2001, Paul joined Ruinemans Aquarium BV, where he was also a shareholder. In his daily work he is responsible for purchasing and quality control. Most recently, Paul joined Ornamental Fish International (OFI) in 2016 as its Secretary General.
Paul’s career began at the Agricultural University of Wageningen (the Netherlands) where he majored in immunology and fish health. During his studies, he had the opportunity to work at the fish disease laboratory of the University of California at Davis for four months. After graduation, he moved to Suriname (South America) where he worked on a pilot farm for the production of the brown or fork-tailed hoplo or atipa (Hoplosternum littorale).
He was also co-responsible for the construction of a tilapia farm with an annual output of 450 tonnes and for production management after completion. Before returning to the Netherlands in 2001, Paul worked for two years on a farm producing whiteleg or Pacific shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei).
Senior Executive Manager - Ornamental Fish Section, Import & Export Regulation Department, Quarantine & Inspection Group, Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore;
Singapore's Import & Export Regulations
Lester Lee is a senior executive manager at the Ornamental Fish Section in the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore. He currently oversees the import and export activities of ornamental fish into Singapore. His responsibilities include the licensing of ornamental fish importers and exporters in Singapore, as well as the issuance of ornamental fish export health certificates.
Lester works closely with overseas counterparts to ensure that countries’ import requirements are met before ornamental fish consignments are exported.
Dr. Josiah Pit, Ph.D
Vice President - Pet Industry Association of Australia;
Operations & Supply Chain Manager - Aquarium Industries, Australia;
Challenges In Observing Australia's Stringent Fish Quarantine Requirements
Dr. Josiah Pit works at Aquarium Industries, which houses Australia’s largest range of freshwater and marine fish. He has oversight of the operations and supply chain functions at Aquarium Industries, in particular the fish care, purchasing and logistics departments.
Dr. Pit is passionate about all aquatic critters, with a particular interest in marine fish, and has kept ornamental fish for as long as he can remember. Prior to his current role, Dr. Pit worked on pearl farms throughout the Indo-Pacific region as hatchery and/or farm manager. He has also lectured in Marine Biology and Aquaculture at James Cook University, and had the privilege of working as a marine biologist with Jean-Michel Cousteau at his award-winning Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in Fiji Island.
Dr. Josiah Pit holds a Ph.D in Aquaculture.
Svein A. Fosså
President - European Pet Organisation;
Secretary General & Chairman of the Board - Norwegian Pet Trade Association (NZB);
Vice President and CITES Representative - Ornamental Fish International (OFI);
President - Scandinavian Pet Trade Union (SPTU);
Editor-in-Chief - PetScandinavia
CITES CoP 17 Implications For The Aquarium Industry
Svein A. Fosså is a biologist (ichthyologist), aquarist and a leading international voice for responsible and sustainable practices in the ornamental aquatic trade. He has worked for and with the pet and ornamental aquatic trade since 1986. Svein started his own business in 1992 as an independent author and advisor on aquarium technique, ichthyology, and pet and ornamental aquatic trade policies and legislation worldwide. He lectures regularly in many countries and has authored and co-authored more than 450 articles, reports and publications, including several internationally acclaimed books on marine aquarium keeping.
Svein is currently President of the European Pet Organisation (EPO), Secretary General and Chairman of the Board of the Norwegian Pet Trade Association (NZB), Vice President of Ornamental Fish International (OFI), President of the Scandinavian Pet Trade Union (SPTU), Editor-in-Chief of the pet trade magazine, PetScandinavia, and the co-organiser of the Norwegian ZooExpo trade shows.
Svein has worked extensively on ethical and animal welfare issues related to the trade in live companion animals in general, and the ornamental aquatic trade in particular. He is involved with issues of sustainable trade, invasive species and nature conservation in the ornamental aquatic trade, and has been OFI’s official delegate at all meetings relating to CITES for the last 16 years.
Dr. Timothy J. Miller-Morgan, DVM, CertAqV
Lead, Aquatic Animal Health Program, Oregan Sea Grant - College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, U.S.A;
Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences - College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, U.S.A;
Instructor, Aquatic Animal Health Management, Aquarium Science Program - Oregon Coast Community College;
1. 'Buy A Fish, Save A Tree': Sustainability Of The Rio Negro Fishery
2. Antibiotic Use, Resistance And Emerging Risks
Dr. Tim Miller-Morgan began his career as a Veterinarian and Senior Aquarist at the Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC) Aquarium, the marine science facility associated with Oregon State University (OSU) in Newport, Oregon. Following that, he was hired as a state extension veterinarian to serve the ornamental fish industry in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest of the US. He continues to oversee management of animal health and husbandry at the HMSC Aquarium, while providing consultation and education for the ornamental fish industry.
Dr. Miller-Morgan’s current work focuses on the development of best health practices for sustainable ornamental fisheries, including the development of techniques to mitigate post-shipment mortality among wild-caught marine and freshwater ornamental fish, characterisation of pathogenic bacteria and antibiotic resistance associated with recently imported freshwater tropical fish, the development of standardised health management protocols and training for aquarium fish facilities and research facilities utilising fish and invertebrates for research and education, and developing standardised health examination protocols for invertebrates.
Dr. Miller-Morgan has authored and co-authored a number of book chapters, peer-reviewed papers and articles addressing issues of fish health management and biosecurity. He teaches fish medicine at the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine and supervises the clinical training of veterinary students in fish and invertebrate medicine at the HMSC Aquarium. He also maintains adjunct appointments with the School of Education and the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at OSU.
Dr. Miller-Morgan is also the co-creator of the Aquarium Science Program at Oregon Coast Community College in Newport where he currently teaches courses in aquatic animal health management. This successful and unique programme trains husbandry professionals for work in public aquaria, research laboratories, aquaculture facilities and the ornamental fish industry.
Dr. Miller-Morgan is a certified veterinarian of the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association and holds a fellowship in the Association of Zoos and Aquarium. He is recognised as one of the Top 15 Most Influential Veterinarians in the USA.
Gayatri Reksodihardjo-Lilley, M.Sc
Director-Founder - Indonesian Nature Foundation (LINI), Indonesia;
'Buy A Fish, Save The Reef': Ensuring The Survival Of The Banggai Cardinalfish For Home Aquaria
Gayatri Reksodihardjo-Lilley is the founder of the Indonesian Nature Foundation (LINI), an Indonesian NGO dedicated to developing skills and tools for community-based reef conservation, reef restoration, and sustainable fisheries management, which she has been running with her team since 2008.
Gayatri was part of the ‘first wave’ of Indonesian conservationists, and is one of the few Indonesians working on coral ecology. She has worked with a number of international conservation Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs), mainly as a marine scientist. Gayatri has extensive field experience in both reef ecology and community work. She believes that giving support to local community initiatives is the key to long-term biodiversity conservation.
Gayatri studied conservation biology and has MSc from the University of Kent, Canterbury, UK.
Dr. Mini Sekharan, Ph.D
Assistant Professor - School of Industrial Fisheries, Cochin University of Science & Technology, India;
Advances In The Sustainable Trade Of Indian Ornamental Fishes
For the past 10 years, Dr. Sekharan has been teaching International Marketing and Marketing Research for Seafood Business for Masters degrees at Cochin University. Her association with the Indian ornamental fish industry began in 2000 during the time she was working on her Ph.D on “Prospects of marketing the indigenous ornamental fishes of Kerala”. Her research now focuses on ornamental fish marketing, fisheries management and seafood marketing, and she is the research guide to seven Ph.D scholars.
Along with her academic career in the university, she has carried out a number of activities for the ornamental fish sector, e.g. completed two externally funded research projects, co-authored three books, organised two international conferences and published journal articles. She has been a member of Ornamental Fish International (OFI) for the past five years and has participated as invited speaker at international ornamental fish conferences: Aquarama 2011, 2013 and 2015, Srilankan International Ornamental Fish Trade Conference 2014, and 2017, and (now) AquaRealm 2017.
SOFI-Way Forward, an international conference organised by her, focused on the sustainable ornamental fish trade as a way forward for the ornamental fisheries sector. She has received a proposal to associate as marketing consultant of KAVIL (Kerala Aqua Ventures International Ltd), a government venture for the marketing and export of ornamental fishes.
Dr. Padmanabhan Saravanan, Ph.D
Domain Lead (Biological Testing) - School of Applied Science, Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore;
Development Of An Optical Immunoassay (OIA) For On-site Rapid Detection Of Iridovirus
Dr. Padmanabhan Saravanan leads the Biological Testing Domain at School of Applied Sciences, Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore. His research interests include the analysis of fish pathogens by microbiological, immunological and molecular methods, study of fish stress markers and immunomodulatory effects of feed additives, development and evaluation of fish oral vaccines, microbiome profiling and genetic analysis using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) tools.
Dr. Saravanan has more than 20 years’ experience in the field of Medical and Applied Microbiology and joined Temasek Polytechnic in 2011 where he has been working on fish health and food safety. His team has developed a rapid on-site optical immunoassay kit for detecting microbial contamination in food that has received the MOE Innergy Gold Award in 2016.
Dr. Saravanan has led and completed projects from MOE-TIF, SIIRD-EDB, and has ongoing projects on sample preparation technology using microfluidics and on an on-site fish iridovirus detection kit. He is currently the lead PI of an MOE-TIF grant that aims to develop a fish counting and morphometric monitoring device.
Dr. Padmanabhan Saravanan obtained his doctoral degree at the Dr ALM Postgraduate Institute of BioMedical Sciences, University of Madras, India. He spent his postdoc years at Centre for Biologics Evaluation & Research (CBER), FDA, Bethesda (USA) and at the National University of Singapore.
Dr. Aimee Reed, DVM, Ph.D, CertAqV, Dipl. ACVM
Aquatic Veterinarian and Microbiologist - Oregon State University, U.S.A;
New Advances In KHV Research And Diagnostics
Dr. Aimee N. Reed is currently practising clinical veterinary medicine in Portland, Oregon, providing care to domestic and aquatic animals. Her research at Oregon State University focused on the latent nature of koi herpesvirus and led to the discovery of genes involved in latent herpesvirus infections in koi. She has been involved in the development of novel diagnostic methods for infectious diseases of aquatic animals.
Dr. Reed has taught graduate, veterinary, and professional students, as well as providing education to aquarists and aquatic hobbyists.
Dr. Aimee N. Reed is a Certified Aquatic Veterinarian and a researcher of veterinary virology.
Dr. Robert Lester Jones, M.Aquaculture, MACVSc., B.V.Sc (Hons)
Proprietor - 'The Aquarium Vet', Australia;
The Influence Of Stress On Fish Health
Dr. Rob Jones has worked as a veterinarian in the aquarium industry for the past 17 years. Initially at the Melbourne Aquarium, he now consults to all the public aquaria in Australia and New Zealand and increasingly, overseas. He also provides veterinary services to the largest importer and wholesaler of ornamental fish in Australia.
Commencing in 2003, Dr. Jones organised a research team working on artificial reproduction in elasmobranchs (sharks, skates and rays), which culminated in their first AI shark born in March 2014 with semen transferred from another facility.
Having realised that there was no shortcut to gaining knowledge in the aquarium field, Dr. Rob Jones developed the world’s first online course for aquarists and others working in the aquarium industry. The e-quarist course™ was launched in May 2011 and is increasingly becoming an internationally acknowledged course. The Aquarium Vet is an accredited Learning Partner of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Dr. Rob Jones holds a Bachelor in Veterinary Science (Hons) and Masters in Aquaculture.
Past President - World Guppy Association;
Past President, Co-founder and Current Advisor - Malaysia Guppy Club;
Asia Pacific Director - International Guppy Education & Exhibition Society
Advisor - Department of Aquaculture, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology;
The Fundamentals Of Keeping Pure-Strain Guppies, With a Fresh Look At Guppy System Tanks
Andrew Lim first came into contact with the guppy when he was a primary school student. He subsequently came across pure-strain guppies when he was at university in the USA. Being amazed by the beauty of the guppy, Andrew set up the Malaysia Guppy Club (MGC) in association with a few enthusiasts in 2004. Over the past 13 years, he has been leading the MGC in organising more than 20 international guppy shows in Malaysia, Singapore and Dubai. His enthusiasm promoting the pure-strain guppy as a hobby never stops, as a result of which, he has succeeded in transforming the so-called “longkang” fish into a US$70-per-pair miracle over the past decade.
Lim’s passion for the guppy spreads well beyond Malaysia to the rest of the world. For instance, in collaboration with three other guppy breeders in America and Europe, he set up the International Guppy Education & Exhibition Society (IGEES) - now based in Boston, USA. IGEES promotes the guppy without prejudice and adopts different ways of educating breeders everywhere in the correct ways of keeping guppies, providing genetic and technical support for those who require it. In 2014, Andrew was appointed Advisor to the National Pingtung University of Science and Technology -Department of Aquaculture. In 2013, he hosted the World Guppy Contest in Kuala Lumpur with the help of fellow members from MGC, an event that turned out to be the most successful guppy contest ever held in Asia, with more than 600 pairs of guppy, participants from 17 countries, and judges from eight countries.
In order to help him pursue his guppy dream, Lim is fluent in seven languages, including German. He is also the first Asian guppy judge to have judged in the continent of America. His footsteps have covered four continents and over 35 cities, all in the name of guppy development. In addition, Lim writes articles on aquatic subjects and is the South East Asia editor for AquazooNews Magazine (Taiwan) His articles can also be found in the German aquatic magazine, Amazonas. Andrew is very much in demand as a speaker and judge in numerous countries, stretching from his native Malaysia, to Europe and the USA.