Dr. Andrew Rhyne: Poisoned Reefs, 50yrs of Cyanide Fishing | MACNA 2018

October 25th, 2018
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Dr. Andrew L. Rhyne, has invested his career in understanding marine ornamental aquaria: the biology of aquarium fishes and invertebrates, as well as the industry driven by human fascination for these creatures. The trade in aquarium species can be considered a data limited industry and the lack of available trade data hinders sustainability movements within the trade. Andy has worked to develop solutions to these data gaps. He has worked to advance the field of marine ornamental aquaculture, developing methods for breeding and rearing popular species in aquaria. Andy’s body of work illuminates life histories, husbandry and larval rearing requirements of aquarium fish and invertebrates. He has pioneered methods for culturing calanoid copepods and this has greatly increased the success of hobbyists and researchers with small tropical marine fish larvae.

Andy has reared dozens of marine fish and invertebrates, with many for the first time. Notability his lab reared the first triggerfish (the Queen Triggerfish) in captivity as part of a joint program with the New England Aquarium, a program aimed at expanding the number of captive bred species on display in public aquaria. Through this innovative program Dr. Rhyne and colleagues developed a larval rearing system specifically designed public aquariums, supplying systems and training to over 20 institutions. These systems have produced 1000s of fish for display, reared onsite at public aquariums. Andy proactively teaches others the skills that he has developed to support the development of marine ornamental aquaculture.

He is currently an Associate Professor of Marine Biology at Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI where he has helped to develop an undergraduate major/minor in aquaculture and aquarium science. At Roger Williams University he manages an active undergraduate research laboratory focused on the aquarium trade and aquaculture, oversees the husbandry and life-support systems at the Environmental Education Center of the Audubon Society of Rhode Island, a small public aquarium, and also maintains a partnership with the New England Aquarium to develop rearing methods for aquarium species. Dr. Rhyne has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and is the recipient of numerous awards. Most recently he won a Grand Prize in the Wildlife Crime Technology Challenge.

Dr. Rhyne received his B.S. from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL, working with his mentor the late Dr. Junda Lin. He and his wife Libby along with their twins Darwin and Amelia live in Rhode Island.

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