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Workshop Facilitators


Laura Rogers-Bennett

Dr. Laura Rogers-Bennett received her B.A. from the University of NewHampshire and a M.S. at U. Mass. Boston working on green sea urchins in nearshore kelp beds. She completed her Ph.D. in Ecology at the University of California, Davis as well as two post-doctoral fellowships one at UCSC, Institute of Marine Science and the other at the U.W. Friday Harbor Labs. Dr. Rogers-Bennett is an Environmental Scientist with the California Department of Fish and Game and a Research Associate at UC Davis. Her work at the Bodega Marine Lab focuses on marine invertebrate populations, fishery management and marine conservation.

Gene Wijffels

Gene Wijffels completed a B.Appl.Sc (Curtin University, Perth) with majors in clinical biochemistryandimmunology. Her doctoral studies in immunology and protein biochemistry were conducted through the University of Melbourne. On joining CSIRO in 1992, Gene focussed on the development of recombinant vaccines against the major parasites affecting the Australian sheep and cattle industries. Later she joined a CSIRO-ANU team investigating protein:protein interactions within the bacterial replisome. Currently Gene has active projects in metabolomics as applied to animal stress and parasitic infection, and contributes to a team developing hypothalamicpeptidomics capability

Natasha Botwright

Natasha Botwright has a BSc (Hons) in plant development and molecular genetics. She has experience in gene expression, regulation of hormone pathways, genetic engineering and manipulation in both plants and animals. Since 2005 Natasha has worked with the abalone industry on selective breeding programs including genetic markers, population genetics and hybrid chromosome studies. Natasha’s current abalone research focus is to understand maturation and reproductive cues using genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic and peptidomic approaches. Natasha is committed to developing international collaborations to support abalone molecular research globally into the future.


Tony Legg

Tony Legg is a native of Jersey  in the British Channel Islands where the Ormer Haliotis tuberculata  is revered as a national animal. Tony is an Applied Zoologist with 35 years practical experience in  most areas of aquaculture. His personal projects range from  sea water raised trout in purpose designed cages in the  early 80’s to the current projects of Ormer and Native Flat Oyster Ostrea edulis  polyculture in intertidal systems. His interest has always been to develop or utilise practical innovative solutions. His use of Australian ‘Stanway’ oyster units  for the first time in Europe in the early 90’s lead to the development of the  ORTAC  range with design rights on triangulation of bags in oyster cylinders being granted in Ireland many years before the current Australian designs became popular. In 1998 this lead to the production of the ORTAC3 unit  a low cost unit that features advanced waterflow management and minimised labour .The onslaught of OsHV1 in Europe has lead to a major French/Spanish oyster equipment supplier promoting this devise to reduce mortalities and production costs. Tony as Jersey Sea Farms (Ireland) was a main partner in the EU FP7 Sudevab  ( project .This bought together the principal European abalone farmers to resolve a large number of issues  holding back the sustainable seabased farming of the Ormer. One of the many significant outcomes was a new culturesystem for European seabased culture,  the Abblox unit.


Sabine Daume

As the manager of the Sustainable Seafood Certification Program at Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), Dr Daume is responsible for leading the company’s program, which includes both fishery and chain of custody certification under the auspices of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). She is a RABQSA-Certified ISO 9011:2008 lead auditor and has been the team leader of many fishery audits worldwide. SCS is in the process of obtaining accreditation to the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) standards, a new scheme for aquaculture - farm level certification. Dr Daume was involved in the development of the Abalone standard and now serves on the Technical Advisory Group of the ASC. Prior to joining SCS, Dr Daume worked as a Senior Research Scientist at the Research Division of the Department of Fisheries in Western Australia. Dr Daume has over 10 year expertise in the biology and ecology of exploited marine resources, working closely with the fishing and aquaculture industry in Australia.


Craig Mundy

Dr Craig Mundy has been the Abalone Biologist at the Institute for Marineand Antarctic Studies (formerly Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute), University of Tasmania for the last 10 years and is primarily responsible for abalone wild fisheries research within Tasmania (the World's largest wild abalone fishery). He has had 26 years’ experience with sub-tidal biology and ecology ranging from tropical to temperate waters. Craig worked and studied at the Australian Institute of Marine Science for 10 years focusing on community dynamics of corals and reproductive biology of echinoderms, and survey and experimental design before shifting to New Zealand. His PhD examined the role of larval behaviour in recruitment process and dynamics of scleractinian corals. Craig’s current research interests are focused in two distinct areas 1) the ecology of exploited abalone populations, specifically the importance of early life history and reproductive ecology in managing exploitation of blacklip and greenlip abalone; and 2) the use of digital methods for collecting geo-referenced fisheries data and the application of spatial statistical methods for informing fishery assessment in small vessel fisheries.


Peter Kube

Peter Kube has a PhD in Quantitative Genetics (University of Tasmania) and, since 2004, has worked for CSIRO in Hobart, Tasmania, to develop applied selective breeding programs in aquaculture.  He works with breeding programs for abalone, Pacific oysters, Atlantic salmon and shrimp.  A major focus of abalone work has been on the development of hybrid breeding.  For all programs, his work has involved the development of breeding strategies, research to understand the inheritance of commercial traits, routine data processing and data management for these breeding programs, and the development of software to assist applied breeding programs.


Ellie Watts

Ellie Watts has been a senior technician at Cawthron Institute's Glenhaven Aquaculture facility for the past 10 years as a technical advisor and field scientist for abalone reseeding research. Specific projects have included improvement of abalone spawning behaviour and larval settlement, shellfish gamete cryopreservation and triploidy techniques, quantification of genetic gain in mussel selective breeding programmes, and identifying factors affecting meat quality in the NZ abalone fishery.  Ellie was previously employed for 10 years within the NZ abalone culture industry as a technical advisor, as well as a contractor for the Department of Conservation assisting with sub Antarctic marine inventories, marine mammal and Kakapo conservation.