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Top 10 Under 40
Top 10 Under 40: Carlos Lopez
October 7, 2022 By Jean Ko Din
Growing up in Miami and in the Florida Keys, 31-year-old Carlos Lopez always knew he would be working out on the water. What he didn’t know is that his passion would bring him to so many places around the world.
In college, he pursued a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Microbiology at the University of Florida in Gainsville. He interned at the Bioenergy and Sustainability School with Anne Wilkie where he learned how to culture algae. Lopez said this is where he first go the spark for farming.
He moved back to Miami in 2014, pursuing a Master’s degree in aquaculture and worked as a graduate assistant to Daniel Benetti at the University of Miami. He gained experience in broodstock management and larval rearing of Cobia, Mahi-mahi, Florida Pompano, Goggle-eye, Nassau Grouper, Stone Crab, Yellowfin Tuna and Pacific Olive Flounder.
An internship at Open Blue Sea Farms brought him to Panama in 2015, where he got his first hands-on experience with commercial aquaculture. He worked on several hatchery projects for vaccination trials, anti parasitic feed coatings and protein level manipulations in feed.
A year later, he moved to Thailand to work as an assistant general manager at Aqquua, working with hybrid grouper.
In 2018, he joined Benchmark Genetics and found his way back to Miami, Florida. As commercial and operations manager, he is now in charge of overseeing the commercial operations at Benchmark Genetics USA (or Spring Genetics) breeding nucleus, also providing technical support to customers in the United States and globally. He was part of the design of the new state-of-the-art tilapia hatchery. Lopez is also the global tilapia representative for Benchmark’s animal welfare committee and a committee member that developed the new BAP (Best Aquaculture Practice) hatchery certification standard.
“I love the technical support aspect of my job,” said Lopez. “I am able to visit different farms and do my best to help troubleshoot problems and provide them with advice for improving production and animal welfare. I love being able to solve those puzzles and help farmers around the world. It makes me feel as though I am able to have a positive impact through sharing my knowledge with them.”
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