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Top 10 Under 40: Eric Ignatz

Embrace the challenge

October 26, 2023  By Seyitan Moritiwon

(Photo: Eric Ignatz)

After Eric Ignatz took a field trip out to the Alma Aquaculture Research Centre, now known as the Ontario Aquaculture Research Centre, as a student at the University of Guelph, Canada, he found his calling.

He is a current PhD candidate at Memorial University where he’s researching mitigation strategies that will minimize the impacts of climate change on the production of important aquaculture species.

“Having worked in both the industry and academia, what I can say I love about both aspects is that you are never going to get bored,” the 30-year-old said.

Matthew Rise and Kurt Gamperl, Ignatz’s co-supervisors nominated him, and they said, “Through his work, he hopes to help the sector identify and mitigate the challenges that rising sea surface temperatures and other environmental stressors bring to the production of aquatic species. He believes in the industry taking proactive measures to ensure animal welfare and minimize environmental impacts.”


(Photo: Eric Ignatz)

Ignatz recently started working as a postdoctoral researcher in collaboration with Atlantic Aqua Farms and Dalhousie University, where he’s studying the ecophysiology and genomics of farmed triploid mussels and working in a team to develop production strategies for them. So far , he’s been fascinated by how different shellfish hatcheries are from salmonid ones.

He said the amount of scientific literature on how to rear mussels in hatcheries is a small fraction of what is available to salmon producers, but he wants to help solve this challenge over the next few years by filling in some of the knowledge gaps.

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