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Careers in Science

Brian O'Hanlon
Aquaculturist

How did you choose your present profession? What were your biggest motivators?
I grew up seeing the trends in the seafood industry, the shortage in supply, the lack of consistent quality, and in many cases, the disregard for the environment. I also grew up with a fascination of the sea and marine life. I put two and two together and set out to develop a form of aquaculture that can produce high-quality, sustainable seafood while maintaining the health of the ocean environment.

Who were/are your greatest mentors/heroes?
Daniel D. Benetti at the University of Miami and my family.

Was there a pivotal event in your life that helped you decide on your career path?
Several events that happened within a 6 to 8 month period back in 1998, such as learning about and investigating developments of new hatchery and open ocean cage technology, meeting Benetti and other key individuals.

What would you recommend for students wanting to pursue a similar career?

Get some real hands-on experience at a fish farm somewhere around the world.

What do you like best about your profession?
Working miles out, in and under the sea. Being around marine life. Seeing people enjoy our products.

What would you say has been your greatest achievement?
Developing a project that many thought was impossible, but there are much bigger challenges and achievements to be had in the years to come.

Are you optimistic for the future of the planet and if so why?
Cautiously optimistic. We should have a better idea in the coming decades, as we gauge how society reacts to the changes the planet is experiencing and the pressures we exert on it.

What are your greatest fears for the future of the planet?
That humans ruin it.

What’s the one message you would like the next generation of scientists to hear?
Find something that fascinates you and go for it, even if everyone tells you that you can’t do it.

Visit O'Hanlon's bio page »


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