Presentation Title: Linking Citizen Science to Ocean Conservation: Past Successes and Future Opportunities in Aquariums and Aquaculture
Name and Affiliation: Lad Akins, Director of Special Projects, REEF
Location: Key Largo, Florida, USA
Accomplishments/Awards: NOAA Environmental Hero, Oris Sea Hero, Scuba Diving Hero of Diving, Scuba Diving Hall of Fame, Chevron Conservation Award, Aquarius Aquanaut, Deepworker Submersible pilot, US Marine Protected Area Delegate to South Africa
Work Focus: Helped found the Reef Environmental Education Foundation one of the world’s leading marine focused citizen science organizations. Currently leading efforts to address exotic/invasive species including invasive lionfish, developing new programs to address Caribbean fish species at risk, partnering with Cuban researchers to describe new species and build capacity, and collaborating on diadema sea urchin restoration efforts.
Publications: Over 30 different publications cited more than 1,000 times. Topics include describing new species of gobies to addressing the lionfish invasion including co-authoring The Lionfish Cookbook, named 2017 Best in the World for Sustainable Food cookbook.