Over thirty expert scientists and support staff make up the Cawthron Aquaculture Group. Their goal is to increase the value of New Zealand’s aquaculture sector through research and innovation.
Having led projects focused on hatchery technologies such as cryopreservation and shellfish developmental biology, Dr Adams is the ideal scientist to lead the team into a new phase of growth.
“I came on board with Cawthron 19 years ago as a fresh faced PhD student and since then I’ve been fortunate to work on a number of interesting projects. In this position, I’m able to take the capability we’ve developed across our programmes and apply it to new research and development,” said Dr Adams.
The Group has greatly increased its capacity over the past six years with the development of a shared purpose-built aquaculture research, education, and commercial development facility. Cawthron’s Aquaculture Park is the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and this capability is important in realising the Aquaculture Group’s bold ambitions.
Looking forward, Dr Adams is strongly backing aquaculture advancement, “New Zealand aquaculture produce is in demand. Already, we see fine dining restaurants in all corners of the world serving our finfish and shellfish products; that will only increase as more people get a taste for New Zealand’s premium seafood”.
“It’s exciting to think how exports might grow when the smart technologies we’re developing are applied. Industry will be able to maximise farm output and utilise recently granted open ocean space.
“For me success would be seeing the industry realise its potential through value-add, diversification, and the application of new technology.”
From Geoduck to Scampi to King Salmon, Cawthron’s Aquaculture Group are certainly achieving diversity in their research. There are various programmes underway ranging from breeding premium quality oysters, to improving the diets of king salmon, to researching the life cycle of scampi.
It’s a full circle for Dr Adams who at one time intended to become a Doctor of Medicine, “For a long time I thought I wanted to work in medicine. Then I met a New Zealand marine biologist while in Nova Scotia who was working on scallop re-enhancement to help re-seed the Grand Banks.
“I was inspired. I changed my focus to study Zoology and Marine Science, but I never fully gave up my interest in medicine.
“Now we’re working on how to extract medicinal benefits from algae and shellfish bioactives and it’s very exciting. The best of both science worlds.”
Dr Serean Adams was appointed Aquaculture Group Manager last month and is committed to the sustainable growth of New Zealand’s aquaculture sector.