The fifth annual Atlantic and Gulf Seafood Technology Conference (AGSTC) was held at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine Atmospheric and Earth Science. The event included a student competition in which young researchers showcase work that aims to maintain the exchange of technical and scientific information on wild-caught fisheries and aquaculture in the region. The Seafood Industry Research Fund sponsored the student paper awards.
“The SIRF sponsorship of the student awards at the AGSTC is a fantastic opportunity to support talented graduate students doing seafood related research”, says NFI Director of Scientific Affairs, Margaret Malkowski. “Supporting the next generation is very important to the SIRF Board of Directors and sponsoring the student awards is a wonderful way to encourage them to seek out seafood industry related careers upon graduation.”
SIRF awards first, second, and third place prizes to three outstanding researchers. This year’s winners were Sara Schoen (1st), Sharon Chuah (2nd), and Rose Omidvar (3rd).
Rose Omidvar is a first-year Ph.D. Student conducting research under the supervision of Dr. Razieh Farzad on cell-based seafood production at the University of Florida. After being awarded 3rd place at AGSTC, she tells SIRF about the importance of her research.
“An important aspect of cellular agriculture is the impact it would have on the environment. Conducting life cycle analysis would provide insight into these impacts and it can help improve product development, scaling up the processes as well as helping regulatory agencies with their policy-making decisions”, says Omidvar. “Since we are at the very beginning steps of cell-based seafood production, I conducted an LCA analysis to compare the impact of cell-based salmon production with recirculating aquaculture salmon production”. Omidvar and peers said the conference gave them a chance to connect with peers with similar scientific interests.
Omidvar continued, “Attending this conference helped me build connections with peers who work in the same field, receive the latest updates from FDA representatives on the seafood HACCP and safety, and gain insight into the recent seafood industry advancements”, she says. “I would like to thank my Advisor for the encouragement and funding this trip, and SIRF for providing awards for students.”