Seems like the Denver MACNA was wrapping up just yesterday, but truth be told we are just a little over a week away from MACNA in Washington D.C. As usual, we like to share with you our personal top five picks for speakers to watch from the forthcoming MACNA. All of the speakers on the MACNA Schedule have great and compelling topics, but as fans of high level reefing and esoteric topics, these are the five MACNA speakers we are most excited to see next weekend.
Matt Wandell is an aquarist at the Steinhart Aquarium who likes to push the boundaries, in more ways than most hobby aquarist have the time or energy to do. Matt has one of the most successful Azoox reef tank of any public aquarium, with prolific growth of Tubastrea and related stony corals. Additional milestones in his career include breeding the littlest seahorse, keeping purple queen anthias for up to eight years, and his most recent efforts have been focused on designing and building a small and practical decompression chamber to safely bring up deepwater fish. (7 Questions with Matt)
Brian Greene is not an aquarist like you and me, but he enjoys the same kind of wild and exotic marine fish in his own way. A modern technical deep diver who is also classically trained in ichthyology makes Mr. Greene a very interesting choice of speaker for MACNA, and we can’t wait to hear about stories of his exploits we’ve touched upon in the past.
Luiz Rocha was last year’s MACNA Keynote presentation, and this year he’s back for more stories about rare fish and exotic locations that some of us have never even heard of before. Right now Dr. Rocha is in Ascension Island, home of many rare endemic reef fish, especially the one and only resplendent angelfish, and we can’t wait to hear what he’ll be talking about next weekend.
Sonia Rowley continues a theme of deep diving reef exploration and combines it with a special focus on gorgonians. Save for a few species, aquarists don’t keep nearly enough gorgonians in the home aquarium. We hope Dr. Rowley’s presentation on deepwater gorgs will fascinate and inspire a fresh new crop of reef keepers to try their hand at more and more diverse species of this unique group of octocorals.
Allan van Zijl aka Acro Al is the superstar clam breeder to follow up on last year’s Jamie Craggs and his aquarium coral spawning. Allan has managed to breed giant clams in cpativity, in a completely closed system far from the sea, and we can’t wait to hear more about how he did it. Hopefully Mr. Zijl will have lots of practical information on general care of giant clams, and offer viewers some insight into his breakthroughs and how more of us can have a hand at trying to replicate his success.