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USM Names Interim Director of Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center

Thu, 05/05/2022 - 13:27pm | By: Margaret Ann Macloud

Dr. Reg BlaylockThe University of Southern Mississippi has named Dr. Reg Blaylock as Interim Director of the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory's Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center (TCMAC).

He is replacing Dr. Kelly Lucas, who now serves as Associate Vice President for Research for USM’s Coastal Operations.

“I am pleased to be given the opportunity to expand on the great work we’ve done over the years and position TCMAC to participate fully in the Blue Economy,” said Dr. Blaylock.

Blaylock is Research Professor in USM’s School of Ocean Science and Engineering’s Division of Coastal Sciences and specializes in fish diseases and aquaculture. Dr. Blaylock came to USM in 1996 and has been involved in the aquaculture program since 2004, where he has played a significant role in its development and expansion including building design, husbandry system development, and recovery from Hurricane Katrina.

TCMAC is a $25 million aquaculture facility that uses cutting-edge technology, peer-reviewed research, and hands-on testing to grow marine organisms in an environmentally responsible and economically feasible manner. The Center currently works with algae, oysters, and several species of marine finfish and is recognized for the work it has done on blue crab, red snapper, marine shrimp, spotted seatrout, and striped bass. TCMAC’s research focuses on alleviating the bottlenecks that constrain the production of marine species and involves collaborations with industry, government, and non-profit organizations to advance sustainable aquaculture on land and in coastal and marine environments.

“Dr. Blaylock is an expert in his field and has great ties in the aquaculture community,” said Dr. Lucas. “I am confident his decades of relationship building in the aquaculture and regulatory community will further elevate and enhance TCMAC and the University.”

Blaylock earned a Ph.D. from the University of Alberta, a Master of Science from the University of Texas at El Paso, and a Bachelor of Science from Wake Forest University.