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Blaylock named Director of USM’s Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center

Tue, 11/21/2023 - 09:06am | By: Gabriela Shinskie

Dr. Reginald BlaylockThe University of Southern Mississippi (USM) has named Dr. Reginald Blaylock the new Director of the Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center (TCMAC) located at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL) Cedar Point site in Ocean Springs, Miss.

“It’s an honor to be entrusted with continuing the work of our previous directors,” said Blaylock. “I look forward to working with TCMAC staff and all of Coastal USM to advance the science of marine aquaculture and integrate it into the Blue Economy to expand sustainable economic development in Mississippi.”

Dr. Blaylock started his career at USM in 1996 as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Parasitology. He has earned degrees in Biology from Wake Forest University in 1986, the University of Texas at El Paso in 1989 and the University of Alberta in 1996.

His research focuses on the ecology of marine pathogens. Blaylock works as a research professor at USM. His contributions to the aquaculture program began in 2004, but expanded as he played a major role in rebuilding the aquaculture program after Hurricane Katrina. Between 2005 and 2010, he helped develop the vision for the newly established TCMAC through his assistance in the design of the new aquaculture buildings and their life support systems at the Cedar Point site.

Dr. Blaylock was appointed Assistant Director of TCMAC in 2007 and later became Interim Director in 2022.

“The Center is capable of culturing a variety of finfish, crustaceans, mollusks, and algae,” said Blaylock, “TCMAC programs focus on a variety of aspects of marine aquaculture including recirculating system design, aquatic health, genetics, reproductive physiology, live feeds, and development and permitting of nearshore and offshore aquaculture with the goal of expanding domestic seafood production.”

Throughout his career, Dr. Blaylock and his colleagues have generated approximately $30 million in aquaculture and fisheries grants resulting in various publications, presentations, and degrees. Learn more about USM’s Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center.