Introducing Jen: Ornatas welcomes leading aquaculture scientist Jennifer Blair to the team.

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Following an already exciting start to 2021, the Ornatas team would like to extend a warm welcome to Jennifer Blair (Formerly Cobcroft) who has recently joined Ornatas as our Research and Development Manager. Jen’s role sees her managing special projects and guiding Ornatas’ strategic research and partnership needs, with her core focus being overseeing and managing the establishment of Ornatas’ grow out operations, which has become a top priority for the business moving forward.

Despite having grown up hundreds of kilometres inland, Jen has always been drawn to the ocean and fishing, where even as a child she was trying to find ways to grow marine fish in her backyard! Following her passions at school, and with a hands-on and boots-on approach to aquaculture, Jen’s love for this activity has led her to work on Aquaculture projects all around the world.

Jen brings an impressive 25 years’ experience in the aquaculture industry to her new role.  Her previous work has focused on marine hatcheries, broodstock management, larval biology and culture, nutrition, management of animal health and juvenile quality, systems design, research strategy development and project management. Jen has a Bachelor of Science (BSc) from the University of New England, a Batchelor of Applied Science (Hons), and a PhD focusing on Hatchery techniques and aquaculture research, from the University of Tasmania. This experience has seen her work across a number of educational and commercial projects, including strategic planning for emerging aquaculture research opportunities in Australia, and across a wide array of aquaculture projects in Northern America, Africa, and South East Asia.

More recently, Jen has worked in Australia’s two leading aquaculture universities, as a research fellow at the University of Tasmania and Associate Professor and principal research fellow of aquaculture at James Cook University, and is also the incoming president elect of the World Aquaculture Society (WAS).

With a strong vision for the future of the aquaculture industry, and shared goal with our team at Ornatas to build a future of sustainable aquaculture development, Jen brings the perfect mix of vision, expertise, leadership and innovation to the Ornatas team. Jen has a knack for problem solving and learning new things, and is committed to solving industry problems through research, collaboration and sharing of research and novel technologies.

Jen is excited about the contribution she can make at Ornatas and the further development of a world-first for the aquaculture industry.  Having already worked with Ornatas partner IMAS, in the same building as the Tropical Rock Lobster program, Jen recalls having the opportunity to host school groups and showing students some Rock Lobster phyllosoma (larvae) whilst sharing that this was the kind of research “you won’t see anywhere else in the world”.

“It’s a privilege to work for the company that has commercialised world leading science and technology for spiny lobster breeding developed by IMAS”

Continuing this work alongside colleague, friend and Ornatas hatchery manager Anna Overweter, Jen is excited and eager to support Ornatas to create a new Australian aquaculture industry, bringing opportunities and new jobs to Northern Australia.

Research and Development Manager, Jennifer Blair working with Ornatas Tropical Rock Lobsters

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