Networking Friday with Thierry Chopin (University of New Brunswick, Canada)

On July 16th, 2021, 1-2 PM UTC, Thierry Chopin, Professor of Marine Biology at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) in Saint John, Canada, and founder of Chopin Coastal Health Solutions Inc., marvelled us all with his insights on Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA): responsibly farming our waters by taking advantage of ecosystem services within a circular economy approach.

Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) combines the cultivation of species at two or more different trophic levels, based on their complementary ecosystem functions. Taking advantage of synergistic interactions between species, and of the ecosystem services they provide, the aim is to ecologically design and implement aquaculture systems and practices for increased environmental sustainability, economic diversification and societal acceptability, through enabling regulations and within a circular economy approach. The scope of the IMTA concept is extremely broad, flexible and evolving. It can be applied worldwide to open-water or land-based systems, marine or freshwater (e.g. aquaponics) environments, and temperate or tropical climates. To calculate IMTA’s full value, extractive species need to be valued not only for their biomass and food trading values, but also for the ecosystem services they provide (in particular through nutrient trading credits), along with the increase in consumer trust and societal/political license to operate that they give to the aquaculture industry.


Thierry Chopin

Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA): responsibly farming our waters by taking advantage of ecosystem services within a circular economy approach

Dr. Thierry Chopin was born and educated in France. He moved to Canada in 1989 and is Professor of Marine Biology at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John.
His research focuses on the ecophysiology, biochemistry and cultivation of seaweeds of commercial value and the development of responsible and efficient Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) systems for increased environmental sustainability, economic diversification and societal acceptability. From 2010 to 2017, he was Scientific Director of the Canadian Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture Network (CIMTAN), an interdisciplinary strategic network of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). He created his own company, Chopin Coastal Health Solutions Inc., in 2016. Dr. Chopin promotes a greener Blue Economy, the Turquoise Economy, in which ecosystem services, provided in particular by extractive aquaculture (seaweeds and invertebrates), are recognized, valued and used as financial and regulatory incentives, through nutrient trading credits, within a circular economy approach.

The publications of Dr. Chopin are available on ResearchGate.


Isabel Sousa Pinto

Prof Isabel Sousa Pinto has a PhD in Marine Biology (phycology) from the UCSB, USA. She is a Professor at the University of Porto and Head of the Aquatic Biodiversity and Conservation group at Interdisciplinary Centre for Marine and Environmental Research (CIIMAR). She is also member of its Board of Directors. Her main research has been on marine biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, and how is impacted by climate change, invasive species and other anthropogenic drivers. She has a particular focus on the seaweed flora as well as on algal ecophysiology, cultivation and promotion of its sustainable use and was member of the POGO working group “Planning the implementation of a global long-term observing and data sharing strategy for macroalgal communities”. She is also working on the science-policy – society interfaces and on promoting ocean literacy. She is serving in different European and International steering Committees as Euromarine, European Ocean Observation System (EOOS) and AtlantOS to develop the biodiversity component of the Ocean Observations and its integration with the other observation components and with the European Marine Board in to identify gaps in biological observations and produce recommendations to fill them. At global level she is the co-chair of MBON – Marine Biodiversity Observation Network from GEO BON.

She was part of the Portuguese delegation to the Convention on Biological Diversity (2006-2011) and has been since working with IPBES – the Intergovernamental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, was the Portuguese Representative in this platform until 2018, when was elected to its Multidisciplinary Expert Panel, a panel that supervises the scientific work of the Platform, becoming later also co-chair of its Knowledge and Data task force. Besides more than 180 scientific publications, she was a Coordinating Lead Author for the Regional Assessemnt of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Europe and Central Asia of IPBES.

We will continue with the Networking Fridays during the next months. More information about future sessions as well as presentations and videos from previous sessions can be found here. Twitter Hashtag: #netfridays. Expect some very exciting afternoons, or mornings or evenings, depending on where you are…

If you need any additional information please send an email to Jose Luiz Moutinho.

Seaweeds: the roles, applications and values seaweeds have in marine ecosystems, the economy and our society

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