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NC State Extension

Meet Our Aquaculture Team

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Area Extension Agents

Mike Frinsko
Mike Frinsko
Area Specialized Agent,                Agriculture – Aquaculture
(252) 448-9621(Office) 

252.531.0556 (Cell)

Marine Aquaculture Research Center (MARC)

Mr. Frinsko provides technical training and assistance to commercial aquaculture producers in the Southeast Extension District. Mike works with numerous warmwater species, focusing on Striped Bass and Hybrid Striped Bass production, larviculture, fish nutrition, larval feed manufacture and Artemia replacement microdiets.

Mike also serves these 17 counties: Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Duplin, Greene, Johnston, Lenoir, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Robeson, Sampson, Wayne, Wilson Counties

Steve Gabel

Steve Gabel
Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture – Aquaculture
(252) 482-6585 (Office)
Chowan County Center

Mr. Gabel’s responsibilities include providing technical training and assistance to commercial aquaculture producers in the Northeast Extension District as well as other aquaculture education programs. Steve works with numerous warmwater species, focusing on channel catfish and crayfish production, soil and water quality management, and pond construction.

Steve also serves these 21 counties: Beaufort, Bertie, Camden, Currituck, Dare, Edgecombe, Franklin, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, Hyde, Martin, Nash, Northampton, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Pitt, Tyrrell, Wake, Warren, Washington Counties

George Selden
Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture – Aquaculture 456-3575 (Office)
870-540-7805 (Cell)
Haywood County Center

Mr. Selden is primarily responsible for planning, developing, executing, evaluating and reporting the impacts of high-quality research-based extension programs in the field of aquaculture, over a designated multi-county area in western North Carolina. Works collaboratively with county agents and Extension/research faculty from NC State University, NC A&T State, as well as industry clients, county leaders, and other partners. Focus is on trout culture, carp fishing ponds, and issues related to private ponds.George also serves these 16 counties: Burke, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Yancey Counties

Research/Extension Specialists

Tal Ben-Horin            Assistant Professor Department of Clinical Sciences                  CMAST-303 College Circle Morehead City, NC 28557
P: 252.222.6312

Dr. Ben-Horin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences at the College of Veterinary Medicine. He directs the Shellfish Pathology Program at CMAST which conducts applied research on pathology and disease impacts to fish and shellfish aquaculture.

Alex Chouljenko           Assistant Professor and Director NCSU Seafood Laboratory                    CMAST- 303 College Circle
Morehead City, NC 28557 Phone: 252-222-6304

Dr. Chouljenko is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing & Nutrition Sciences. He is Director of NC State’s Seafood Laboratory at the Center for Marine Sciences and Technology (CMAST) in Morehead City. His group focuses on extension and research activities that generally include post-harvest fish and shellfish safety and quality during handling, processing, and storage, as well as value addition to seafood byproducts
Dr. Steven Hall
Steve Hall
Associate Professor and Director,
Marine Aquaculture Research Center
(919) 515-2694 (Office)
Biological & Agricultural Engineering
Dr. Hall is a research and teaching Associate Professor of aquacultural, resource and water engineering; and coastal bioengineering. As  Director of the NC Marine Aquaculture Research Center (MARC), he maintains a focus on numerous diverse topics ranging from recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) and oyster aquaculture to automated larval fish-feeding technology and macro-algae production.

Craig Harms
Professor, Department of Clinical Services -CMAST
(252)222-6339 (Office)
College of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Harms directs the Marine Health Program at CMAST, and conducts clinically applied research on health and diseases of aquatic and nondomestic species in the course of delivering veterinary services and support at area research aquaculture facilities, Morehead City/Beaufort area marine laboratories (the “coastal research triangle”), the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, marine mammal and sea turtle stranding networks, and back-up veterinary support for the NC Aquariums.
Ben Reading
Ben Reading
Assistant Professor
David Clark Labs 236
919.515.3830 (Office)
Dr. Reading is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Ecology. The focus of his work is on numerous areas related to Striped Bass breeding and reproduction with an emphasis in understanding the fundamentals of oogenesis and egg quality in fishes. As Director of National Program for Genetic Improvement and Selective Breeding. Dr. Readings’s research has resulted in producing superior strains of Striped Bass that will enable commercial aquaculture producers to raise fish in less time and with greater feed efficiency. Dr. Reading also serves at the Aquaculture Co-Coordinator of the USDA National Animal Genome Program.
Michael Joseph
Michael Joseph
Scott Hall 234E
919.515.2493 (Office)
Dr. Michael Joseph is an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in the Prestage Department of Poultry Science. His work covers many areas related to animal feed technology. A principle focus involves developing enhanced aquaculture feeds including specialized larval microdiets and extruded growout diets formulated with innovative extrusion technologies and novel ingredients.

Affiliated Staff

Greg Bolton                      Laboratory Research Specialist                 CMAST                               303 College Circle
Morehead City, NC 28557 Phone: 252-222-6336

Mr. Bolton is a Seafood Research Specialist in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing & Nutrition Sciences. He assists in extension and research activities conducted by the Seafood Laboratory at CMAST. Greg develops science-based seafood safety programming and conducts workshops in Seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP). Other work includes heat penetration and shelf life studies for the seafood industry.
Harry Daniels
Harry Daniels
Senior Associate Dean
CALS Office of the Dean
Patterson Hall
As Warmwater Aquaculture Specialist, Dr. Daniels has led numerous aquaculture activities throughout his career. Hybrid Striped Bass, Southern Flounder and Channel Catfish, have been focal areas of his research as well as providing much assistance on topics related to water quality management. Now serving in an administrative capacity through the Office of the Dean, Dr. Daniels remains engaged when possible to support activities within the aquaculture team.
Ryan KellyRyan P. Kelly
Extension Associate
Marine Aquaculture Research Center
Biological & Agricultural Engineering
Mr. Kelly is the Marine Aquaculture Research Center (MARC) facility manager where he assists with the sites ongoing RAS mariculture projects. Ryan also assists in numerous Extension activities related to coastal fish and shellfish projects.
John DavisJohn Davis
Research Operations Manager: Grinnells Aquatic Facility
Grinnells Lab 1212
Mr. Davis is the Grinnells aquaculture laboratory facility manager. His work includes organizing and maintaining the many aquaculture related research projects at the site on campus.