Student Scholarship Program

MASNA Student Scholarships
 The 2017 – 2018 MASNA Student Scholarship Program is made possible by our generous sponsors
Doctors Foster and Smith, EcoTech Marine, and Two Little Fishies.



Meet the 2017 – 2018 MASNA Student Scholarship Recipients!
Mathias Wagner, Senior at Ohio State University in Evolution and Ecology with a minor in Spanish.

The 2017 – 2018 MASNA Undergraduate Student Scholarship recipient is Mathias D. Wagner. Mathias is full-time senior at the Ohio State University and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science with Honors in Evolution and Ecology with a minor in Spanish. At home Mathias keeps a 30-gallon reef tank containing a pair of A. ocellaris anemonefish and a scarlet cleaner shrimp along with LPS and soft corals. He is also interning Columbus Zoo and Aquarium working at the Discovery Reef, which features an 85,000 gallon indo-pacific aquarium as well as a 5,000 gallon live coral system.

The focus of his internship at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is the advancement of captive breeding of aquarium fishes for both the public aquarium and hobbyist markets.At the university, Mathias volunteers in Dr. Andrea Grottoli laboratory, where they are investigating Hawaiian coral’s adaptability to levels of increased water temperature and acidity that are predicted to exist within 100 years. Mathias does this by measuring changes in coral photosynthesis and cellular respiration in Porites compressa and Montipora capitata specimens throughout experiments that induce bleaching and recovery. In the future, Mathias hopes to be able to continue contributing to captive breeding efforts either through a career within the field, or pursuing new research in graduate school.


Benjamin Titus, PhD Candidate at the Ohio State University for a PhD in Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology

The 2017 – 2018 MASNA Graduate Student Scholarship recipient is Benjamin M. Titus, who is attending the Ohio State University for a PhD in Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology. His dissertation is the “Comparative phylogeography in a multi-level sea anemone symbiosis: effects of host specificity on patterns of co-diversification and genetic biodiversity.” Towards his dissertation goals, Ben is collaborating with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to study and understand patterns of gene flow and genetic diversity along the Florida Reef Tract and Greater Caribbean for ornamental sea anemone and crustacean species. Focal taxa include: Giant Caribbean anemone (Condylactis gigantea), corkscrew anemone (Bartholomea annulata), beaded/flower anemone (Phymanthus crucifer), sun carpet anemone (Stichodactyla helianthus), yellowline arrow crab (Stenorhynchus seticornis), Pederson’s cleaner shrimp (Ancylomenes pedersoni), spotted cleaner shrimp (Periclimenes yucatanicus), and the Florida corallimorph (Ricordea florida). In addition, Ben is using DNA sequencing and molecular species delimitation techniques to determine whether the globally distributed sexy shrimp, Thor amboinensis, is a single circumtropical species or whether it is a cryptic species complex (i.e., multiple species). Ben has an extensive list of academic accomplishment including various funding awards, publications, and undergraduate mentoring. Ben’s ultimate career goal is to pursue an academic career as a university professor and establish a research program that focuses on the ecology and evolution of coral reef organisms harvested in the aquarium trade. Specifically, he’s interested in non-coral invertebrates for which there is very little molecular data.

MASNA, the MASNA Student Scholarship Committee, Doctors Foster and Smith, EcoTech Marine, and Two Little Fishies would like to congratulate Mathias and Ben on their awards. We are proud to name Mathias Wagner and Benjamin Titus the 2017 – 2018 MASNA Student Scholarship recipients, and wish them all the best in their future endeavors.


Latest Updates
July 30, 2017: We have Recipients! Come to MACNA 2017 in New Orleans to meet them!
July 29, 2017: The round 3 applications are now being reviewed.
June 17: The 2017 – 2018 MASNA Student Scholarship Application period is now closed. Applicants will receive a confirmation email within the next 3 weeks with the status of their application. Please keep an eye on this section of the webpage for future updates.
June 13: Applications are due Friday. Transcripts must be postmarked by June 16th, or arrive electronically by June 16th to be considered.
April 19: Applications are open!
April 17: The 2017 – 2018 MASNA Student Scholarships will launch on April 19th.
March 28: The 2017 – 2018 MASNA Student Scholarships will be announced in early April, 2017.



Application Details & Eligibility Requirements

We are proud to announce the 2017 – 2018 MASNA Student Scholarships. This year there are two scholarships available; one $4,000 scholarship for a college undergraduate student and one $4,000 scholarship for a college graduate student

To be eligible for a $4,000 MASNA Student Scholarship, an applicant must be a current/entering undergraduate or graduate student at an accredited college or university.

The student must have declared a major/focus or have intent to declare a major/focus in one of the marine science disciplines.

Selection will be based upon the student’s academic history and the student’s contributions and demonstrated commitment to the marine aquarium hobby.

Successful MASNA Student Scholarship recipients must be able to travel to MACNA 2017 in order to receive the scholarship. Funding is available to assist each of the chosen applicants in attending MACNA.

North American students, no matter where they are studying in the world, as well as students from abroad, who are studying in North America, are eligible, as long as they attend/plan to attend an accredited college or university. MASNA recognizes these locations as being in North America.

The MASNA Student Scholarships are in U.S. Dollars.

Our ideal scholarship candidate:

1: Is seeking a degree in a marine science field.

2: Is active in the marine aquarium hobby.

3: Will be a full-time undergraduate or graduate student in 2017 – 2018.

4: Has a GPA above 2.5 / 4.0.

The 2017 – 2018 MASNA Student Scholarships will be publicly awarded to the recipients at the 29th annual Marine Aquarium Conference of North America (MACNA) in New Orleans, Louisiana on August 25 – 27, 2017.

More information about MACNA can be found at

Funding is available to assist each of the chosen applicants in attending MACNA.

If you have questions, please read the FAQ below. If your questions are not answered, please email Scholarship@MASNA.orgPlease have the applicant send the correspondence, not a representative or relative.

The deadline for submission is June 16, 2017.


About MASNA:

MASNA is a non-profit organization composed of marine aquarium societies and individual hobbyists from North America and abroad, totaling several thousand individuals.

MASNA’s goals are to:

Educate our members with online and published material, the MACNA conference, and other sanctioned events
Assist in forming and promoting the growth of clubs within the hobby while ensuring a sustainable future for the marine environment
Support the efforts to eliminate abuses in collecting and transporting marine organisms through education, assistance and encouragement
Encourage the ethical growth of the marine aquarium hobby and support captive breeding/propagation efforts

MASNA operates from a central Board of Directors elected each year by the delegates from the member societies at the Marine Aquarium Conference of North America, (MACNA).

Press Coverage of the MASNA Student Scholarships

Frequently Asked Questions

Previous MASNA Student Scholarship Recipient Bios:

E-mail and Resume Tips:
Online Application Tips:
Hear more from MASNA and MACNA:

Media Outlets:

Please link to this page in your articles so that potential applicants can read the provided information.

Application Period Closed.


Photos from MACNA 2016