MASNA Scientific Poster Session at MACNA

Sponsored by WAMAS, and EcoTech Marine



Presenting the 5th Annual MASNA Scientific Poster Session at MACNA 2022, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The MASNA Scientific Poster Session allows for advanced aquarists, undergraduates, graduate students, and scientists to submit scientific posters on their current or past marine aquarium related research projects. This includes submissions from hobbyists that would be seen as advanced aquarists.

Poster presenters will be asked to attend to their posters for one of two 1.5 hours periods over Friday and Saturday at MACNA, which would give an opportunity for MACNA attendees to get up close and personal with scientists and fellow hobbyists, and discuss aquarium related science.

Posters will be on display from 9am-6pm on Friday, September 9th, and Saturday, September 10th. Presenting authors shall be present, next to their poster, for the 1.5 hours on the day their poster is on display in order to share and engage on the findings showcased with the public.

Posters will be judged by a committee consisting of hobbyists and scientists. Certificates will be presented for the top scoring posters in each of the following categories: hobbyists, young adults, undergraduate students, and graduate students at the MACNA Banquet.

Poster abstract submission will be open from May 1 – July 15, 2022. We have chosen to keep abstract submissions open to allow for late submissions. Submissions after July 15th will be evaluated on an as time allows process. Note, late submission summaries are not be published in the MACNA Program, but will still be asked to participate as noted below.

Accepted posters will need to have at least one author in attendance at MACNA 2022, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from September 9 – 11th. Authors cannot represent multiple posters simultaneously; while authors may support multiple entries consideration must be made to the attendance requirement outlined above. Selected poster authors are eligible for a free weekend pass to MACNA 2022, which grants access to the showroom floor, a range of aquarium-related speakers, educational opportunities, and interactive workshops.

More information about MACNA 2022 and passes can be found here:


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).


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The Marine Aquarium Conference of North America (MACNA) is the oldest marine aquarium conference in North America.

MACNA is managed by the Marine Aquarium Societies of North America (MASNA), supporting the goals and programs of the MASNA charter.

MACNA is a combination of several events. It is an educational symposium where people can attend lectures from industry leaders, conservationists, authors, and scientists. It is also a trade show where hobbyists can buy the hottest new corals and see new cutting edge equipment. Attendees can also give their feedback to manufacturers so they can continue to bring us the innovations we are looking for. And lastly it is a social event. Many speakers, vendors, and hobbyists come to socialize with each other. It gives people an opportunity to put faces with names they might see on a message board or email.


Poster Application Submission Requirements

  • Your abstract must contain the specific goals of the study, the methods used, a summary of the results, and a conclusion. Do not submit an abstract for planned work. The abstract must entail data analyses and results.It is not satisfactory to say, “The results will be discussed.”
  • The abstract title should clearly define the work discussed.
  • You will be asked to choose an appropriate topic for your abstract, which will be used for session planning.
  • The abstract may contain up to two paragraphs, and cannot contain more than 500 words. The 500 word limit does not include the title, author or affiliation information.
  • Please do not enter the abstract title, author names, or affiliations in all uppercase or all lowercase letters. Fixing these creates extra work during the publishing process. Sentence capitalization should be used for entering your abstract title.
  • Limit your use of acronyms and initialisms. Please spell out the entire name on the first use, and put the acronym or initialism in brackets.
  • All abstracts will be reviewed by the poster session committee. Abstracts will be reviewed within 3-4 weeks after the submission deadline.
  • For your application, please prepare the personal information of all authors, your abstract, title, keywords, abstract topic, objectives, significance, study population, methodology, results, and conclusion.

Items you will need ready for your application

  • Presenter’s information (Name, Address, Phone Number, Email)
  • Poster Information
    • Final poster title
    • Abstract
    • Keywords and Abstract Topic (listed below)
    • Objectives of the study
    • Details of the population being studied
    • Methods
    • Results
    • Conclusion
  • Co-Author Information
  • Digital Signature

Poster Design Suggestions and Recommendations

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    • Most posters are created in software like Microsoft Powerpoint or Adobe Illustrator. We have provided a Powerpoint Template (HERE) as a starting guide to help you create your poster. This is not a “plug & play” template where you just paste your text and images into it. It is merely a starting point; use your creative freedom to make an effective and visually appealing poster. There are plenty of resources both online and offline for helping you design your poster. A simple internet search will yield plenty of viable guides. Below, we provide guidelines for what is required (and suggested) for your MASNA Poster.
    • Posters shall be 4 feet wide × 3 feet high and will be posted on a free-standing bulletin board. Remember that when you make the poster in the digital software, make sure the dimensions of the document 4’ × 3’ (48” × 36”). Do not make the mistake of making it small (e.g. letter size) and printing it large. Chances are, it will become very pixelated if you do.
    • Poster presentations should incorporate illustrative materials such as tables, graphs, photographs, and large-print text. The materials should be clearly readable from a distance of three feet (primary text font must be 20 points or larger, and headings font must be at least 30 points).
      • MASNA Recommends
        • Title: 60 pts or higher (if you have room go up to 85 pt)
        • Author(s) & Institution(s): 48 pt
        • Headers: 60 pt
        • Body Text: 28 pt
        • Figure & table captions: 18 pt
        • References: 16 pt
      • Suggested segments are
        • Title
        • Authors and their Affiliated Institution(s)
        • Introduction
        • Methodology
        • Results/Conclusions
        • Acknowledgments
        • Funding Attributions (If applicable)
        • References
    • Posters are assigned a session number and bulletin board number and are organized by keyword when possible. No audio visual equipment can be used.
    • First-time submitters are encouraged to seek feedback from professors or other mentors who are able to provide guidance regarding their poster.
  • Aesthetics: Color choice and contrast are very important parts of poster design. There are websites out there that can help you pick a color scheme from a starting color that you like (Example color schemer) or from an image that you intend to use. This guide from NYU is also a good and thorough reference. If your text color is too light, it will be hard to read on a white or light background. The same is true for dark texts and dark backgrounds. Whatever palette you choose, make sure that your text and background color have enough contrast (here).

Example Scientific Poster (Click to open)

Example Poster for MASNA Scientific Poster Session

  • Here is the information to the closest FedEx to the MACNA 2024 location
    • FedEx Office Print & Ship Center


Poster Judging Criteria

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Poster submissions and authors will be judged using first a scoring technique, and then a peer review to select the winners for each category. Entries will be judged on the following dimensions:

  • Composition
    • Whether or not the introduction clearly orients the reader to the specific goals of the project, and if there is sound justification for the project.
    • Whether or not goals, methods, results, and discussion are scientifically sound.
  • Achievement
    • Were the intended goals and objectives met?
    • Is the information presented accurate?
  • Presentation
    • The readability, layout, flow, and general aesthetics of the poster.
    • The balance of text, figures, and negative space.
    • Their ability to effectively explain their research to the MACNA attendees.


Looking for ideas? Here are some potential topics for posters

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Potential Abstract Topics:

  • Marine Ornamental Vertebrate Breeding
    • Pomacentridae Breeding
    • Acanthuridae Breeding
    • Pomacanthidae Breeding
  • Marine Ornamental Invertebrate Sexual Reproduction
    • SECORE
  • Marine Ornamental Invertebrate Asexual Reproduction
  • Ocean Acidification
  • Climate Change
  • Invasive Species Mitigation
    • Lionfish in the Atlantic / Caribbean
    • Invasive Macro Algae Mitigation
    • Invasive Sun Coral (Tubastraea) Mitigation
  • Zoonotic Diseases
  • Palytoxins
  • Cyanide Detection
  • Banggai Cardinalfish
  • Biosecurity
  • Micro Algae
  • Marine Aquarium Fisheries / Trade
    • Reviews of Secondary Data to Establish Benchmarks for Trade Volume, or Species Identification
    • Impacts of Trade on Industry, and/or Biosecurity Management in Trade
    • Impacts of Trade on the US Economy
    • CITIES
  • Species Hybridization
    • Taxonomic Clarification
  • Low Nutrient Systems
    • Or the reasons for some (or specific) nutrients in systems
  • Marine Aquarium Technology / Hardware Innovations
  • Nitrogen Cycle
  • Trace Nutrient Importance
  • Marine Aquarium Chemistry
  • Marine Aquarium Equipment
    • The Science Behind LED Lighting Technologies
    • Uses of Equipment to Support Spawning Behavior in Fish or Coral
  • Microbiomes
    • Sea-Water Testing Techniques
    • Bacterial Pathogens
  • Bio-Media and Filtration Techniques


MACNA 2017 Poster Session Presented Poster Topics and Authors

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P002: Comparative Analysis of U.S. Aquaculture Management to the FAO Certification Guidelines: An Assessment Tool. Walsh, Michelle “Mick” L; Jones, Robert C
P003: Specialization in Salt- water Aquarium Keeping: An Exploration of Science and Conservation Behaviors in a “Science and Leisure” Hobby. Marchio, Elizabeth A
P004: Captive Culture and Larval Development of the Melanurus Wrasse Halichoeres melanurus. Groover, Elizabeth M; DiMaggio, Matthew A; Alo, Micah M; Digidio, Jon L
P005: The Spawning and Rearing of Elactinus ocean- ops in a Low-Density System on a Small Budget. Cannella, Laura; Rice, Patrick; Walsh, Michelle “Mick” L; Knorr, Travis
P006: Breeding the Frostbite. Hirt, Kyle
P007: Establishing a Length-Weight Relationship for Post-Metamorphosis Juvenile Ocellaris Clownfish, Amphiprion ocellaris. Knorr, Travis G; Walsh, Michelle “Mick” L; Rice, Patrick H
P008: How Florida Keys Community College Changed My Life. Soucy, Breanna N
P009: A comparison of the effect of different frag sizes on the growth of Montipora capricornis using micro- fragmentation. Lynch, Sam W; Lynch, Katherine M
P010: An Evaluation of The “Other” Lionfish in the Marine Ornamental Trade. Lyons, Timothy J; Hill, Jeffrey E; Tuckett, Quenton M


MACNA 2016 Poster Session Presented Poster Topics and Authors

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These posters presented at MACNA 2016 are available for download.

P004: The Fast-Growth Protocol: Accelerating Coral Growth for Reef Restoration in the Hawaiian Archipelago. Download here.
P005: A new method for testing Praziquantel in seawater. Download here.
P006: Marine Ornamental Aquaculture in the Northeast US: The state of the Industry. Download here.
P007: Aquaculturing the next generation marine aquarists. Download here.
P008: Recent Marine Ornamental Finfish Aquaculture Efforts in Hawaii. Download here.
P009: Mapping the population diversity of the lined seahorse, Hippocampus erectus through citizen science. Download here.
P012: The effects of tank type on the spawning behavior of the cleaner wrasse Labroides dimidiatus. Download here.
P014: ON DRUGS: The Sedative Effects of Clove Oil on Post-metamorphose Juvenile Clownfish Amphiprion ocellaris. Download here.
P015: The Aquarium Hobby: Science as Leisure. Download here.


The abstract submission period is open through July 15th!


The MASNA Scientific Poster Session for MACNA 2022 is made possible by our generous sponsors WAMAS, and EcoTech Marine.

MACNA 2019

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MACNA 2018:

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MACNA 2017:

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MACNA 2016:

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