Board of Directors: Bios

President & Chief Marine Scientist – Dr. Kevin Erickson:

Dr. Kevin Erickson is an experienced aquatic biologist with professional and educational experiences in multiple global settings. Personally he has kept many FOWLR tanks as well as reef tanks.  He has been a member of many marine aquarium clubs around North America and the world, and has been a MASNA board member since 2010.

Applicable Educational Experience
2017, Ph.D. Marine Ornamental Biosecurity, Central Queensland University
2011, M.S. Aquatic Pathobiology, University of Stirling
2008, Professional Certificate, Aquarium Science, Oregon Coast Community College
2007, B.S. Marine Biology, Florida Institute of Technology

Aquarium Societies (Past / Present)
TCMAS – Twin Cities Marine Aquarium Society,
BARS – Brevard Area Reef Society,
PNWMAS – Pacific Northwest Marine Aquarium Society,
MASQ – Marine Aquarium Society of Queensland,
MASRQ – Marine Aquarium Society of Regional Queensland,
AIAA – Board Member – Aquarium Industry Association of Australia.

Vice President – Tom Lisciandra

The love for anything ocean started for Tom as a child growing up along the coast of Long Island, New York. His love for the ocean only intensified while Tom was stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, snorkeling and diving on his free time. After leaving the Navy to live in Las Vegas, Tom built his first marine aquarium in 1991. Over the years, he has held several board positions for local clubs and Tom is currently the Vice President for the Marine Aquarium Societies of North America.

Aquarium Societies (Past / Present)
MASNA – Marine Aquarium Societies of North America (2015-2019) – Secretary General
LVVR – Las Vegas Valley Reefers (2001-2013 Defunct) – Past President
LVMAS – Las Vegas Marine Aquarium Society (2014-2018) – First and Past President
ROLV – Reefs of Las Vegas (2016-Present) – Member
LVVRK – Las Vegas Valley Reef Keepers (2017 – Present) – Co-founder


Secretary General – Hilary Jaffe:

Hilary is an aquarium professional as well as a long time aquarium hobbyist who has kept both freshwater and saltwater tanks. She also works as educator and content creator for the Walter Munk Foundation for the Oceans and for WaterLogged, sharing educational content in hopes of inspiring others to learn about and protect the oceans.

Hilary is passionate about ocean conservation and hopes to bring more awareness to conservation and sustainability to our community.

IMG_0539 Treasurer – Christine Shelton (Formerly Christine Rowe):

Christine’s love of the reef began in 2000 on a snorkeling expedition to Key West, Florida.  Today, she has a 180 gallon and a 120 gallon mixed reef while her son maintains his own 29 gallon nanotank.

Meanwhile, Christine recently celebrated her 22nd year as the Office Manager of a small specialty accounting firm in the beautiful foothills of Central Virginia giving her the chance to pass on her accounting knowledge to the Board of Directors as Treasurer of MASNA.

Director of Membership – Marie Agravante

Mariecor Agravante is a Daughter, a Wife, and a Mom in a family that has cultivated a love for our oceans and bodies of water (fresh and brackish). She first became an aquarist in 10th grade, when her high school marine science teacher took the entire class on a field trip to a local fish store so that each student would purchase their own individual pet fish. Besides her professional work as a writer, editor, designer (art + photography), and online educator, Mariecor likewise has experience serving on the Boards of several nonprofit organizations, some of which are focused on the fishkeeping hobby.

Applicable Educational Experience
Currently, PhD student, Leadership Studies, University of the Cumberlands (Williamsburg, KY)
M.S. Organizational Leadership, National University (La Jolla, CA)
B.S. Biology, Gonzaga University (Spokane, WA)

Aquarium Societies (Past / Present)
(1) SDTFS – San Diego Tropical Fish Society, (2) SDMA – San Diego Marine Aquarists club, (3) GSDBC – Greater San Diego Betta Chapter (GSDBC), (4) SDGA – San Diego Guppy Association, (5) SDKG – San Diego Killifish Group, (6) SCWGS – Southern California Water Garden Society, (7) SDLA – San Diego Livebearers Association, (8) IBC – International Betta Congress, (9) IFGA – International Fancy Guppy Association, (10) AKA – American Killifish Association, (11) FAAS – Federation of American Aquarium Societies, (12) IGEES – International Guppy Education and Exhibition Society

Director of Conservation –
Public Relations – Joanne Vega:

Joanne Vega is a long time marine aquarium hobbyist, club leader, and fish friend for all. Originally from the Spokane, WA area, they now reside in Seattle and enjoy attending various hobby events both locally and nationally and making new fish friends along the way. As a business owner and marketer by trade, they lend their PR and Customer Service skills in various ways. An attendee and volunteer at multiple MACNA conferences, as well as a reefkeeper since 2006, Joanne is known to be both generous and understanding to those of all levels of aquarium experience.

Aquarium Societies (Past / Present)
Spokane Coeur d Alene Reef Society (SPCDA) – President
Pacific Northwest Marine Aquarium Society (PNWMAS) – Member
Puget Sound Aquarium Society (PSAS now defunct) – Member

Director at Large – Bryce Risley:

Bryce Risley is a biological and social scientist pursing a career in photojournalism. Bryce is dedicated to working on challenges related to coral reef conservation including challenges facing the marine aquarium industry. His recent work focuses on the marine aquarium trade supply chain between Sri Lanka and the United States. He constructed a marine ornamental aquaculture wet lab at UMaine where he mentored undergraduates on aquaculture related research. His professional work in the marine aquarium industry includes public aquarium positions in animal husbandry and life support. He is a passionate reef aquarist among many other things. Reach out to learn more!

Applicable Educational Experience
2020, M.S. Marine Biology, M.S. Marine Policy, University of Maine
2014, B.S. Geography and Environmental Studies, University of New Mexico

Director at Large – Rich Ross:

Richard Ross is known for the “Skeptical Reefkeeping” article series, his groundbreaking work with cephalopod husbandry, his entertaining and informative talks, for managing the ambitious 212,000 gallon reef tank in the Steinhart Aquarium in the California Academy of Sciences, being able to ‘get things done’ in the field, and recently for spawning Acropora sp in closed systems. Richard has kept saltwater animals for over 30 years, has worked in the aquarium industry and trade (maintenance, retail, wholesale) and has consulted for a coral farm/fish collecting station in the South Pacific. In 2015, Richard was presented with the MASNA Aquarist of the Year Award (now the MASNA award), and his work has been covered by Scientific American, National Geographic, Animal Planet, Penn’s Sunday School, NPR’s Science Friday, Discovery News, Fox News and more.

Before working in the animal world was a professional juggler and corporate presentation script writer. He is an avid underwater photographer/videographer and has been fortunate to scuba dive many of the worlds reefs. At home he cares for a 150 gallon reef system and a 250 gallon cephalopod/fish breeding system, two hairless dogs, 1 hairless cat, carnivorous plants, 1 Mexican beaded lizard, and 4 chickens. Richard has collected a ton of skills; glass blowing, hot shop fabrication, juggling, newspaper layout/graphic design, scuba diving, kiteboarding, photography, drone piloting and filming, video editing, horseback riding, mixed martial arts. In his spare time he exercises his philosophy degree, spends time with his fabulous daughter and his incredibly generous, intelligent, gorgeous and patient wife.

Director at Large – Larry Blighton

Growing up on the coast of Florida has always fueled Larry’s desire to learn as much as possible about the ocean and all things in it. While serving 20 years in the military (Navy), he has kept both freshwater Tropical’s and Reef tanks and had the opportunity to have traveled the world visiting some great aquariums, which even furthered his desire to become more involved in all aspects of the hobby. He has attended the last 5 MACNA’s and has served three years on the Marine Aquarium Society of North America’s (MASNA) MACNA Planning committee.

Director at Large – Travis Knorr
Director at Large – Ed Wiser

Ed Wiser has been a life long aquarium hobbyist. He started keeping marine aquariums in the early 1980s.

As a moderator on Fishnet on CompuServe, he ran the speakers program and has attended each annual MACNA since MACNA 3. Ed was on the founding board of directors of MASNA and helped form the base that our current MACNA’s are built upon. His club has also individually hosted 3 MACNAs over the years.

Ed believes that learning from other hobbyists and marine scientists will help the hobby and the world’s oceans.

Aquarium Societies (Past / Present)
Louisville Marine Aquarium Society (LMAS) – 1989 -present
Aquatic Gardeners Association (AGA) – present

Director at Large – Dennis Diaz

Dennis is a fun-loving, happily married aquarist with two of the most incredible kids ever. He has been in the hobby for over 25 years. It has always fascinated him, and it led him to be an aquarium store owner for six years. He loves learning, hobbies, friends, family, and especially loves helping people learn.

He also enjoys spending time outdoors, biking, hiking, water sports, scuba diving, camping, photography … anything that lets them relax and get away from the busy life. He loves spending time with my kids, and loves attending MACNA!

He has helped start various aquarium clubs and was the Volunteer Coordinator for the 30th MACNA in Las Vegas (which was also the first MACNA to be held in Las Vegas).

Aquarium Societies (Past / Present)
LVVR – Las Vegas Valley Reefers (Defunct)
LVMAS – Las Vegas Marine Aquarium Society
ROLV – Reefs of Las Vegas
LVVRK – Las Vegas Valley Reef Keepers

Director Emeritus – Rob Mougey

Rob Mougey is an avid aquarist living in Colorado.  He set up his first marine system in the early 80s, maintaining both reef and fish only systems. He has a fondness for distinctive marine angel and butterfly fishes. In his spare time, Rob enjoys scuba diving in far flung regions of the Indo-Pacific.   He has helped launch several clubs, including MASNA itself, and served as MASNA’s Vice President from 2015-2020. Rob managed MACNA 2014 in Denver and has been strategic in MACNA operations since.  He continues his involvement with MASNA in an advisory role.

Aquarium Societies (Past / Present)
MHME – Mile High Marine Enthusiasts (1988 – 1993, Defunct) – President
RMRC – Rocky Mountain Reef Club (1998 – 2006, Defunct)
MASC – Marine Aquarium Society of Colorado (2006 – Current)
DARC – Denver Area Reef Club (2008 – 2018) – Board Member
CORAL – Colorado Organization for Reef & Aquatic Life (2012 – 2021)
CAS – Colorado Aquarium Society (1994 – Current)
SCMAS – Southern Colorado Aquarium Society (2007 – Current)