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 – 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 – 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

IMG_0539 Treasurer – Christine Shelton (Formerly 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 – Tim Lyons, M.S.:

Tim Lyons is an ecologist specializing in aquatic species. He currently works for The New Mexico BioPark Society in a collaborative partnership with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature where he develops conservation planning for priority fishes at risk of extinction. His past research includes invasion ecology of lionfishes in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean, and the ecology of freshwater fish invasions in Florida. Tim spent two years at the University of Florida’s Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory, where he oversaw a research greenhouse and contributed to the advancement of marine and freshwater ornamental aquaculture protocols. He is an avid aquarist and diver.

Applicable Educational Experience
2018, M.S. Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, University of Florida Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory
2016, B.S. Marine Science, University of Florida

Aquarium Societies (Past / Present)
ARK- Albuquerque Reef Keepers
TBRC- Tampa Bay Reef Club
GRC- Gainesville Reef Club
FMAS- Florida Marine Aquarium Society

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 – Les Wilson:

Les Wilson is a life long hobbyist and one of the founding partners of Cobalt Aquatics, overseeing Marketing, Product Development, and Sourcing. In Cobalt’s first 8 years, Les’s projects at Cobalt have redefined fish nutrition category with the Cobalt Probiotic Flakes and have won numerous industry awards for their innovative products like the Neo-Therm heaters, and CA Mysis frozen foods. He also brought Fishgeek level products like the Egg Rockers and
Original MJ powerheads to the US hobby.

Prior to founding Cobalt, Les spent 17 years with United Pet Group aquatics as an aquatic biologist and Director of Marketing for the Equipment and Consumables group, responsible for the Marineland, Tetra, Instant Ocean, and Jungle brands and private label projects in those categories. Les personally brought to market many of the projects you know today, including his favorites Marineland’s LED lighting, Bio-Spira Nitrifying bacteria, Corner flow tanks, and the Deep dimension aquariums. Les has also served 3 terms on the World Pet Association (WPA) Board of Directors as the chair of the Aquatics Committee and was the founding chairman of WPA’s Aquatic Experience show.

Les has also served one year on the Marine Aquarium Society of North America’s (MASNA) MACNA Planning committee and has just started his second term as the Director at Large for the MASNA Board of Directors, which manages the annual MACNA show and conference.

Les regularly speaks on fish related topics at hobbyist clubs and associations around the country and has been a featured speaker at the American Cichlid Association (ACA) annual conference, multiple American Liver Bearers Association (ALA) annual conferences, HH Backer Pet trade show industry expert seminars and panels, and has been a judge at the Aquarama International Guppy Competition. Keeping to his fishgeek roots, Les is a member of multiple fish organizations including, ACA, ALA, MASNA, and Florida Fancy Guppy Association.

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 – 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, having setup his first marine system over 30 years ago. He has a fondness for distinctive marine angel and butterfly fishes. In his spare time, Rob enjoys scuba diving the Indo/Pacific and has a special fondness for Indonesia, PNG and New Caledonia. He has helped launch several clubs, including MASNA itself, and currently serves as President of CORAL (Colorado Organization for Reef & Aquatic Life). He is also active in several clubs in Colorado and managed MACNA 2014 in Denver.

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 – Current) – Board Member
CAS – Colorado Aquarium Society (1994 – Current)
SCMAS – Southern Colorado Aquarium Society (2007 – Current)
CORAL – Colorado Organization for Reef & Aquatic Life (2012 – Current).