Denise Hearn
Aquaculture and Marine Conservation Program Lead Specialist

Denise Hearn

Denise Hearn
Originally from the UK but having grown up all over Africa, Denise developed a passion for the ocean from a young age. After completing a bachelors in Marine Science in Newcastle (UK) she spent her days developing a marine reserve in Madagascar before deciding on a Masters in Sustainable Aquaculture in Wales.

Denise started at NMIT having previously taught at the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic for a number of years. There she ran the aquaculture research facility and labs before moving into teaching. She has an array of teaching experience covering many aspects of aquaculture as well as marine conservation, statistics and marine surveying. Prior to that she worked at NIWA up in Bream Bay on Kingfish and Hapuku. Before she moved to New Zealand in 2010 she has worked on sustainable feeds for shrimp in Thailand, as well as at the Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture research in Wales. There she worked with a mix of species including micro algae, lobsters, cod, clownfish and shrimp.

She has a passion for sustainable aquaculture and is always interested in any invertebrates and all kinds of algae. She is currently running some aquaponics systems and continuing on from some of her previous research in this field. This new technology is heavily focused on suitable food production for a planet where demand and resources are critical for the future.

Before starting at NMIT Denise spent 2016 and 2017 sailing across the Pacific with her partner on their yacht. During this time she was able to work in Hawaii on open ocean aquaculture systems as well as in the hatchery. She is a passionate conservationist and finds that time is best spent underwater or in the water. She loves free diving, spearfishing, diving, surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing. In the winter when it’s too cold to be in the water you’ll find her out on her mountain bike.

‘Teaching in this field is a wonderful opportunity to connect with like-minded people. So many of us love our marine environments and are passionate about protecting them to ensure a safe future. Aquaculture is an exciting ever changing field where it’s possible to make a mark and develop new sustainable technologies. It’s great to see minds come alive as you open them up to the possibilities of what a future in aquaculture can hold’.

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