Restoration aquaculture – a tool in the box for aquatic systems management

Restoration aquaculture – a tool in the box for aquatic systems management 

Joshua Patterson, Associate Professor, School of Forest, Fisheries, and Geomatics Sciences, UF 

Join us for the live stream April 13, 11:45am EST:

(Please visit our YouTube channel main page for the stream if there are any issues with the direct link.)


Restoration aquaculture encompasses a host of approaches and interventions that can add value to aquatic systems management. However, failures can and do occur and other drawbacks to the practice may exist. Science-based information is thus critical to restoration aquaculture project design and evaluating efficacy in achieving stated goals. As is the case with aquaculture more generally, research and Extension also have important roles to play in developing the often highly species-specific methods and techniques used to produce the organisms that will be employed in restoration. Josh will present a synthesis of what restoration aquaculture is and provide context for where the practice fits into the portfolio of aquatic systems management options. Further, highlights from eight years of our lab’s restoration aquaculture work with various species and systems will also be presented and implications discussed.


Joshua Patterson joined the School of Forest, Fisheries, and Geomatics Sciences faculty in 2014. His research and Extension programs are in restoration aquaculture, and he is housed at The Florida Aquarium’s Center for Conservation in the Tampa Bay area. Restoration aquaculture refers to the practice of actively enhancing populations and ecosystems using cultured aquatic organisms. Areas of exploration and outreach in the Patterson Lab are the use of aquaculture in coral reef restoration (corals, sponges, sea urchins), restoration and protection of seagrasses, bay scallop population enhancement, and fisheries aspects of large-scale habitat restorations.  In addition to The Florida Aquarium as a primary stakeholder, Josh works directly with agencies (e.g., Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, etc.), non-profit organizations, and private businesses engaged in restoration aquaculture. Addressing questions about culturing organisms for aquatic restoration requires the integration of fields including engineering, genetics, physiology, and ecology. Therefore, Josh collaborates with academic colleagues from all of these disciplines.