Ok, now that we’re all jittering with excitement over the fact that MACNA is a mere week away from today, I see it fitting to discuss the 5 individuals I’m most looking forward to this year. It was honestly a distressful list to narrow down as all of the speakers this year are flipping fantastic. Check out the full list of them here! To get started, I’ll go with a Double Feature – two of my favorite Reef friends and brilliant minds behind so many groundbreaking projects in the industry, Laura Birenbaum and Justin Credible Grabel of ReefGen. Laura’s talk is going to cover the keeping and breeding of Dwarf Cuttlefish (Sepia bandensis), her most recent project that yielded some pretty adorable results. I was the lucky recipient of a pair of these guys – but that story sadly ended in tragedy. Nonetheless, she’s plays a huge part in my interest with the tiny Cephs, and I very much look forward to her future work. The other half of ReefGen, Justin Grabel, my go-to source for coral voodoo, easily makes it onto my list. He’s been known to make corals do things they just really shouldn’t do. Take today’s earlier post on their aquacultered Trachyphyllia Brain Coral, for example. Not only is he making great advancements with the animals, he’s also always more than willing to give the details of such projects to me, and doesn’t shy away from sharing his methods. I expect a lot from his presentation – the Reef Rockstar will be discussing no less than SIX excellent topics, “Together we will explore Thraustochytrids (the unsung Symbiont hero), Hydrogen Peroxide and algae control, Grafting and Fusion, Potassium Dosing, Unusual Coral Propagation and whatever hot topic I’m jazzed about at the moment.”. There’s also mention of trivia. So there you have it, your first taste of what’s to come at MACNA this year. Stay tuned for the next speaker on my list – someone who had a great deal of influence on me when I first crawled my way into the industry. I’m psyched.