Laura Halfyard

WISE NL ROLES: SSEP Co-Director, Past President

DESIGNATION: Scientist, researcher, educational instructor, and consultant

EDUCATION: Undergraduate and honours degrees in Biology and Education at Memorial University of NL. Her aquaculture degrees include M.Sc. and Ph.D. studies at Stirling University in Scotland.

Dr. Laura C. Halfyard is the General Manager of two commercial NL mussel farms, Sunrise Fish Farms Inc and Connaigre Fish Farms Inc. These pioneering mussel farming operations have been active in the adapting of continuous socking and harvesting technology, and have spent 25 years studying how to best integrate these farms into the rural NL environment. They are also part of a group of seven NL mussel farms that in 2013 were the first in North America to receive Global Trust (SAI Global) certification against the Canadian Organic Aquaculture Standards (COAS).

She spent about 25 years as a scientist, researcher, educational instructor, and consultant (international and national) with the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of NL, working with various aquaculture sectors, including research on marine larval fish nutrition. International projects in Vietnam, Cambodia and Malawi lead to ‘second homes and Vietnamese daughters/sons’ as colleagues and friends at Tra Vinh University and other partner institutes. Aquaculture and fisheries education initiatives ranged from junior-senior high school curriculum, to advanced and masters degree program development. Laura began her science education career at several NL regional colleges, where she was the first female science instructor hired in NL to instruct male-dominated technical trade programs.

Laura is the current Vice President of the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association (NAIA) and a shellfish industry representative. She is also the Past-President of WISE NL and the Director of its award winning Student Summer Employment Program (SSEP).