MASNA's 2017 Aquarist of the Year, Karen Brittain

MASNA’s 2017 Aquarist of the Year, Karen Brittain

Atlanta, Georgia (May 4, 2018) – MASNA intends to award two leaders a highly sought after award for those contributing to the marine aquarium industry for their impact on the sustainability of the hobby at its annual conference in Las Vegas in September. Those considered for this award must first be nominated for consideration by current MASNA members, no later than May 27th, 2018.

Annually, MASNA awards the prestigious MASNA Award and Aquarist of the Year Award to deserving individuals for their work in helping shape and influence the marine aquarium hobby in a way that positively contributes to the ongoing sustainability of the hobby to the future marine environment. Together with MASNA, previous winners of the Aquarist of the Year award confer to decide who has given the most to the hobby and industry to be deserving of that years’ award. The 2017 nomination process is now underway and will remain open through the month of May for MASNA members. This year’s winner will receive their award at MACNA in Las Vegas on September 8th, 2018.

The MASNA Award and the Aquarist of the Year Award are announced each year at MACNA (Marine Aquarium Conference of North America) and awarded during the Saturday banquet. Our 2017 MASNA Award winner, Dr. Andrew Rhyne and our 2017 Aquarist of the Year winner, Karen Brittain received their awards at MACNA 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

2017 MASNA Award Winner Dr. Andrew Rhyne, with his wife Libby Rhyne.

2017 MASNA Award Winner Dr. Andrew Rhyne, with his wife Libby Rhyne.

Dr. Andrew Rhyne was selected as the 2017 MASNA Award winner for this work advancing the field of marine ornamental aquaculture, developing methods for breeding and rearing popular species in aquaria like the first triggerfish (the Queen Triggerfish) in captivity as part of a joint program with the New England Aquarium, and for his current work in detecting cyanide use in the marine ornamental trade.

Karen Brittain was selected as the 2017 Aquarist of the Year award winner for achievements in captive breeding difficult to raise and high ecological impact marine ornamental fish like rare angelfish, Genicanthus watanabei, Genicanthus personatus at her company, Reef Friendly Fishes, in Hawaii.

Biographies of previous winners can be found at

Current MASNA members are encouraged to nominate deserving individuals for consideration for the 2018 MASNA Award or 2018 Aquarist of the Year Award on MASNA’s website at

About MASNA, Marine Aquarium Societies of North America

MASNA is a non-profit organization composed of marine aquarium clubs, individual hobbyists and industry partners from North American and abroad, totaling several thousand individuals.

MASNA Goals are to:

  • Educate our members with online and published material, the MACNA conference, and other sanctioned events,
  • Assist in forming and promoting the growth of clubs within the hobby while ensuring a sustainable future for the marine environment,
  • Support the efforts to eliminate abuses in collecting and transporting marine organisms through education, assistance, and encouragement, and
  • Encourage the ethical growth of the marine aquarium hobby and support captive breeding/propagation efforts.

MASNA’s charter and additional information about MASNA can be found at


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