Leslie’s statewide program provides support concerning aquaculture to the molluscan shellfish industry sectors in Florida. Audience groups include marine shellfish culturists, commercial shellfishers, state/federal marine resource regulators, shellfish dealers, and interested public. She conducts applied research projects in all phases of production management including genetic improvement, management strategies, and evaluation of alternative molluscan shellfish species for culture. Species include hard clams, oysters, and potential aquaculture species, such as ark and sunray venus clams. Educational programs for shellfish farmers highlight growout production technology, seed production, product quality, water quality, health monitoring, and species diversification; programs for new growers foster economic development in rural coastal communities.
- Production aquaculture
- Molluscan shellfisheries and restoration
- Rural economic development
- Water quality
- MS, Aquaculture and Fisheries, Auburn University
- BS, Zoology and Fisheries, North Carolina State University
Levy County Extension Programming
This university-based program supports integrated research, education and extension to develop, sustain, and enhance economic opportunities for the shellfish aquaculture industry in Florida. The program is an integral part of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) at the University of Florida and utilizes the expertise of scientists of various disciplines located at the university’s 20 departments and schools. Our statewide specialists lead highly relevant programs including seafood safety, aquaculture economics and business management, invertebrate physiology and ecology, shellfish reproduction, soil and water sciences, and more. Our extension, education and outreach programs are done in partnership with UF/IFAS Extension, Florida Sea Grant, and coastal counties of Florida.