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Richard Moccia

Position/Title: Professor (Ret.), Adjunct Professor, Aquatic and Fisheries Science, Past Associate Vice-President, Research
email: rmoccia@uoguelph.ca
Phone: (519) 824-4120 ext. 56216
Office: ANNU 138

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Academic History

Fascinated by the aquatic environment from an early age, Professor Moccia's career path has always involved ‘water’ in some way. Although Rich has focused much of his research and teaching activities in disciplines relevant to the science and practice of aquatic animal food production, his research also spanned studies related to ecosystem impacts and animal welfare. Professor Moccia has held both faculty and senior executive cross-appointments at the University of Guelph, where he had been employed since 1987. He completed a 10 year term as the Associate Vice-President, Research for the Strategic Partnerships portfolio in 2016, during which he oversaw a number of partnership files, including the OMAFRA-UG Agreement. Professor Moccia's responsibilities to the provincial agrifood partnership included managing research programming, contract administration and infrastructure of 14 provincial research facilities and three regional campuses, as well as oversight management of the university's Laboratory Services Division, encompassing both the Agriculture and Food Lab and the Provincial Animal Health Laboratory. He was also responsible for the Catalyst Centre (ie. research business development office) and the Central Animal Facility.

As a professor in the Department of Animal Biosciences, Rich engaged in teaching, research and graduate training, and always had a strong commitment to industry-relevant research, education and extension service.  Rich enjoys exploring the interconnectivity of many varied research disciplines in the search for solutions to relevant issues affecting our world.  In testament to his multifaceted skillset, Prof Moccia has received awards of excellence in teaching, research and extension outreach and was also recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Aquaculture Association of Canada.  He has also received several awards for community volunteerism, including being inducted into the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame.

Prior to joining the university, Professor Moccia was self-employed in the private sector, having established 2 SME start-ups specializing in ag-based technologies in the aquatic food production industry.  Rich has also been a founding member of several provincial and federal industry associations and advocacy groups, has held positions on the Boards of Directors of several agri-based private companies, and has been an invited participant in numerous policy and regulatory reform committees helping to guide smart legislation for Canada.

Career Snapshot

  • 2021-pres    Adjunct Professor, Dep't Animal Biosciences
  • 1987-2020.  Professor, Aquaculture and fisheries science, University of Guelph
  • 2007-2016.  Associate Vice-President, Research (Strategic Partnerships), University of Guelph
  • 2010-2011   Associate Vice-President, Research Services and International (Acting)
  • 1990-2020.  Director, Aquaculture Centre, Department of Animal Biosciences
  • 1981-1990.  President and self-employed in 2 small, start-up companies.
  • 1978-1981.  Professional Associate, Department of Pathobiology, Ontario Veterinary College, UG

Aquaculture Centre

Professor Moccia established the Aquaculture Centre in 1988 and has been its Director ever since.  The Aquaculture Centre has been dedicated to integrating research and extension programs to contribute to the economic and environmental sustainability of the aquaculture sector.  

Awards and Honours

  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Aquaculture Association of Canada (2018)
  • National Research Award of Excellence, Aquaculture Association of Canada. (2007)
  • Distinguished Professorial Teaching Award, University of Guelph Faculty Association. (2002)
  • Distinguished Extension Service Award, University of Guelph, OAC Alumni Association. (2004)
  • Dr. Bill Winegard Community Volunteer Award, Volunteer Centre of Guelph-Wellington-Dufferin (2015)
  • Gabrielle Hubert Volunteer Award, UG United Way Campaign (2019)
  • ‘Employees Making a Difference’ Award for UG – United Way (2015)
  • John Appleton Volunteer Award-Peninsula Bruce Trail Club
  • Inductee. Guelph Sports Hall of Fame-Baseball (2018)

Industry Boards and Community Associations (Current only)

  • Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA)-Board of Directors
  • Canadian Association of Underwater Science (CAUS)-Executive member
  • National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC)-Board of Directors
  • Oilseed Innovation Partners (Formerly Soy 20/20)
  • United Way Leadership Committee of Guelph-Wellington-Co-Chair
  • Big Brothers, Big Sisters Guelph-Wellington (Board Chair and President)
  • Ontario Marine Heritage Committee
  • Peninsula Bruce Trail Club

Recent Research Manuscripts Published

Smith, R., S. Nadella, R.D. Moccia, C. Seymour and C. Mothersill, Carmel.  2021.  Copper uptake in adult rainbow trout irradiated during early life stages and in non-irradiated bystander trout which swam with the irradiated fish.  Inter. J. Radiation Bio. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09553002.2021.1980627

Moccia, R.D., D. Scarfe, J. Duston, D. Stevens, J.M. Lavery and B. Milligan.  2020.  Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Farmed Salmonids:  Review of Scientific research on Priority Issues.  National Farm Animal Care Council, Spec Publ. pp. 101

Reid, G.K., H.J. Gurney-Smith, D.J. Marcogliese, D. Knowler, T. Benfey, A. Garber, I. Forster, T. Chopin, K. Brewer-Dalton, R.D. Moccia, M. Flaherty, C.A. Smith, S. De Silva.  2019.  Climate change and aquaculture: Considering biological response and resources.  Aquaculture Environment Interactions. 11:569-602.

Reid, G.K., H.J. Gurney-Smith, M. Flaherty, A.F. Garber, I. Forster, K. Brewer-Dalton, D. Knowler, D.J. Marcogliese, T. Chopin, R.D. Moccia, C.A. Smith, S. De Silva. 2019.  Climate change and aquaculture: Considering adaptation potential. Aquaculture Environment Interactions. 11:603-624.

Sevier, A., R.W. Smith, T. Benfey, R. Danzmann, N. Bernier and R.D. Moccia. 2019.  Effects of biodensity on the growth, stress physiology, and welfare of Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) in freshwater.  Comp Biochem and Physiol, Part A: 231:91-103.

Huyben, D.C., D.J. Bevan, R.M.W. Stevenson, H. Zhou and R.D. Moccia..  2018.  Evaluation of Membrane Filtration and UV Irradiation to Control Bacterial Loads in Recirculation Aquaculture Systems.  Aquaculture International. 26:1531-1540.

Johnson, L., B. McMeans, K.McCann, M. Gutgesell, N. Rooney and R.D. Moccia.  2018.  Asymmetric assimilation of an anthropogenic resource subsidy in a freshwater food web.  Food Webs. 15:xx-xxx. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fooweb.2018.e00084

Smith, R.W., R.D. Moccia, C.B. Seymour and C. E. Mothersill. 2018.  Irradiation of rainbow trout at early life stages results in a proteomic legacy in adult gills. Part A; proteomic responses in the irradiated fish and in non-irradiated bystander fish.  Environmental Research. 163:297-306.

Smith, R.W., R.D. Moccia, C.E. Mothersill and C.B. Seymour.  2018. Irradiation of rainbow trout at early life stages results in a proteomic legacy in adult gills. Part B: The effect of a second radiation dose, after one year, on the proteomic responses in the irradiated and non-irradiated bystander fish.  Environmental Research. 163:307-313.

Huyben, D., Sun, L., Moccia, R., Kiessling, A., Dicksved, J. and T. Lundh. 2018.  Dietary live yeast and increased water temperature influence the gut microbiota of rainbow trout.  Journal of Applied Microbiology. 124(6): 1377-1392.

Milne, J.E., C.H. Marvin, R.Yerubandi, K. McCann and R.D. Moccia.  2017. Monitoring and modeling total phosphorus contributions to a freshwater lake with cage-aquaculture.   Aquaculture Research.  48: 283-297, 2017.

Huyben, H., A. Nyman, A. Vidakovic, V. Passoth, R.D. Moccia, A. Kiessling, J. Dicksved and T. Lundh. 2017. Effects of dietary yeast inclusion of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Wickerhamomyces anomalus on gut microbiota of rainbow trout. Aquaculture. 473:528-537.

Smith, R.W. and R.D.  Moccia.  2016.  The radiation induced bystander effect:  Is there relevance for Aquaculture ?  Annals of Aquaculture and Research.  3(3): 1026-1029.

Smith, R.W., C. Seymour, R.D.  Moccia, and C.Mothersill.  2016.  Irradiation of rainbow trout at early life stages results in trans-generational effects including the induction of a bystander effect in non-irradiated fish.  Environmental Research. 145:26-38.

Smith, R.W., R. Saroya, C. Seymour, R.D.  Moccia, and C.Mothersill.  2015.  Exposure to acute levels of waterborne aluminium modifies the legacy of early life stage irradiation, including the communication of radiation induced bystander signals, in adult rainbow trout.  International Journal Radiation Biology, 91(11): 878-890.

Grad Students

Being engaged in our graduate student enterprise has been one of the more rewarding aspects of my career at Guelph.

Here's a couple of fun ones:

Andrew Sevier:  http://hdl.handle.net/10214/14256

David Huyben. http://hdl.handle.net/10214/5244

You can have a look at the 'Best Fishes in a School' club of my past students at the following link.  Enjoy !


A Sample of Invited Lectures

Moccia, R.D.  2020 (Invited Speaker).  Canada’s First Code of Practice for Salmonid Aquaculture: Why and How ? Atlantic Canada Fish Farmer's Association.  AGM. Oct. 28-29.

Moccia, R.D.. 2018 (Invited Speaker).  Freshwater Aquaculture in Canada.  A History and Future Outlook.  Aqua Assoc Canada, Annual General Meeting, Quebec City, May 29

Moccia, R.D. 2018. (Invited Speaker).  The Blue Revolution:  Aquaculture is a Game Changer in the World's Seafood Supply.  Guelph-Wellington Men's Club.  April 3.

Moccia, R.D.  2017.  (Invited Speaker).  Aquaculture Research and Service Programs at the UG.  Ontario Aquaculture Association, AGM, Peterborough, February 16.

Moccia, R.D.  2017.  (Invited Speaker).  UG Aquaculture:  Sector Overview, Research Highlights and Provocative Thoughts !.  Sustainable Seafood Symposia, UG Sustainable Restaurant Project, U Guelph. February 7.

Moccia, R.D.  2014.  (Invited Speaker).  From Exotic to Commonplace:  The Historical Importance of Rainbow Trout Aquaculture in Canada.  Annual General Meeting, Aquaculture Association of Canada. Saint Andrews, New Brunswick.  June 1-4.

Brydges, T., G. Hall, N. Waltho, D. Geddes and R.D. Moccia. 2014.  Contemporary Approaches and Challenges with Training ‘Scientific Divers’ for the University Sector in Ontario. Canadian Underwater Conference, Toronto, Ontario.  April 7-9.

Moccia, R.D.  2013. (Invited Speaker). A Pig's Tale ! Lessons from the abyss on managing novel IP that's ahead of its time.  Annual General Meeting of the NSERC NCE, Cdn. Integrated Multi-trophic Aquaculture Network, Vancouver, BC.  May 15-16.

Specialty Certifications and Training

  • Certified Mediator-Alternate Dispute Resolution-Univ. Windsor Law
  • Leadership Skills Development-Kouzes and Postner Executive Course
  • Certified Canadian Fish Health Official- CFIA/DFOCC
  • Certified Fisheries Scientist-American Fisheries Society
  • Certified Science Diver-Cdn. Assoc. Underwater Science
  • Licenced Commercial Boat Captain-ML60- Transport Canada
  • Divemaster- PADI
  • Level 3 Sport Coach-Baseball
  • Level 2 Sport Trainer

And Just for Fun !

In his spare time, Rich pursues a variety of outdoor activities and enjoys scuba diving, boating, motorcycling, trekking, hockey and cottaging on the Bruce Peninsula, as well as supporting various community volunteerism efforts and youth sports.