Michael Rust is currently serving as the NOAA Aquaculture Science Coordinator in Silver Spring, MD after spending two decades working on marine aquaculture research at NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle. After graduating with a BA in Biology from the University of Colorado, Dr. Rust spent two years in the Peace Corps living in Bohol, Philippines, where he came to understand the impacts that food scarcity can have on aquatic ecosystems and human suffering. Upon returning to the U.S., he earned two Master’s degrees from the University of California at Davis, one in International Agricultural Development and one in Animal Sciences. He then worked in Haiti, the Bahamas, Florida, and Quebec on various marine aquaculture projects before moving to Seattle and completing a Ph.D. from the University of Washington, studying fish nutrition. He joined NOAA after completing a post-doc at the Institute of Marine Research in Austavoll, Norway working on fish nutrition and development of halibut and cod. His research focus has been on various aspects of feeds, nutrition and hatchery development of marine fish, however in his Science Coordinator role he is interested in the communication of science to non-scientists and how science can best inform policy and decision making. He was also the chair of a joint NOAA/USDA initiative to identify future options to produce feeds for aquaculture which published its findings in 2011.
Mike's research areas include developmental physiology, food science, and fish nutrition. Until 2013, he was the program manager for a group conducting research on various aspects of aquaculture.