“It is so important for young students to volunteer their time and run for public positions since it helps develop not only leadership skills, but gives tremendous networking opportunities,” Tristan Lamonica, Council for Emerging Leaders in Aquaculture.
By Samantha McLeod
Aquaculture in Canada today generates $5.16 billion in economic activity and employs over 25,000 people. As one of the fastest growing food sectors in the world, the industry in Canada has a younger-than-average domestic workforce with two-thirds of all employees under the age of 35. Our new series, Aquaculture Ambassador, is about 14 Canadians who have come together to showcase the growing presence of young people in the sustainable future of farming the oceans. In this segment, we talk to Tristan Lamonica, Université d’Ottawa | University of Ottawa, Teaching Assistant | Senate Member | Council on Undergraduate Studies | Research |
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a Masters student at the University of Ottawa in Communication and currently researching AI. While I have jumped across many different career paths over the years, the passion I have to the particular field of data science, technology and artificial intelligence has been engrained in me ever since I was young.
My current job in Data Science at the Parliament of Canada has allowed me to work with the brightest individuals in the field and has made me realize my research interests are scalable to new opportunities.
It is so important for young students to volunteer their time and run for public positions since it helps develop not only leadership skills, but gives tremendous networking opportunities. Before joining the Parliament of Canada, I started off serving the students at the University of Ottawa by being elected to the Senate, Council of Undergraduate Studies and Executive Committee. I took these skills I learned with holding a public position – and brought it to the workplace where I now felt comfortable to dive into a field I was truly passionate about. From all the personal growth that these positions have brought me, I was able to create my own passion project GeminiAI, which is an investment fund specializing with artificial intelligence in the blockchain industry.
What drew you to aquaculture?
The immense opportunity in Aquaculture for new technological implementations is what drew me in. The fact that people are particularly interested in traceability of their seafood, and that combined with my experience with blockchain is a perfect fit. Additionally, opening the table to people outside the industry can be a great tool to bring interesting perspectives.
What’s your average day in aquaculture like?
I do not have any experience in the actual aquaculture sector…yet.
How do you plan to change the current narrative about aquaculture, in particular salmon farming in Canada, from conflict to conversations about sustainability?
I am very new to the field, so it would be premature to a state my plans, but I believe the next question answers what I am working on.
What is the single biggest project you are working on now?
I am currently interested in implementing traceability in aquaculture – and help innovation thrive in the field by organizing case competitions that increase participation and bring new ideas to the table.