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Dave Conley

Director, Corporate Communications, AquaBounty Technologies, Inc.

Expert Bio

Dave joined AquaBounty Technologies as Director, Corporate Communications in July 2013.  AquaBounty is an aquaculture biotech firm that has developed the AquAdvantage® Salmon (AAS), a transgenic Atlantic salmon that reaches market size in half the time of conventional farmed Atlantic salmon while using 20-25% less feed.  AAS was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on November 19, 2015 making it the first transgenic food animal in the world.

Dave is a native of Montreal.  His career in aquaculture grew out of his interests and training in agriculture, renewable resources development, and parasitology.  Dave has over 42 years of diverse practical experience in food and fibre production, research, journalism, public policy development, public education, and communications. 

From 1999 to 2004 Dave served as Communications and Policy Advisor to Canada’s first and only Commissioner for Aquaculture Development at Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and was part of the team that produced two strategic policy documents for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans – Achieving the Vision, 2003, and Recommendations for Change, 2003.

Dave joined the Board of Directors of Aquaculture without Frontiers (AwF) in 2010 and was appointed Executive Director in August 2011 and served in that position until June 2013.  AwF is an independent non-profit organisation that promotes aquaculture to alleviate poverty and improve livelihoods in developing countries. 

Dave holds a M.Sc. in Parasitology from the Institute of Parasitology, McGill University, and a B.Sc. (Agr.), Renewable Resources Development, from the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, McGill University. He also holds a Diploma in Agriculture, Farm Business Management, from Kemptville College, University of Guelph.

Studies, Articles and Answers

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Q: history of genetic modified salmon

Answered By Dave Conley - Aug 21, 2015

A: Information about the development of the AquAdvantage® Salmon (AAS) from AquaBounty Technologies is available on our website. Initial research and development with transgenic salmon began in 1989, and you can read a full chronology of the AAS and AquaBounty Technologies here.   Dr. Anastasia Bodnar, co-executive director for the Biofortified Blog, wrote about the “science behind the salmon” and the steps taken to develop the AAS on the Biofortified website in 2010.   Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam and Dr. William Muir published a commentary in Nature Biotechnology that discusse [...]

How GMOs Are Made Other


Q: What are the steps in Genetic Modified Atlantic Salmon ?

Answered By Dave Conley - Aug 21, 2015

A: I recently answered a similar question about the history of transgenic salmon here. In addition, Dr. Anastasia Bodnar, co-executive director for the Biofortified Blog, wrote about the “science behind the salmon” and the steps taken to develop the AAS on the Biofortified website in 2010.   You might also be interested in this video about the production of the AAS and its eggs. [...]

GMO Basics How GMOs Are Made


Q: why is Gm salmon made

Answered By Dave Conley - May 23, 2017

A: This is an interesting question because the original reason for the research that led to the development of the AquAdvantage Salmon was to solve a different problem other than fast growth. I wrote this article for an aquaculture publication that was published last September. As you will read in this article, the decision to produce a faster growing salmon was taken after the attempt to make a cold-tolerant salmon failed However, you are probably interested in why there is a need to produce a GM salmon. The answer to that has to do with the rising demand for seafood as the human po [...]