Matt Palmtag grew up in Lakeland Florida and Milwaukee WI, his father took him fishing regularly and his mother introduced him to aquarium keeping at the age of six. These experiences fostered a fascination with the natural world, especially fish and crustaceans. As a teenager Matt worked at one of the largest aquarium stores in the Midwest and then moved on to study biology at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi. As an undergraduate Matt was hired as a research assistant by Dr. Joan Holt at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, TX. He went on to do his graduate work with Dr. Holt in the discipline of marine ornamental aquaculture. There, Matt was best known for his work with the fire shrimp, Lysmata debelius, Dr. Holt and Matt were the first to publish a rearing protocol for the valuable shrimp as well as reproducible studies on its larval nutrition. Following his work as a graduate student and research scientist, he started a private marine ornamental hatchery business in Newport, NC called Marine Ornament Aquaculture. Matt produced and sold a variety of fish and crustacean species and was the first to commercially produce and sell Lysmata debelius to wholesalers and pet stores. While in the aquaculture business, he moonlighted as an adjunct professor at Craven Community College in New Bern, NC. There he discovered that his true calling was in the classroom, the opportunity to help students achieve their goals was a call he could not resist. In 2009 Matt was hired as a full-time faculty member in the Department of Biological Sciences at FGCU. His passion for working with students continues to burn bright, and he is thankful for every opportunity that he has to help and inspire his students as well as learn from them.