Dna Helix

Benchmark Genetics restructure for next phase of growth

Aquaculture breeding programmes are ever-evolving, taking forwards new genomic technologies and tools, and unlocking new market opportunities. To keep pace, Benchmark Genetics (formerly Benchmark Breeding & Genetics) recently implemented a number of changes across the division.

Benchmark Genetics is now headed by Jan-Emil Johannessen, who has taken on this role in addition to his position as CEO of SalmoBreed AS. All the division’s Atlantic salmon activities (SalmoBreed AS, StofnFiskur hf and Akvaforsk Genetics Center AS ) will now be integrated into one organisation. To support Jan-Emil, Jónas Jónasson, CEO of StofnFiskur has been appointed Head of Production, responsible for all production sites across the Division. Morten Rye, CEO of Akvaforsk Genetics Center AS will lead the genetics team across the divisional boundaries as Director of Genetics.

Our breeding programmes for Nile Tilapia and L. Vannamei shrimp will now share support functions, including management roles for Marketing, Finance, Fish Health, QMS & IT, Technical support and Genetics. To enable this, Bára Gunnlaugsdóttir has been appointed divisional Head of Strategic Operations and Rudi Ripman Seim as Head of Fish Health Management. From her base in Iceland, Bára will oversee Benchmark Genetics’ strategic operations, management systems and international projects. Based in Norway, Rudi is  responsible for the animal health and welfare strategies for all species in the programmes. The other roles will remain the same.

The new organisational of Benchmark Genetics’ management team is as follows:

  • Jan-Emil Johannessen: Head of Benchmark Genetics division, and CEO of SalmoBreed AS
  • Jónas Jónasson: Head of Production, and CEO of StofnFiskur hf
  • Morten Rye: Director of Genetics, and CEO of Akvaforsk Genetics Center AS
  • Hernan Pizzaro: Operations Director Tilapia
  • Oscar Hennig: Operations Director Shrimp
  • Jon Crowther: Divisional Finance Director
  • Birgitte Sørheim: Divisional Marketing Director
  • Alan Tinch: Divisional Technical Director
  • Rudi Ripman Seim: Head of Fish Health Management
  • Bára Gunnlaugsdóttir: Head of Strategic Operations
  • Håvard Bakke: Divisional Business Development Director
  • Marcela Salazar: Production Manager Shrimp

With these changes, I believe that our division is prepared to further strengthen our position in Atlantic salmon genetics, and to expand our commercial activities for tilapia and shrimp into new regions and markets”, says Jan-Emil Johannessen, Head of Benchmark Genetics. “Although salmon is the largest activity of the division, the future for our shrimp and tilapia programmes looks very promising. In order to maximise our progress for these species, we believe that the new organisation will deliver the necessary competence and resources for us to succeed”, he concludes.


Jan-Emil Johannessen, Head of Benchmark Genetics

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