These SAIC PhDs are part of a skills initiative which is closely allied with industry requirements. Three of the PhD projects will focus on fish health issues and one addresses the needs of mussel farmers, creating collaborative partnerships between academia and industry.
Priority research areas
Each of the four PhD positions focuses on an area of research with the capacity to progress the sustainable growth of Scottish aquaculture, as outlined below:
DYNAMIC SPATIAL MODELLING AND FORECASTING OF SEA LICE ABUNDANCES
Predictive tools to understand where sea lice present the greatest geographical pressures.
Partners: the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) and Mowi Scotland
PHOTOPERIOD AND IMMUNE FUNCTION
How critical lifecycle events in salmon impact on disease response and post-smolt performance – i.e. to better understand how photoperiod / artificial light regimes affect the salmon’s immune system through the critical transfer from freshwater to seawater.
Partners: The University of Aberdeen and Scottish Sea Farms
ENVIRONMENTAL DNA FOR LOW-COST MONITORING OF DISEASE IN SALMONID AQUACULTURE
More efficient and cost-effective ways to monitor the presence of a range of pathogenic / dangerous organisms in the local environment of salmon aquaculture, e.g. Paramoeba perurans, Lepeophtheirus salmonis, Caligus elongatus (the two species of sea lice found in Scottish waters) and amoeba, the causative agent of AGD (Amoebic Gill Disease).
Partners: University of Glasgow, Mowi Scotland, Scottish Sea Farms and Bioclavis
SPAT MORTALITY IN FARMED SCOTTISH BLUE MUSSELS
Understanding the causes of mortality in Scottish Blue Mussels (Mytilus Edulis) spat fall to enhance the productivity of Scottish mussel farms.
Partners: University of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture and Fassfern Mussels Ltd, with additional funding from The Fishmongers’ Company.