Pioneering breeding solutions for aquaculture (GAGE_U17DTP)

Lead Research Organisation: University of East Anglia
Department Name: Biological Sciences


Aquaculture is identified as a key solution to satisfying increasing demands for animal protein from a growing human population. Aquaculture is a relatively novel form of farming and, right now, we are at an early stage in its development, with ample opportunity to discover how to improve productivity, efficiency, and animal welfare. Within aquaculture, Atlantic salmon farming is a dominant player, and its productivity has surged since it started in 1979. Despite its huge growth, demands continue, so there is considerable pressure for scientists to discover ways to improve productivity. One way to improve productivity is to optimize systems of salmon breeding within hatchery environments, where fertility and reproductive success of species brought into aquaculture is often compromised. In this PhD studentship, we will take knowledge gained about natural systems of reproduction and fertilization in salmon, and apply these to systems within aquaculture in order to improve breeding success and offspring development. We will examine how to manage socio-sexual interactions between adult broodstock to improve fertility and fecundity, how best to conduct in vitro fertilizations so that maximum fertility and embryonic success can be achieved, and whether domestication could be eroding the performance of farm salmon gametes. The project will continue an ongoing research collaboration into fish reproductive biology, with much of the fieldwork based in Norway. The studentship will therefore provide an excellent PhD and training opportunity, with involvement in a range of basic and applied research into salmon reproduction in the field and lab, while providing clear opportunities to achieve considerable impact within a fast-growing and very important form of global food provision.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011216/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
1913174 Studentship BB/M011216/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2021 James Jonathan Bemrose
Organisation Norwegian Institute of Marine Research
Country Norway 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We co-ordinated practical experiments and carried out work in Norway.
Collaborator Contribution We were provided with practical and theoretical help, as well as salmon and hatchery facilities.
Impact Development of my research and production of thesis chapters
Start Year 2017