Transformative Technologies to understand host microbiome interactions in intensive Black Soldier Fly and salmon productions systems

Lead Research Organisation: University of Stirling
Department Name: Institute of Aquaculture


It is estimated that by 2050 the world's population will be 9bn people, which suggests that current food production will have to double. Conversely, food waste is a major global issue with 1.3bn tonnes of waste are generated per annum. Insect biocatalysts, with biomass conversion efficiencies above 50%, represent an unprecedented potential for recycling organic waste into homogeneous nutrient streams. It has been stated that diverting organic food wastes from landfill through insect biocatalysis to facilitate trophic upgrading could help to reduce the 3Gt of CO2 equivalent in greenhouse gas emissions produced by rotting food waste alone. Black Soldier Fly (BSF) farming is now widely accepted as a key solution to tackling some of these challenges. BSF can simultaneously recycle food waste into insect-based animal feed (a sustainable alternative to fishmeal) and biofertiliser (a sustainable alternative to chemical fertilisers). This highly complex farming system requires input from experts across research, governmental and commercial sectors. Whilst hundreds of scientific papers and millions of pounds have been invested globally into validating the transformative potential of BSF farming techniques, the race is still on to demonstrate large-scale, profitable BSF farming operations. In a recently funded, £10 million, Innovate UK project addressing ISCF Future food production systems: The Insectrial Revolution: Stimulating the establishment of a world-leading sustainable insect industry in the UK, the UK's leading BSF specialists with expertise covering the entire value chain have been brought together. The interdisciplinary consortium is composed of leading specialists in entomology, engineering, data analytics, machine vision, food safety and food supply chains that together aim to deploy highly profitable and sustainable BSF farming systems. By 2040, the consortium aims to have delivered over 100 sites internationally, create 3300 UK based jobs, generated combined annual revenues of £400m for UK tax paying businesses and delivered savings of 50m tonnes CO2 equivalent [IBCWG] - driving us towards the Government's targets for net zero emissions.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/W510336/1 30/09/2021 29/09/2025
2786367 Studentship BB/W510336/1 30/09/2021 30/03/2025 Emma McDonald