- DTSM, DESTA (CNAM-Intechmer, France)
- M. Sc. Aquaculture (Stirling University, Scotland, UK)
- Ph.D. Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences (Virginia Tech, USA)
Here at Guelph, I focus my research onto amino acid nutrition and larval development. In addition to being expensive and labour intensive, larval rearing often sees high mortalities. In some newly-cultured marine species, survival hardly reaches 25%. Another recurring issue is that of skeletal malformation, which eventually lead to a significant loss of productivity. For these reasons – and others – larval rearing is often considered a major bottleneck in the further culture of aquatic animals, especially marine fish. While lipids and fatty acid nutrition lead to major breakthroughs, protein nutrition research comparatively has received little attention, especially on an amino acid level. Amino acids are essential nutrients, as protein building-blocks and energy source, but also as precursors of important molecules as well as signalling messengers. Recent research suggests a primordial role of amino acid in the regulation of larval development, thus in growth and survival. Consequently, both the metabolic and non-metabolic approaches need to be jointly considered in research.
My main project is to explore the growth and development of various groups of tissues such as skeleton, white- and red-muscles in fish larvae. Previous observations suggested that fish regulated growth in these compartments differently under certain conditions. What are the mechanisms at play? What is (are) the link(s) between survival, growth in these compartments, and amino acid nutrition? How can we describe (i.e. model) these relationships? These are the main questions that underlie this project.