Integrating Innovative Approaches for Competitive and Sustainable Performance across the Mediterranean Aquaculture Value Chain

New PhD opportunity at SAMS

PhD topic description:

Parasitic sea lice pose a persistent challenge to the salmon aquaculture industry in all regions in which it operates, with both ecological and economic impacts (Costello, 2009; Ford & Myers, 2008). Developing a better understanding of their population dynamics, the factors leading to outbreaks, and improving methods of control are a current priority for industrial, regulatory, academic and external stakeholders. Detection of the early stages of lice infestation is difficult, as the small size of the juvenile lice means they may be missed in routine sampling. Chemical treatments may therefore be applied in a reactionary manner, requiring greater concentrations than would be needed if applied earlier, or if the threat had been avoided by other means such as deployment of physical barriers.

This PhD project will link the outputs from computer models, describing coastal currents and potential dispersal of sea lice in Scottish waters (Adams, Aleynik, & Black, 2016; Salama et al., 2012), with models of lice population dynamics on aquaculture sites themselves. This will be validated using site lice count data, in order to take the steps necessary to provide a prototype forecasting tool for parasite abundances.

Deadline for applications: June 28, 2018 @5pm BST

Start date: October 1, 2018

Supervisor:Dr Thomas Adams

Students must be domiciled in the Highlands and Islands transition region during the course of their study to be eligible for funding. Applicants must possess a minimum of an Honours degree at 2:1 and/or a Master’s Degree (or International equivalent) in a relevant subject.

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