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What are the mucosal components in fish that give protection towards saprolegniosis and can we stimulate their effectivity via nutritional supplements?

Project Description

This industry funded PhD Studentship covers a 3.5-year research position in the frame of a 3.5-year PhD doctoral programme. The PhD student will join a large and vibrant research group that includes about 15 full time researchers such as postdocs and other PhD students, with a further 20 researchers within ICARD.

The long-term objective in the Aberdeen Oomycete Laboratory is to dissect the molecular mechanisms that enable Saprolegnia spp. to successfully infect fish and fish eggs and use this information to develop alternative control methods. Water moulds such as Saprolegnia spp. are responsible for devastating infections on fresh water fish and in particular salmonids. It is estimated that at least 10% of all hatched salmon die due to Saprolegniosis in Scottish fish farms, which represents significant financial losses and is a serious animal welfare concern.
Therefore in the current PhD project, we will:
1) Investigate the potential role of fish mucosal proteins in protection towards saprolegniosis
2) Determine whether nutritional supplements can enhance or stimulate the production of defence compounds in the mucous of the fish.
3) The results obtained will be used with gathered information to look into actively changing conditions in the farm to reduce the impact of Saprolegnia.

In addition local and network wide training will be provided and the PhD researcher will i) become aware of the state-of-the-art in our areas of research, major challenges and research directions, European and international players; ii) gain expertise in modern research approaches in specific areas relevant to aquaculture and the prevention of diseases; iii) acquire key complementary skills essential for a successful career (e.g. networking; fundraising; management of research projects, innovation and IPR; international regulations and standards; technology transfer; ethics in research)

Formal applications can be completed online:

Please apply for admission to the ’Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Sciences’ to ensure that your application is passed to the correct school for processing.

Funding Notes

Full funding is available to UK/EU candidates only.

Candidates should have (or expect to achieve) a minimum of a First Class Honours degree in a relevant subject. Applicants with a minimum of a 2:1 Honours degree may be considered provided they have a Distinction at Masters level.

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