Wallace Coffee Talks - Winter 2020
25th January - 1pm - Zoology MuseumFancy a cup of coffee or tea and learning more about the researchers at Swansea university? Come join us at the Wallace coffee talks: an informal seminar series where students, staff and others related to Swansea university speak about their research or personal interests.
Development and validation of an Operational Welfare Score Index (LOWSI) for farmed lumpfish Cyclopterus lumpus L.
Growing sea lice in the laboratory to support the aquaculture industry
Sea lice, Lepeophtheirus salmonis, are an obligate ectoparasite of salmonids which costs the salmon farming industry millions of pounds every year. At low infection density (ca. 5-10 per fish) lice induce stress and form ulcers which can lead to secondary infections, at higher infection densities (ca. 100 per fish) lice can kill their host. Salmon cages stock fish at a high density, this provides the lice with a bountiful and easy to reach supply of hosts, causing lice populations to increase dramatically, often with hundreds of lice per fish. These epizootic episodes are costly for the farms and also increase infection rates in wild salmonid populations – this has been linked to the decline of some wild populations. New and improved sea lice controls are therefore required, and to develop these the industry needs a reliable supply of lice to test treatments on. However, the only way to culture lice is by using a live host salmonid, this leads to a high cost per louse and serious ethical issues. This talk will cover an MRes project which aims to culture sea lice in the laboratory without the use of a host. It will explore the key stages required to close the loop in this parasitic life cycle, notably by providing a reliable source of food for the lice which contains both nutrients to feed the lice and can induce the lice to attack it as if it were a salmon. If successful, the aquaculture industry will have a new reliable source of lice to use in the laboratory, which is both cheaper and more humane than the current system.