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Digestion, OsmoreGulation and Metabolism in fish relevant to AquaculTure and in a Changing Climate

Project description

Predicting effects of climate change on rainbow trout

Increasing carbon emissions contribute to climate change. What effect does this have on aquatic life and the quality of fish we consume? The EU-funded DOGMATiCC project will investigate the impacts of rising CO2 levels on the feeding habits and homeostatic balance of rainbow trout in freshwater and marine environments. Studies will explore the cardiovascular function and osmotic regulation of trout specimens that have been exposed to varying levels of CO2 in order to predict their physiological responses to climate change. The project will not only further our understanding of how climate change impacts fish, but it will also provide the aquaculture industry with recommendations on how to improve the health of farmed fish.


Rapidly rising CO2 levels threaten aquatic organisms and global food security. It is vital to determine how high CO2 impacts fish in freshwater and marine environments and to elucidate mechanisms limiting performance in the wild and aquaculture. Here, I propose an integrative approach that simultaneously investigates multiple physiological processes to comprehensively evaluate the impacts of combined endogenous (i.e. feeding) and exogenous (i.e. salinity and CO2) factors on fish, and their essential capacity to maintain a constant internal environment (i.e. homeostasis). This will be achieved by investigating cardiovascular, metabolic and homeostatic responses of the economically important rainbow trout to feeding and exercise, in freshwater and seawater, following long-term acclimation to varying levels of CO2 (reflecting climate change and aquaculture scenarios). The project will have far-reaching impact, as it will not only improve predictions of the impacts of climate change on fish, but will also provide aquaculture industry with specific recommendations for achieving maximum growth efficiency and health of farmed fish. The expertise and unique skills I bring concerning in vivo cardiovascular physiology, will be combined with the entirely new and complementary repertoire of advanced skills I will learn from Prof. Wilson (i.e. 33 years experience investigating acid-base, ion and osmotic regulation in fish at levels from the gene to the whole animal) and our collaborators (i.e. mitochondrial bioenergetics analyses and aquaculture industry expertise). This will ensure the successful completion of this ambitious project, and outcomes that are much more than just the sum of their parts. This fellowship will benefit all involved, by ensuring collaboration and knowledge transfer between three European universities, bridging the gap between fundamental science and aquaculture, and providing me with a scientific ‘toolbox’ few researchers currently possess.



Net EU contribution
€ 319 400,64
The queen's drive northcote house
EX4 4QJ Exeter
United Kingdom

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South West (England) Devon Devon CC
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00