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Advancing knowledge and acquiring expertise in shellfish research by investigating environmental, neuroendocrine and endocrine control of key stages in oyster aquaculture, using a rhythmic approach


The rapid worldwide expansion of marine bivalve aquaculture has lead to a growing demand for hatchery production of seed. Increase in this production has however been hampered by a lack of physiological synchrony of individuals, with difficulties in 1) conditioning of broodstock and predicting when they will spawn, 2) metamorphosis of larvae into spat. The overall research objective of Neuroshell is to advance knowledge on the environmental, neuroendocrine and endocrine control of these key stages in bivalves. This will be done through a daily rhythms approach, by investigating the effect of daily environmental cycles on reproduction (sub-project 1) and metamorphosis (sub-project 2), and generating a profile of target neuroendocrine/endocrine factors at given stages under these conditions. Then determining whether these factors too exhibit daily rhythmicity. Work will be performed on the European oyster, Ostrea edulis, through in vivo experiments. Neuroshell is multidisciplinary and intersectoral, combining physiological, biochemical and molecular techniques with shellfish aquaculture and industry integration. It also includes a secondment in Spain. Transfer of knowledge and comprehensive training of the researcher are key elements of the action. The core focus of the researcher to date has been on reproductive neuroendocrinology and physiology in fish species for commercial aquaculture. To broaden her research scope dramatically, the project has been developed with the Scottish Association of Marine Science UK (host), to enable her to gain knowledge, skills, competencies, experience and contacts in an entirely new group of species of major commercial importance. Overall, results have the potential capacity to advance hatchery production of marine bivalves and fundamental science, and promote the researcher to a level of professional maturity and independence. Ultimately contributing to the excellence and competitiveness of EU aquaculture research and industry.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/earth and related environmental sciences/oceanography
  • /agricultural sciences/agriculture, forestry, and fisheries/fisheries
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/zoology/ichthyology

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MSCA-IF-EF-CAR - CAR – Career Restart panel


Scottish Marine Institute
PA37 1QA Dunbeg Oban
United Kingdom
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 337 400,64