November 06, 2017
University of New England aquaculture researchers are helping a Maine mussel farm improve their business. The October 17, 2017 edition of Lab Manager magazine features an article about an aquaculture research project UNE is carrying out with Bangs Island Mussels.
The company reached out to UNE when a percentage of its mussels died. Assistant Research Scientist Adam St. Gelais, M.S., and Assistant Professor Carrie Byron, Ph.D., proposed a study to look at how environmental factors were affecting the mussels. St. Gelais received a grant to fund histology from Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program, and the project received additional funding from the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) to allow them to set up the farm as a lab as part of the Sustainable Ecological Aquaculture Network (SEANET).
Byron’s research focuses on how the mussel farm impacts food web dynamics. She and her students are studying how factors such as stress and diet impact the mussels’ fatty acid content. She told the magazine that the experience is teaching students what it’s like to be a scientist working to help the aquaculture industry. “They’re learning that balance of how to be sensitive to industry and the needs and motivations of industry, which can be very different from academia.”
To learn more about the University of New England’s Department of Marine Sciences visit www.une.edu/cas/marine
To learn more about the University of New England’s Center for Excellence in Marine Sciences, visit www.une.edu/research/msc
To apply, visit www.une.edu/admissions