Amino acid requirements of juvenile tropical (Panulirus ornatus) and slipper lobster (Thenus australiensis): towards the development of effective formulated feeds

Closing Date

30th October 2020*

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

*unless filled earlier

The Research Project

This project will focus on defining optimum protein quality by determining essential amino acid requirements for juvenile topical and slipper lobsters. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the importance of between meal changes in tissue amino acid supply, balance and fluxes into growth or metabolism. The research will combine established and cutting-edge methods to understand amino acid metabolism at multiple levels and specifically related to how well amino acid requirements are being met or not met.

Classic factorial modelling of amino acid requirements will establish the base experimental approach. Advanced respirometry, combining oxygen consumption with carbon dioxide and nitrogenous excretion, will determine changes in substrate utilization within 24-h cycles and incorporate between meal changes in amino acid supply to tissues. Protein turnover will be measured because it underlies growth, is strongly influenced by dietary protein quality (amino acid balance) and has high energy costs. Stable isotope tracking to the level of specific amino acids will be developed and provide further detail on metabolic pathways and specific amino acid retention efficiencies (e.g. Barreto-Curiel et al 2019). Targeted transcriptomics will then be used to understand how gene regulation relates to differences in amino acid fluxes. The research will ultimately help explain mechanisms that underpin differences in whole-animal growth efficiency and provide a detailed basis for feed formulation.

  • Graduates with a strong academic record (e.g. BSc Hons, MSc or equivalent qualifications demonstrated by publication record) in aquaculture, ecology, marine biology, molecular biology and zoology or similar
  • Research experience or undergraduate training in aquaculture, physiology, nutrition, animal behaviour and/or molecular biology (project specific)
  • Demonstrated experience in aquaculture growth or feeding experiments and laboratory analytical analysis. Keen interest in and desire for a career in aquaculture and/or marine ecology

See the following web page for entry requirements:

Assessment Criteria
  • Applicants will be assessed and ranked according to the quality of their basis for entry research degree and institution, prior peer reviewed publications, academic awards, project-specific skills, training or relevant industry experience, referee’s reports and supervisory support
Application Process

Applicants who require more information or are interested in this specific project should first contact the listed Supervisor. Information and guidance on the application process can be found on the Apply Now website.

Information about scholarships is available on the Scholarships webpage.

More Information

Please contact, Quinn Fitzgibbon for further information.