An investigation of the feasibility of trans-generational immunity as a health management strategy in lobster aquaculture

Closing Date

2nd November 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 PhD will investigate the feasibility of using trans-generational immunity as a health management strategy in lobster aquaculture. Trans-generational immune priming (TGIP) is the ability to impart immune responses from the parent’s immunological experience to enhance the immune responses of their offspring. The incorporation of into a health management strategy has the potential to control diseases in crustacean aquaculture. Therefore, before the potential benefit of these phenomena can be realised it is important that the life stageā€specific host–pathogen interactions are understood in the context of the specific disease to be managed.

The test species will be the slipper lobster (SL) Thenus australiensis, culture of this species is in its infancy and to date very few diseases have impacted any stage of the culture. Despite this apparent relative freedom from disease several microorganisms have been identified as potential disease-causing agents in this species. The putative pathogen Aquimarina sp. is believed to be responsible for a condition termed ‘white leg’ disease and has been identified as a health priority. When present this bacterial pathogen results in significant mortality of SL phyllosoma.
Research will be performed to characterise the ontogenic immune response of the SL and investigate the host-pathogen interaction during ‘white leg’ disease both within and across generations.

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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:

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.