I am currently working on a Master’s thesis with Dr. Dominique Bureau at the Fish Nutrition Research Lab (http://animalbiosciences.uoguelph.ca/users/dbureau), where the focus of my thesis is on determining the applicability of a new water pump in aquaculture. The pump has been designed by Dr. Wael Ahmed’s research team (http://gryphenergy.ca/gryph-energy/) from the University’s School of Engineering. His research team is looking to improve sustainability in aquaculture by replacing electrical pumps by more energy efficient ones called airlifts, which use air to move water instead of motorized propellers. My contribution to the project will be to determine if the pumps can provide ample water quality conditions for the fish being cultured, by creating a computer model incorporating how much carbon dioxide the pumps remove from the water and how much oxygen they can supply. Based on these values the model will determine how many fish the pump can support according to their metabolic requirements. I will verify this model by running an experiment comparing fish tanks that are provided with water by either the electrical or the airlift pump, and see if the water quality requirements are being met by each.
My interest in aquaculture began during my undergraduate years at the University of Guelph, where I took courses and participated in experiments dealing with several aspects of cultivating fish; learning about their nutritional, environmental and health requirements. As an avid amateur angler and aquarium fish hobbyist, I was captivated by the idea of growing large quantities of fish to help feed the growing global population with continually less fish in our oceans. Using my academic knowledge and experience from working at tilapia and rainbow trout farms, I am grateful for the opportunity to now be conducting research on making this industry a more economically and ecologically sustainable enterprise.