I am Professor of Aquatic Animal Health and Welfare in the Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling.
I was the Course Director for the MSc in Aquatic Veterinary Studies and Aquatic Pathobiology for more than 14 years and currently provide specialist lectures at several UK universities.
I have acted as external examiner for PhD theses in the UK, Belgium, Norway, India and Australia.
Our group currently has research funding from Defra (UK Department of the Environment Food and Rural Affairs), Sarf (Scottish Aquaculture Research Forum), EU STREP funding (Specific Targeted REsearch Project European Commission Sixth Framework programme), the British Trout Association, The Fisheries Research Service (an Agency of the Scottish Government) and Marine Harvest Ltd.
After the age of five I was brought up on close to the sea on the west coast of Scotland and always had a fascination with things aquatic. After school I went to veterinary college in Edinburgh and during my time there I developed a keen interest in production animal health which I followed during 6 years in general vet practice. However, a decline in the demand for farm animal vets led me back to things aquatic and specifically commercial production of fish. I first completed an MSc in Aquatic Veterinary Studies, followed by a part time PhD on fin damage in Atlantic salmon parr, at the Institute of Aquaculture. During the PhD I also worked in diagnostics and health advice to a group of commercial farms.
Following my PhD, my job entailed aquatic animal health consultancies on behalf of the institute combined with an increasing role in teaching. Much of my work at that time was in South East Asia on cultured shrimp.
Towards the end of the 1990s I increased the amount of time I devoted to research, especially in Europe, and was fortunate to obtain continuous research funding building up the Aquatic Population Health and Welfare group in the process.
It is a little bit difficult to define the group since it has joint projects and posts with other groups but the main personnel include myself, a Lecturer, 3 Post-docs, a web application developer and 3 PhD students. We also have 1 Post-Doc and 5 PhD students shared with other groups in the department.
During my career I have been extremely lucky to collaborate and become friends with some exceptional people who have been an inspiration and great practical support. Some of the things I learned might be summarised as: You can be ethical and successful - Felicity Huntingford If you assume you can do anything you can find a way to do most things - Kenton Morgan Different people need different incentives but always be polite - Supranee Chinabut No privilege comes without responsibility - CV Mohan A massive amount about fish - Iain Semple and Colin Adams Sleep is optional - Pornlerd Charatchakool Everything he knew about statistics - Tony Patterson How to delegate - Margaret Crumlish Never talk up to or down to anyone - John and Mary Turnbull A work ethic - John and Mary Turnbull There is more to life than work - Connor Turnbull
Aquatic animal health and welfare Aquatic epidemiology
My research interests lie in understanding determinants of health and welfare in farmed aquatic populations and translating that understanding into improved farming practices. I have been working in this area since 1998.