Dr Adam Brooker

Research Fellow

Institute of Aquaculture Pathfoot Building, University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA

Dr Adam Brooker

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About me

About me

I am a Research Fellow in the Breeding and Physiology research group at the Institute of Aquaculture. I have been researching and working at the University of Stirling since 2001 when I was awarded an MSc with distinction in Aquaculture and in 2008 a PhD in Aquatic Veterinary Studies. Since then, I have focussed my research on aquatic animal behaviour through working on a wide range of research projects in aquaculture.

My current research involves improving farmed cleaner fish stocks (ballan wrasse and lumpfish) for better welfare, survival and delousing efficiency in salmon net pens. Since 2016, I have led several project work packages in cleaner fish behaviour and cage management, and I am currently co-investigator for two projects investigating cleaner fish and salmon behaviour in commercial net pens. A primary focus of my work is using hydroacoustics to study the behaviour of tagged fish within a hydrophone array.

I come from a background of environmental science and marine biology having graduated from the University of Southampton with a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science in 1995.

Event / Presentation

Optimising the delousing performance of farmed ballan wrasse (Labrus bergylta) by acclimation to net-pen conditions. Aquaculture Europe 17
European Aquaculture Society


Other Project

Discrimination learning and its application in lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus) delousing behaviour
University of Stirling

The project is a first step towards understanding whether training protocols used in comparative psychology can encourage delousing behaviour in farmed lumpfish (i.e. whether lumpfish naïve to salmon and sea lice can be trained to delouse salmon). The project will examine whether lumpfish can be trained to discriminate between two ecologically valid visual stimuli, a fake-model salmon with sea lice and one without lice.

Research (1)

The primary drivers of my research are environmental conservation/sustainability and animal welfare. The oceans are one of our greatest global resources and only by working together with all stakeholders and in harmony with nature can we expect to achieve sustainable development.

Behaviour is a key indicator of animal welfare, and I am interested in how it can be observed in cultured aquatic species as an insight into their welfare status and also to facilitate/utilise natural behaviours. Parasites are an important component of aquatic food webs, and I am interested in how they can be better managed in aquaculture to achieve more efficient, sustainable and high-welfare food production systems. My current work combines these interests to utilise a natural behaviour in cleaner fish (delousing) as a biological control of sea lice in salmon farming.


CLEANGAIN: Improved welfare and delousing of farmed cleaner fish
PI: Dr Adam Brooker
Funded by: Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre and Loch Duart Ltd

Outputs (16)



Moriarty M, Murphy J, Brooker A, Waites W, Revie C, Adams T, Lewis M, Reinardy H, Phelan J, Coyle J, Rabe B, Ives S, Armstrong J, Sandvik A, Asplin L, Karlsen Ø, Garnier S, á Norᵭi G, Gillibrand P, Last K & Murray A (2023) A gap analysis on modelling of sea lice infection pressure from salmonid farms: (I) A structured knowledge review. Brooker A (Researcher) Aquaculture Environment Interactions. https://doi.org/10.3354/aei00469


Brooker AJ, Davie A, Leclercq E, Zerafa B & Migaud H (2020) Pre-deployment acclimatisation of farmed ballan wrasse (Labrus bergylta) to sea-cage conditions promotes behaviour analogous to wild conspecifics when used as cleaner fish in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) farms. Aquaculture, 520, Art. No.: 734771. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aquaculture.2019.734771


Leclercq E, Zerafa B, Brooker AJ, Davie A & Migaud H (2018) Application of passive-acoustic telemetry to explore the behaviour of ballan wrasse (Labrus bergylta) and lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus) in commercial Scottish salmon sea-pens. Aquaculture, 495, pp. 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aquaculture.2018.05.024


Brooker A, Skern-Mauritzen R & Bron J (2018) Production, mortality, and infectivity of planktonic larval sea lice, Lepeophtheirus salmonis (Krøyer, 1837): current knowledge and implications for epidemiological modelling. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 75 (4), pp. 1214-1234. https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsy015

Conference Paper (unpublished)

Brooker A, Davie A & Migaud H (2017) Optimising the delousing performance of farmed ballan wrasse (Labrus bergylta) by acclimation to net-pen conditions. Aquaculture Europe 17, Dubrovnik, 17.10.2017-20.10.2017. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320923247_Optimising_the_delousing_performance_of_farmed_ballan_wrasse_Labrus_bergylta_by_acclimation_to_net-pen_conditions


Brooker A, Wootten R, Shinn A & Bron J (2016) An assessment of the potential for zoonotic parasitic nematode infections arising from the consumption of maricultured Atlantic halibut, Hippoglossus hippoglossus (L.), and rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum), in Scotland. Food Control, 66, pp. 198-204. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2016.02.011



I have supervised BSc final year projects in Aquaculture and supervise MSc projects in Sustainable Aquaculture and Aquatic Veterinary Studies. I also lecture in the MSc Advanced Parasitology module.

Research programmes

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