Dr Sonia Rey Planellas

Associate Professor

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

Dr Sonia Rey Planellas

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About me

About me

Dr. Sonia Rey Planellas was appointed as a lecturer in 2019 at the Institute of Aquaculture. She has been working in the field of animal behaviour, physiology and welfare of individuals and groups of animals for the past 15 years.

Research (5)

Dr Rey research interests are on the convergent evolution of animal cognition and sentience through a comparative approach between closely and distantly related species. She studies 1) How behaviours related to animal personalities have evolved within and between closely and distant related species 2) How emotions like pain, fear, anxiety, or happiness have evolved from invertebrates to the vertebrates and 3) How the understanding of animal behaviour and the interaction with the environment can help to improve the welfare of the species under different contexts: from animal production to conservation purposes.

To this end Dr Rey uses standard behavioural tests and molecular biology to understand the underlying causes of behaviour and phenotypic individual differences as well as the interaction with the environment by looking at the different neuro-molecular pathways and gene regulatory networks involved with those responses. She also uses monitoring systems like sensors and sonars, big data and AI as a tool to monitor the behaviour of the animals in their environment, mainly for applied purposes (Precision livestock farming) but also for conservation purposes (protection of endangered species). Dr Rey research has also contributed to the development of Operational Welfare Indicators for their the use on fish farming.

Dr Rey has been and is actually involved in multiple projects like the past COST action on fish welfare, Aquaexel research mission, AQUISOST (MEC-CENIT: Towards a sustainable aquaculture), AquaGenomics (MEC-consolider: development of biotechnological tools for aquaculture) and two different INIA projects (MEC) first one on stunning methods for seabream and the second on the characterisation of behavioural profiles (stress coping style) and their impact on reproductive success in Senegalese sole.

Also a EU COPEWELL project aimed to provide a better understanding of underpinning mechanisms in the physiology, biology, and behaviour of fishes and their relationship to individual coping styles, environment and development. The over-arching aim is to improve fish welfare status across the EU (aquaculture, research facilities, etc). She was also involved as a co-researcher in a DEFRA project on salmon fin damage and a SAIC project (Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Center) on vaccination protocols on salmon cleaning fish.

Her current position is within the Environment group at the University of Stirling, Institute of Aquaculture, as a lecturer in animal behaviour and welfare. She was recently awarded with a cleaning fish (Lumpfish) project on health and welfare as a Principal Investigator.

Recent projects: she acted as a co-researcher in a EU project on eco-intensification of European aquaculture named GAIN where the main goal of the task she is involved is to understand how Precision Fish Farming (PFF) can improve the understanding of the fish behaviour and to improve the general health and welfare of the farmed fish in different farming systems. She is also a principal investigator in a BBSRC-ARCH UK project on off-shore aquaculture in salmon farming focused in how exposed environments will impact the fish welfare. Dr. Rey is now the TNA coordinator and WP1 leader for the EU HORIZON2020 funded project AquaExcel3.0.

She has supervised multiple undergraduate and master projects as well as several PhD students. She is supervising 5 PhD students under different projects studying behaviour and welfare.

If you are interested in working with us just send us a message, we accept PhD students.

Projects

AQUAculture Infrastructures For EXCELlence In European Fish Research 3
PI: Dr Sonia Rey Planellas
Funded by: European Commission (Horizon 2020)

Offshore Aquaculture
PI: Dr Sonia Rey Planellas
Funded by: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

AquaExcel2020
PI: Dr Sonia Rey Planellas
Funded by: European Commission (Horizon 2020)

Health and welfare of lumpfish in hatchery production and deployed in Scottish salmon cages
PI: Dr Sonia Rey Planellas
Funded by: Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre

Improving local management of tropical coastal resources in the face of climate change for economic wellbeing of local and vulnerable communittees
PI: Dr Sonia Rey Planellas
Funded by: The British Council

Outputs (58)

Outputs

Article

Garcia de Leaniz C, Gutierrez Rabadan C, Barrento SI, Stringwell R, Howes PN, Whittaker BA, Minett JF, Smith RG, Pooley CL, Overland BJ, Biddiscombe L, Lloyd R, Consuegra S, Maddocks JK & Rey Planellas S (2022) Addressing the welfare needs of farmed lumpfish: knowledge gaps, challenges and solutions. Reviews in Aquaculture, 14 (1), pp. 139-155. https://doi.org/10.1111/raq.12589

Article

Ibarra-Zatarain Z, Martín I, Rasines I, Fatsini E, Rey S, Chereguini O & Duncan N (2020) Exploring the relationship between stress coping styles and sex, origin and reproductive success, in Senegalese sole (Solea senegalensis) breeders in captivity. Physiology and Behavior, 220, Art. No.: 112868. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2020.112868

Article

Cerqueira M, Millot S, Felix A, Silva T, Oliveira GA, Oliveira CCV, Rey S, MacKenzie S & Oliveira R (2020) Cognitive appraisal in fish: stressor predictability modulates the physiological and neurobehavioural stress response in sea bass. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 287 (1923), Art. No.: 20192922. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2019.2922

Research Report

Rey S, Little DC & Ellis M (2019) Farmed fish welfare practices: salmon farming as a case study. Global Aquaculture Alliance. https://www.aquaculturealliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/FarmedFishWelfarePractices_26_May_2020.pdf

Research Report

Rey Planellas S, Ellis M & Little DC (2019) Farmed fish welfare practices: salmon farming as a case study [Salmon welfare]. Global Aquaculture Aliance. USA. https://www.aquaculturealliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/FarmedFishWelfarePractices_26_May_2020.pdf

Keynote

Rey Planellas S (2019) The welfare of lumpfish., Stirling, 27.05.2019-27.05.2019.

Book Chapter

Treasurer J, Noble C, Puvanendran V, Rey S & Iversen MH (2018) Cleaner fish biology and aquaculture applications. In: Treasurer J (ed.) Cleaner Fish Biology and Aquaculture Applications. Sheffield: 5m Books. http://www.5mbooks.com/cleaner-fish-biology-and-aquaculture-applications.html

Lecture

Rey Planellas S (2018) Behavioural fever in fish (Presentation) [Fever in fish]. Pharmaqacademy, Inverness, 29.10.2018-30.10.2018.

Keynote

Rey Planellas S (2018) Fish behaviour in aquaculture. Societat Catalana de Biologia Congres, Barcelona, 03.05.2018-04.05.2018.

Conference Proceeding

Rey Planellas S, Mackenzie S & Planas J (2018) Assessing the Influence of Individual Variation in Coping Styles on Swimming Performance in Zebrafish (Danio Rerio) [Swimming performance in zebrafish]. In: FitFish Annual Conference 2016. FITFISH EU cost action, Belgrade, Serbia, 22.04.2016-22.04.2016. FitFish, p. 34. https://www.fitfish.eu/upload_mm/c/5/8/bc3a7541-dd20-4aa4-bbe4-f074612af4cb_FITFISH%20annual%20conference%202016.pdf

Commentary

Rey S (2017) The emotional brain of fish [Emotions in fish]. Commentary on: Woodruff, Michael L. (2017) Consciousness in teleosts: There is something it feels like to be a fish. Animal Sentience 13(1). Animal Sentience, 2 (13), Art. No.: 11. http://animalstudiesrepository.org/animsent/vol2/iss13/11

Commentary

Rey S, Huntingford FA, Knowles TG & MacKenzie S (2017) Stress induced hyperthermia in zebrafish: a reply to Key et al.. Commentary on: Key B et al. 2017 Problems with equating thermal preference with ‘emotional fever’ and sentience: comment on ‘Fish can show emotional fever: stress-induced hyperthermia in zebrafish’ by Rey et al. (2015). Proc. R. Soc. B 284, 20160681. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2016.0681). Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 284 (1847), Art. No.: 20162124. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2016.2124

Article

Rey S, Ribas L, Capdevila DM, Callol A, Huntingford FA, Pilarczyk M, Kadri S & MacKenzie S (2016) Differential responses to environmental challenge by common carp Cyprinus carpio highlight the importance of coping style in integrative physiology. Journal of Fish Biology, 88 (3), pp. 1056-1069. https://doi.org/10.1111/jfb.12877

Article

Rey S, Boltana S, Vargas R, Roher N & MacKenzie S (2013) Combining animal personalities with transcriptomics resolves individual variation within a wild-type zebrafish population and identifies underpinning molecular differences in brain function. Molecular Ecology, 22 (24), pp. 6100-6115. https://doi.org/10.1111/mec.12556

Article

Martins CIM, Galhardo L, Noble C, Damsgard B, Spedicato MT, Zupa W, Beauchaud M, Kulczykowska E, Massabuau J, Carter T, Rey S & Kristiansen TS (2012) Behavioural indicators of welfare in farmed fish. Fish Physiology and Biochemistry, 38 (1), pp. 17-41. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10695-011-9518-8

Teaching

Teaching

AQUU7MM: BSc Marine mammals field course_ module coordinator AQUPGV4/P4 MSc in Aquaculture: Animal Behaviour and Welfare CPD course on Fish Health and Welfare