The C3 Aquaculture research team combines aquaculture experience with a strong background in cellular and molecular biology and sensor technologies to provide research-based solutions to industry. Focusing on the development of the next generation of sustainable aquatic feeds the research aims to ensure a healthy and viable aquaculture industry through collaborative, practical R&D programs.
Investigating the effect of light quality on biomass production in Chaetoceros muelleri
PhD student Kenji Iwasaki
Supervisors: Professor Peter Ralph (UTS), Dr Milan Szabo (UTS) and Dr Wayne O`Connor (DPI)
This collaborative project between UTS (Prof. Peter Ralph and Dr Milan Szabo) and NSW Department of Primary Industry (Dr Wayne O`Connor), investigates the effects of light quality on biomass production in the diatom species Chaetoceros muelleri, which is largely used for aquafeed applications. Using novel small (500 ml) and large scale (500 l) photobioreactors and various LED configurations, the light quality is modulated to optimize the biomass production and biochemical composition of C. muelleri. For industry, this means more algal feed produced per production run, using less energy inputs.
Production optimisation of the diatom species Chaetoceros muelleri for aquaculture feed using large-scale photobioreactors
Honours Student: Robert Fleck
Supervisors: Professor Peter Ralph (UTS), Dr Mathieu Pernice (UTS) and Dr Wayne O`Connor (DPI)
UTS:C3 researchers have optimised an LED-based lighting systems that provide even illumination in large scale (500 L) photobioreactors. These large scale photobioreactors are already used for aquaculture industry and, with this new lighting system, they have the potential to minimize the adverse effects of light limitation and therefore improve algal growth. This collaborative project between UTS (Prof. Peter Ralph and Dr Mathieu Pernice) and NSW Department of Primary Industry (Dr Wayne O`Connor), investigates the effects of another major limiting factor on growth rates, which is the amount of CO2 available to algal cells. CO2 available to algal cells depends on a number of delivery factors: CO2 partial pressure, flow rate, bubble size and retention time. All of these affect the dissolved CO2 in the algal culture, which exists in equilibrium with carbonate (CO32-) and bicarbonate (HCO3-) ions, and can therefore be measured through pH.
Using large scale (500 L) photobioreactors already used for aquaculture industry, the carbon dioxide feed will be modulated to optimize the biomass production and biochemical composition of C. muelleri. This will result in improved biomass productivity and/or reduced operating costs for the aquaculture industry.
These projects are being completed in collaboration with the Department of Primary Industries.
These project ideas provide insights into areas in which C3 is working or could work to help the shellfish, crustacean and finfish aquaculture industries.
Feed / Nutrition
Nutritional optimisation of aquafeed
This project will bring new insights into how microalgal diversity and culturing conditions affect the nutritional value (lipids, carbohydrates, proteins) of aquafeed.
Production optimisation of aquafeed
This project will compare different culturing conditions (500L) for optimized aquafeed production and more particularly batch vs batch-fed conditions.
This project will study the use of algal strains containing elevated levels of antioxidants.
This project will study digestion and integrity of different microalgal strains in order to improve delivery for potential oral vaccine.
Harmful algal blooms and seafood safety
Engineering and Operations
Sustainable production – nutrients recycling
This project will study the benefits of reusing excess nutrients in aquaculture systems, more particularly through aquaponics, i.e. systems that have two complementary crops, e.g. fish and plants.
Smart algal production system
This project will develop the next generation of sensors to monitor ponds and reactors for aquaculture.
This project will study the nutritional impact of mixed micro-algal strain culture.
For more information on these projects or how to partner with UTS:C3 contact Dr Mathieu Pernice firstname.lastname@example.org