Our three finalists this year were Fernando Naya, Santiago Pintos and Niklas Warwas. Each of them had 3 minutes to present their work to the audience and to win an additional prize of 300 EUR.


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Santiago Pintos with Herve Migaud, past president of the European Aquaculture Society

Fernando Naya Student Spotlight AE22My name is Fernando Naya and I am a third year PhD student at the Nutrigenomics and Fish Endocrinology group of the Institute of Aquaculture Torre de la Sal (IATS-CSIC), under the supervision of Professor Jaume Pérez Sánchez and Dr. Carla Piazzon. My research expertise is in bioinformatics, computational tools development, and their application to address biological questions. The goal of my research group and my thesis project is the design and implementation of bioinformatics tools for the integrative omics analysis on the farmed gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata), linking the most relevant biological aspects of this species with the results of next-generation sequencing data describing its genomic, epigenomic, and metagenomic background.
My research explores how the gut microbiota is changing by diet across the production cycle in both reference and genetically improved for growth gilthead sea bream. To better underscore the association of host with its gut microbiota, we also disclosed the correlation of gut microbiota abundance with the host intestinal gene expression profile, highlighting physiological processes that are independent or potentially related to changes in gut microbiota composition.
Thanks to the European Aquaculture Society for considering me as one of the AES2022 Student Spotlight Award finalists. Also, I want to thank the funding of the AquaIMPACT H2020 European Project, which aims the integration of selective breeding and nutrition for improving the competitiveness of European Aquaculture, promoting at the same time the production of robust and high-quality fish with a limited environmental impact.

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Santiago Pintos Student Spotlight AE22My name is Santiago Pintos and I studied Biological Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires followed by a master’s degree in Aquaculture at the University of Murcia. I’m currently a first-year PhD student in a European project focused on sustainable aquaculture and coordinated by the University of Murcia and the University of Ferrara.

In the Aquaculture Europe 2022 conference, I am going to present a research project developed at the University of Murcia which aims to determine the effects of an in-feed probiotic with reported psychotropic-like properties on behavioural and molecular markers of stress in fish. The influence of the time of feeding administration was also evaluated in order to expand the scope of the study to wider potential applications. This project was supervised by Dr. Javier Sánchez-Vázquez and Dr. Luisa María Vera and co-financed by Lallemand SAS.

It is an honour for me to be selected as one of the AES2022 Student Spotlight Award Finalists promoting the application of psychobiotic to support fish welfare in the aquaculture industry.

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Niklas Warwas Student Spotlight AE22My name is Niklas Warwas, and I am a 4th year PhD student at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. I do my research within the interdisciplinary Swedish Mariculture Research Center, SWEMARC, under the supervision of Kristina Snuttan Sundell and the Fish Endocrinology Laboratory. My research topic is the development of renewable and “circular” alternative feed ingredients of marine origin with the aim to promote the health and welfare of the fish. Examples of ingredients I tested during my PhD include sea food processing side streams, marine insects, marine yeast and even mackerel in tomato sauce! The main aim of my PhD work is to understand the effects of these novel ingredients on physiology, immunology, and endocrinology of the fish. I focus specifically on intestinal health, and effects on barrier and transporting functions, morphology and the immune system.

I am very happy and honored to be selected as one of the AES2022 Student Spotlight Award Finalists. For a sustainable future, I think that a transition to more circular systems through expanding the pool of renewable feed ingredients and increasing the knowledge on how they affect fish growth, health, and welfare, is crucial.


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Many thanks to Mispeces for recording and compiling this video.
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