Primary Supervisor: Prof Eckhard Witten
Msc Aquatic Pathobiology (1st class)
Bsc (Hons) Marine Biology and Oceanography (Distinction)
SCIENTIFIC WORK EXPERIENCE
Summer Intern at Univeristy of Cadiz (2 months)
Assistant in data analysis at Marine Biological Association
Summer Intern at University of Vigo (2 months)
The world of the ocean has always represented a very tantalising, mysterious place just ripe for exploration and scientific detective work. Lucia therefore chose University of Plymouth as the right place to undergo her BSc (Hons) degree in Marine Biology and Oceanography. The studies were very captivating and stimulating. Material covering aquaculture and fisheries proved to be the most interesting for her. Her curiosity was perhaps further amplified by the fact that the biology of teleost was not covered in as much detail.
Lucia thus conducted a BSc thesis looking at the gut microbiome of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and the potential effect of probiotic substances on the presence of antibiotic tetracycline resistant genes. She further continued expanding her interest and knowledge in fish health, nutrition and welfare while conducting MSc in Aquatic Pathobiology at Stirling University. Her research topic was largely involved in an identification and phenotypisation of skeletal deformities in cultured ballan wrasse (Labrys bergylta) and a subsequent comparison with wild specimens all originating from the waters of Scotland.
Her current work is looking to characterise the effect of deficiency and oversupply of phosphorus in a diet of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and provide a detailed work identifying the true importance of this factor in the induction of skeletal deformities in fish. She will moreover use zebrafish as a second model organism enabling further possibilities in experimental techniques.
Among Lucia's major achievements so far, she has run a marathon to raise funds for Macmillan cancer support charity, obtained a bursary to participate in a Fish Vet Group conference in Edinburgh and she has been awarded the chance to conduct her current doctoral research at the University of Ghent.
Furthermore, she enjoys the outdoors. She is a great enthusiast of snowboarding, horseriding, running and hiking. Throughout her studies she worked at an ice rink as well as a bartender and waitress. Lucia is fond of Spanish culture which led her to maintain development of Spanish language skills and undertaking two internship programs in Cadiz and Vigo University involved in aquaculture research.
Lucia is hoping to conduct the research at the University of Ghent in a smooth and successful fashion followed by a career among one of the industrial partners enabling her to further investigate fish health and nutrition and its application in the rapidly expanding aquaculture industry.