Animals in captivity, including fish in aquaculture, may periodically or even chronically experience stress. The primary stress hormone in fish is cortisol. Cortisol is released from the head kidney in response to a variety of stressful factors, such as aggression from conspecifics or unfavourable environmental parameters. Cortisol is released, in part, to mobilize energy reserves to fuel the stress response and recover. However, during periods of chronic stress, increased cortisol levels negatively influence the energetics of fish, and are likely to impede their scope for activity.
The aim of the project is to examine the effects of chronic cortisol levels in rainbow trout by implanting cortisol releasing stores in the fish, based on a previous determination of baseline levels and magnitude of the natural cortisol response. The student will investigate the effects on swimming performance, metabolic rates during rest and activity, and recovery from exhaustive exercise. Depending on time and chosen ECTS, aspects of blood biochemistry, feed intake and growth may also be included.
Meticulous and determined person with an interest and passion for experimental physiology with fish. Relevant coursework history on animal, exercise, and/or stress physiology