Microbial water quality in aquaculture water




North Jutland

Water quality control is important for all kinds of aquaculture systems. Water quality can be improved by various treatments and evaluated by use of reliable monitoring tools and analysis.  A number of well-known chemical parameters are measured on a regular basis, however less focus have been devoted to monitoring of microbial water quality. We recently developed a new and simple assay that can assess the microbial activity in water samples very fast. Compared to traditional measures of biological oxygen demand over 5 days (BOD5) this assay can be made in less than 2 hours (~ BOD0.1).

More research is required to document and further develop this new method, and several research topics can be of relevance. These include but are not limited to:

Study A: Investigations of the potential effects of storage conditions on microbial activity. Here it is interesting to test if storage (-time) of water samples a -20 °C, 5 °C or room temperature affects the enzyme activity. The outcome of this project will be of relevance for future sampling programs and can be combined with other relevant parameters.

Study B: Use the method to quantify the effects of a given treatment (severe disinfection, use of clay, foam fractionation or another treatment) on the microbial activity in treated and untreated water samples.

Study C: Apply and modify the assay to evaluate bacterial colonization on surface.

Study D: Use the method to monitor evolution / succession of controlled microbial communities in mesocosmos trials

Study E: Investigate microbial activity diurnal patterns and sink/sources in a commercial aquaculture system.

Study F: Develop the method for plate readers or by us of a hydrogen peroxide sensor.

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Company / Organization

DTU Aqua


Lars-Flemming Pedersen




Supervisor info

MSc in Aquatic Science and Technology


Lars-Flemming Pedersen

ECTS credits

10 - 35


BSc project, MSc thesis, Special course

Technical University of Denmark

For almost two centuries DTU, Technical University of Denmark, has been dedicated to fulfilling the vision of H.C. Ørsted – the father of electromagnetism – who founded the university in 1829 to develop and create value using the natural sciences and the technical sciences to benefit society.

Today, DTU is ranked as one of the foremost technical universities in Europe, continues to set new records in the number of publications, and persistently increases and develops our partnerships with industry, and assignments accomplished by DTU’s public sector consultancy.

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