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NUTRITION & HEALTH This society, that has traditional roots I am writing this from my home base, in animal production, celebrated 75 Llanelli in Wales, for the Easter Spring years since its foundation. At the break. It is a beautiful Carmarthenshire Scottish capital many famous names town steeped in the history of coal were present, such as Professor Colin mining, steel and tin production. It Whittemore FRSE, known for his is also abundant in good fishing and longstanding work on animal nutrition seafood with laver bread (seaweed) on and agriculture. our plates and sewin, wild sea trout in He gave an inspiring and thoughtlate summer and autumn. Professor Simon Davies provoking talk on our strategies One of the benefits of working in my Nutrition Editor, International Aquafeed for research and interpretation of field is the opportunities to attend various experiments with some focus on our conferences and meetings globally. These current limiting statistical approaches and dependency on international venues were often out of reach in the past, due commercial funding driving the research agenda sometimes at to the pressure of academic activities and commitments in my the expense of fundamental blue skies research of yesteryear. university roles. In my present redefined situation, I am enabled to keep in contact with so many active researchers and technical In my aquaculture session, I had five speakers with Professor as well as academic staff in universities and companies involved Sam Martin of the Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Aberdeen as my keynote speaker who gave an in aquaculture. excellent review of his current work and the significance Although my main expertise is fish nutrition, I am increasingly of nutrition on the salmon immune system and effects of crossing the divide into the realms of fish immunology and alternative protein concentrates in our goal of reducing fish disease as we explore the importance of nutrition and diet meal and soybean inclusion levels in diets with novel plant composition on the complex processes governing immune ingredients. competence and defence mechanisms in fish and shrimp. My colleague, Dr Stephen Mansbridge from Harper Adams We now know that various nutrients can be vital in this University in Shropshire, England chaired a session on context and in particular specific amino acids, zinc, selenium pig nutrition with much emphasis on feed additives and and vitamin C, to name a few. The latter ascorbic acid is of supplements with functional properties. My university does importance as an anti-oxidant vitamin and as a co-factor in excellent work in mono gastric nutrition and the interaction hydroxylation reactions such as in the hydroxylation of lysine with our pig and poultry nutritionists provides an enriched that is essential in the proteins of the immune cascade and environment for knowledge exchange and offers huge complement activation. Fish too need a regular dose of vitamin advantages for our fish nutrition interests. C and especially under stress. It was a most encouraging meeting and our next venue will be at My recent trip was to the British Society of Animal Science the University of Nottingham where I am an honorary Professor 2019 event at the Edinburgh Convention Centre, where I of Nutrition Biosciences. After Edinburgh, I moved on to the chaired our second session on aquaculture, the first being in University of Stirling where I am an alumni and met with their Dublin last year. new Head of the Institute of Aquaculture, Selina Stead, exNewcastle University where I am also an alumni, so we had lots to discuss. The institute offers one of the best Sustainable Aquaculture Master’s degree course in Europe, with dedicated and experienced staff in all of the key areas and disciplines with extensive global connections and opportunities for students, and I will be endorsing their research and teaching qualities on my travels. After all, its where it all began for me! On other matters, I am fully engaged with collaborative work at the National University of Ireland, Galway and at the University of Los Lagos, Chile where I am soon to be a visiting professor and working on Pacific, as well as Atlantic salmon and seagrown rainbow trout. This, along with projects in Thailand, South Korea and Mexico, well into the next decade, will all help to keep my air miles active. I now mark 33 years in academia with little turbulence except for some strong head winds back in 2014, resulting in some unexpected detours and navigational changes, but my flight plan is on track for some more innovative work and a productive journey with leading and financially secure institutions.

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MAY 2019 - International Aquafeed magazine  

MAY 2019 - International Aquafeed magazine