Thermal physiology of Bay lobster (Thenus australiensis); defining temperature optimum and tolerance throughout juvenile ontogeny

Supervisory Team:

Primary supervisor: A/Prof. Quinn Fitzgibbon

Co-supervisor: Dr. Andrew Trotter

Additional supervisors: Prof. Greg Smith

Brief project description:

Recently, IMAS was awarded a prestigious Industrial Transformation Research Hub (ITRH) by the Australian Research Council (ARC) to undertake research on Sustainable Onshore Lobster Aquaculture.

The program will develop unique onshore aquaculture systems to facilitate the cost effective and sustainable production of lobsters. A relatively new species of interest to the program is the Bay or Slipper Lobster, Thenus australiensis, which exhibits promising attributes for aquaculture including a short larval duration, rapid growth and compatibility for high density culture. However, this species is new to onshore aquaculture there is a particular lack of knowledge of the environmental requirements and tolerances levels. Temperature is possibility the most influential abiotic factor effecting performance of ectotherms due to its strong influence on the rates of physiological functions.

This project aims to define the temperature optimum for Bay lobsters throughout juvenile ontogeny and its interactions with nutrition, behaviour and health. Assessment of thermal performance will be assessed through both traditional culture experimentation and physiological assessments including measurements of respiratory metabolism (oxygen consumption, heart rate) and nutritional factors (feed intake, biochemical analysis). These projects provide the opportunity to join a large and well-funded research program at the cutting edge of lobster aquaculture research and will provide training in a wide range of advanced aquaculture and analytical techniques.

Authorised by the Executive Director, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
November 25, 2020