Shawn Robinson, Ph.D.
Dept. Fisheries and Oceans,
St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada
Shawn Robinson is a graduate from the University of British Columbia and has been working for the last 19 years as a research scientist with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans at the Biological Station in St. Andrews, New Brunswick. He is also currently an adjunct professor at the University of New Brunswick, and in the past at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College and Memorial University in Newfoundland.
He is actively engaged in applied ecological research on marine shellfish species such as blue mussels, sea scallops, sea urchins, and soft-shell clams. His research team is studying the natural processes by which these animals interact and utilize their environment so that better and more sustainable culture techniques can be developed.
One example of this research is the study of an integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) project (sometimes known as polyculture) where shellfish are grown in conjunction with other species to produce a more sustainable and productive system. Much of this work involves collaborative projects with industry and academic partners and takes a more holistic view of the aquaculture system combining biology, physics, economics, sociology, and government policy.
Results from this novel approach are encouraging and are showing both biological and economic feasibility with the two biofilters (i.e. mussels and kelp) currently being used. Other components are currently being evaluated that will provide both a biological recycling advantage and an economic boost to the aquaculture operation. Much of this work is being done through the training of graduate students who are continuing to spread the IMTA concept.
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