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INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research

Cross Atlantic Salmon Lice

Alternative title: Transatlantisk lakselus

Awarded: NOK 2.8 mill.

The salmon louse is a fish parasite found on salmonids both in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. Especially in the Atlantic sea, lice infestations are challenge in relation to development and sustainable growth in aquaculture. The aim of the CALS project is to promote cooperation in the field of salmon lice biology between internationally leading researchers and research institutions in Canada and Norway. The research institutions included is the University of Bergen (UiB), Atlantic Veterinary College / University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) and the University of Victoria (UVIC). In addition, Elanco Animal Health and NCE Seafood Innovation Cluster, representing 70 industrial partners, are included to facilitate close contact between students, researchers and the aquaculture industry. Agreements to collaborate on student exchange established in in this project has provided students with better access to courses and the possibility to include research stays during the Master/PhD program at partner universities. As examples of this, students from UIB has performed parts of their project and learned new techniques at UPEI and UVIC. Similarly, student from UPEI has spent time in Bergen utilizing the experimental facilities there. Exchange of students has been further promoted through arrangement of annual summer schools with participants from both countries. In total, three summer schools have been arranged including topics such as the biology of sea lice and salmonid fish and demonstration of immunological and molecular techniques. Seven students from each country participated in each of these summer schools and received excellent scientific teaching in addition to the opportunity to network with students from Canada/Norway studying similar topics. For PhD students, postdocs and scientist, the CASL project has enabled development of scientific collaboration and mobility. The project has until now arranged for twelve individual mobility stays in addition to participation in a joint meeting between partner institutions and invited speakers (20 persons in total). Contact with the two industrial partners has been maintained via phone and face to face meetings. The activities therefore fulfill the aim of this project which was to create and implement joint projects of high international

The goal of the project was to establish collaboration between leading research environments in fish parasitology focusing on the commercially important parasite, the salmon lice. Collaboration between the partners, University of Bergen (Norway), Prince Edward Island and Victoria (Canada) has been established involving all levels from students to professors. Students have participated in summer courses and mobility stays during their Msc and PhD projects to explore scientific approaches in different laboratories. Through the project the administrative personnel has created agreements between the universities to enable future exchange of students and collaboration in education and research. For research personnel the collaboration has led to shared publications, establishment of personal network, access to infrastructure and experimental facilities resulting in a more comprehensive view of all aspects of the salmon louse-fish interaction and the possibility to develop future projects.

Salmon louse infection of salmonid fish is a key global problem in development of sustainable aquaculture. Development of new solutions has major economic impact on the Norwegian economy and offers substantial non-oil related income for the future. This application will develop and intensify research activities between international leading researchers and research institutions in Canada and Norway. Proposed activities will be focused on two topics: Establishment of long-term partnerships with partner universities, in Norway; University of Bergen, and in Canada; main partner Atlantic Veterinary College/University of Prince Edward Island and University of Victoria. Through formalization of such collaboration, students will gain access to a broader range of courses and to internationally leading experts as supervisors. The second major activity encompasses mobility of students, researchers and administrators to partner universities to enhance the number of collaborative projects, publications and future applications. Personal network established through this activity will be of valuable support to research careers beyond the timeline of this application. This application also includes industrial partners to ensure close contact between research activities and the end users. Direct contact with persons working in the industry will also provide students and researchers with a personal network that can lead to future innovation projects.

Funding scheme:

INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research