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INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research

International partnership for advancing microbiome-informed aquaculture

Alternative title: Internasjonalt samarbeid for mikrobiom-informert akvakultur

Awarded: NOK 10.0 mill.

All animals and humans live in symbiosis with complex microbial communities, microbiomes. These microbiomes are of crucial importance to host health. Despite intensive research, particularly on gut microbiomes, many questions remain regarding the complex interactions between hosts and their microbiomes. Fish are excellent models for host – microbiome interactions: bacteria-free rearing is relatively simple compared to mammalian systems, fish are evolutionary ancient, and they live in close contact with environmental microbes. In the IPAMA project, the Department of Biotechnology and Food Science at NTNU (NTNU-IBT) will develop a long-term collaboration with world-class experts on fish microbiomes at the University of Oregon (UO, USA) and the University of Laval (UL, Canada). The IPAMA partnership represents complementary expertise (e.g. microbial ecology, host responses, genomics, aquaculture, bacteria-free fish rearing) and advanced infrastructure, for example one of the worlds’ largest academic fish facilities at UO. We expect synergies that will enable us to develop internationally leading basic research in the field of fish – microbe interactions. This research has a substantial applied potential, and we aim at identifying rearing conditions and methods that will promote positive host – microbe interactions in aquaculture systems. Another essential element of the project is research-based education of master and PhD students. The main objectives for IPAMA are to 1) Develop collaboration to promote excellence in fish – microbe research, 2) Educate highly qualified master and PhD students by integrating teaching and research in the field of fish – microbe interactions, and 3) Promote collaboration between the research groups and industry. These objectives will be reached through activities such as reciprocal research stays and internships for students and staff, shorter stays to take advantage of the complementary infrastructure and expertise, joint “cotutelle” PhDs, organization of workshops and development of joint courses. We have already carried out a number of research stays in the IPAMA project: Two PhD candidates at NTNU-IBT have had two-months' research stays at UO, and a master student at NTNU-IBT is performing his master project in collaboration with UL, and has completed one of two research stays at UL. Several PhD candidates from UO have had visits and research stays at NTNU-IBT and we are planning visits from candidates from UL as well. In addition, professor Brendan Bohannan from UL visited NTNU for two months in 2023. Furthermore, the IPAMA project arranged an international workshop on fish-microbe interaction with an applied perspective, with researchers and representatives from industry. This was organized in relation with the fourth international fish-microbiota workshop in Wageningen in September 2023, and was a great success. We have carried out several project meetings with participants from all partner institutions, both in relationship with international scientific conferences and at NTNU and UL. We are currently working on joint scientific manuscripts and research collaborations within the field of fish-microbe interactions.

All animals and humans live in symbiosis with complex microbial communities, microbiomes. These microbiomes are of crucial importance to host health. Despite intensive research, many questions remain regarding the complex interactions between hosts and their microbiomes. Fish are excellent models for host – microbiome interactions: bacteria-free rearing is relatively simple compared to mammalian systems, fish are evolutionary ancient, and they live in close contact with environmental microbes. In the IPAMA project, hosted by NTNU, we will develop a long-term collaboration with world-class experts on fish microbiomes at the University of Oregon (UO, USA) and the University of Laval (UL, Canada). The IPAMA partnership represents complementary expertise (e.g. microbial ecology, host responses, genomics, aquaculture, and bacteria-free fish rearing) and advanced infrastructure, for example one of the worlds’ largest academic fish facilities at UO. We expect large synergies that will enable us to develop internationally leading basic research in the field of fish – microbe interactions. This research has a substantial applied potential, and we aim at identifying rearing conditions and methods that will promote positive host – microbe interactions in aquaculture systems. Another essential element of the project is research-based education of master and PhD students. The main objectives for IPAMA are to 1) Develop collaboration to promote excellence in fish – microbe research, 2) Educate highly qualified master and PhD students by integrating teaching and research in the field of fish – microbe interactions, and 3) Promote collaboration between the research groups and industry. These objectives will be reached through activities such as reciprocal research stays and internships for students and staff, shorter stays to take advantage of the complementary infrastructure and expertise, joint “cotutelle” PhDs, organization of workshops and development of joint courses.

Funding scheme:

INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research

Thematic Areas and Topics

No thematic area or topic related to the project