Aquaculture is currently the fastest growing food producing sector in the world, due to the increasing demand for seafood. The larval phase of the aquaculture production cycle is however still affected by low and unpredictable survival, high susceptibility to diseases (caused e.g. by Vibrio spp.) and slow growth, all constituting bottlenecks for the sustainable expansion of aquaculture. We are studying the immune system of sea bass larvae and larvae of artemia and mussels in order to design immunostimulative measures for decreasing larval dead.

(collaboration with Prof. Dr. P. Sogeloos & Prof. Dr. P. Bossier & Dr. M. Vandegehuchte, Fac. Bioscience Engineering. Ghent University, Prof. Dr. A. Decostere & Prof. Dr. W. Van den Broeck, Fac. Vet. Med., Ghent University, Prof. Dr. B. De Geest, Fac Pharmaceutical Sciences).