Women in Aquaculture: Dr Anna Kintner
Dr Anna Kintner, analytical services manager at Europharma UK, believes that the fish farming industry needs to pay more attention to the threat posed by gelatinous zooplankton – a belief given credence by her extensive knowledge of jellyfish, gained both in Scotland and Australia.
Briefly describe your aquaculture career
I did a PhD in marine biology at the University of St Andrews, looking at how blooms of microscopic jellyfish can affect salmon aquaculture. Since then, I’ve consulted with various aquaculture companies and worked as the laboratory manager at a salmon health company.
What inspired you to start in aquaculture?
I started out being interested in jellyfish! I had some past experience researching box jellyfish in Australia before moving to Scotland. When I looked into doing a PhD, I began by working out how my expertise could be applied here. From there, I gained experience in salmon production and fish health, particularly in their sub-lethal interactions. Enormous blooms of large jellyfish that obliterate whole farms are rare, but smaller blooms of jellyfish, particularly those of microscopic size, can cause or contribute to disease processes and mortality on a relatively frequent basis.
Describe a typical day in your current role
It’s pretty varied. I might spend days in the lab measuring gill development in salmon smolts, out in the field collecting samples, or at my desk working on coordinating partnerships between university research and industrial production. One partnership that I’ve worked on in the past involved cooperating with specific farm sites to monitor their jellyfish blooms, and we’ve been making an effort to get that started again on a wider scale, hopefully with many farms making a quick check on a daily basis. With that kind of information pooled in a database, we could really make a dent in understanding harmful zooplankton dynamics.
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