Aquaculture

Thomas Clark

Crustafish Lab, Core Scientist

Current research

Thomas Clark
Thomas fishing

I am a molecular biologist interested in using comparative genomics to understand innate immunity and disease resistance in aquatic animals. My research at the Roslin Institute will incorporate work on both salmonids and crustaceans using cutting edge technologies such as single nuclei sequencing and gene editing (both knock-in and out) to further our understanding of commercial traits of interest.

Favourite Aquaculture species  

Atlantic Salmon, their life-cycle is incredible.

Background

I’ve always had a very keen interest in all things fish (although mostly the salmonid variety). Initially catching trout in the lochs and rivers growing up in my native Scotland, now I also get to study and work with them.

I started my career with a Marine Biology undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen, graduating in 2015. I then stayed on in Aberdeen to do my PhD with an industry partner Biomar, an aquaculture feed manufacturer. My PhD project investigated the role of “Functional amino acids in salmonid nutrition” where I focused on the growth and health contexts from supplementing arginine and its intermediate amino acids (citrulline and ornithine) to rainbow trout feed. In 2019, I then moved over to Paris, France to start my first post-doc working on the AQUA-FAANG project. Here, I started to really delve into the world of innate anti-viral immunity in fish, sparking a huge interest in immunology. On the pro

ject we used transcriptomic and epigenetic tools to investigate the basis for disease resistance in salmonid fish. I then returned to Aberdeen for my 2nd post-doc working on nucleic acid vaccines for the causative agent of pancreas disease (Salmonid Alphavirus or SAV) in Atlantic salmon. Before then taking me to my current role of Core Scientist in the Crustafish lab headed by Nick Wade. Where I’m now hoping to incorporate my vertebrate “immunoknowledge” and utilise my skillset with some farmed aquatic invertebrates. 

[2011 – 2015] Marine Biology Honours degree, University of Aberdeen, UK

[2015 – 2019] PhD, University of Aberdeen, UK

[2019 – 2022] Post-doc, INRAe, France

[2022 – 2024] Post-doc, University of Aberdeen, UK

[Feb 2024 – Present] Core Scientist, Roslin Institute, UK