Ross Houston [Alumni]

Personal Chair of Aquaculture Genetics

Current Research

Ross Houston leads the Aquaculture Genetics group.

I lead one of the laboratory and research groups within our aquaculture team as Personal Chair and I am Deputy Director for Translation and Commercialisation at Roslin.

Our research is focused on understanding and improving complex traits in aquaculture species, in particular host resistance to infectious diseases. We develop tools and methods for genomic selection to help improve selective breeding in aquaculture. We also apply functional genomics and genome editing to study the genes underlying disease resistance. We work on many aquaculture species including salmonids, tilapia, carp, sea bass, sea bream, shrimp, oysters and m

You can find an external list of my publications using this link.



As an undergraduate I studied human biology. I then realised humans aren’t as interesting as other mammals, so did a PhD in pig genetics at University of Aberdeen. I then realised that the most interesting animals live in water, so I took a postdoc position at Roslin in salmon genetics. In that postdoc we found a major locus affecting resistance to Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis, and my colleagues would say I have been dining out on that ever since. In 2010 I was awarded a BBSRC-funded Institute Career Path Fellowship. I was promoted to Group Leader in 2015 and then promoted to Personal Chair in 2017.  

  • [2000-2004]          PhD in Genetics (University of Aberdeen)
  • [2004-2010]          Postdoctoral research fellow (The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh
  • [2010-2015]          BBSRC Institute Career Path Fellow (The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh)
  • [2015-2017]          Group Leader (The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh)
  • [2017-Present]    Personal Chair of Aquaculture Genetics (The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh)

Interests, hopes and dreams

My job is very enjoyable because I have an excellent team of students, postdoctoral fellows, other colleagues, and collaborators working with me on exciting projects in aquaculture genetics. I have three children so when I can’t be at work I do a lot of running and international travel. I enjoy watching films on airplanes.