Auburn University Aquaponics Project – Group

Auburn University, Auburn, AL

Members of the Auburn University Aquaponics Project accepting their award from left to right: Jesse Chappell, Tung-shi Huang, David Blersch, Terry Hanson, Glenn Loughridge, Brendan Higgins, Daniel Wells, David Cline, Not shown – Mollie Smith and Jeremy Pickens.

The Auburn University Aquaponics Project is a transdisciplinary, collaborative research, teaching, and extension project, which includes members from Auburn University’s Tiger Dining; Food Systems Institute; School of Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aquatic Sciences; and departments of Biosystems Engineering, Horticulture, and Poultry Science.Aquaponics makes use of hydroponics and aquaculture technologies to provide a system in which nutrient-laden wastewater from fish production is used as a food source for plant growth. Water is pumped from fish tanks to the plants and as plants absorb nutrients the water is cleansed, allowing it to be recycled and reused.

The project was created to achieve several interdependent goals: to conduct research, train students and other interested parties; to provide the latest information on the emerging technology of aquaponics; to demonstrate the economic and environmental benefits of aquaponics; to provide the campus community with high-quality, safe and fresh fish to be served in campus dining facilities; and to make Auburn University known as a leader in aquaponics research, teaching, and extension.

The facility consists of four greenhouses, a filamentous algae cultivation system, and several raised garden beds. Fish and vegetables produced in the system are harvested on a regular basis and promptly shipped to campus dining facilities. The fish and produce are never frozen and are processed immediately on campus, providing the Auburn University community with the freshest possible healthful foods.  CONTINUE READING


Auburn charts path for 21st century vision of U.S. aquaculture

By Paul Hollis Auburn University’s Aquaponics Working Group has a new vision for U.S. aquaculture, one that includes far more predictability and efficiency than today’s timeworn models of commercial fish production. “Need is the mother of invention, and that’s what is driving much of this research,” said Jesse Chappell, a member of the group and associate professor and extension specialist in the College of Agriculture’s School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences. “We’ve put together a multi-disciplinary team from across campus to cover every aspect of a multi-trophic system of aquaculture production,” Chappell said. The Aquaponics Working Group recently received the President’s Outstanding Collaborative Units Award at Auburn. In addition to Chappell, members of the team include School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences professor Terry Hanson; Department of Poultry Science professor Tung-shi Huang; Department of Horticulture assistant professor Daniel Wells; Department of Biosystems Engineering assistant professor David Blersch; and Glenn Loughridge, director of Campus Dining. CONTINUE READING

Congratulations to Terry Hanson –  Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences, Tung-shi Huang –  Poultry Science, Daniel Wells – Horticulture, Glenn Loughridge –  Director of Campus Dining, David Blersch –  Biosystems Engineering,  and Jesse Chappell –  Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences!! They received the President’s Outstanding Collaborative Units Award – Aquaponics Working Group on February 28, 2018 at the AUHCC dinner award event.  Good Work!      

Auburn University Aquaponics Program 

Mollie Smith, Auburn University School of Fisheries, explains Auburn University Aquaponics Program and the Auburn University Fisheries Greenhouse goals for Commercial Fish Farming and growing produce through Aquaponics. Click here to see Video.

Auburn developing vaccine that could be huge catch for the catfish industry

Greensboro catfish farmer Bill Kyser examines a dead catfish from one of his ponds. Kyser said the disease columnaris has cost his family a lot of fish and a lot of money. [Photo Credit: Robert DeWitt | Alabama NewsCenter]

After more than seven years of research and testing, Cova Arias knows the vaccine she developed and patented to immunize catfish against columnaris disease works in a laboratory. She will use $321,000 in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) funds to answer two questions. “Does it work in the field, and is it cost-effective,” said Arias, a professor in Auburn University’s School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences. “The answer to both of those questions has to be yes.” If the answer is yes, Arias, who was awarded the competitive grant in November through the Aquaculture Research Program administered by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, will move a step closer to giving catfish farmers an effective weapon to combat one of the worst threats to commercially produced catfish. Read More…

Cova Arias and Alan Wilson, Auburn University

USDA Invests in Research to Improve Domestic Aquaculture Production

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced grants to support the development of environmentally and economically sustainable aquaculture in the U.S. These awards were made through the Aquaculture Research Program authorized by the Competitive Special and Facilities Research Grants Act, administered by NIFA. “By 2030, it’s estimated that nearly two-thirds of fish consumed globally will be produced through aquaculture,” said NIFA Director, Sonny Ramaswamy. “It is important to foster a sustainable aquaculture industry in the United States to support nutritional security and job creation in rural America.” Aquaculture involves the breeding, rearing, and harvesting of freshwater and marine species of fish, shellfish, and aquatic plants. NIFA Aquaculture Research Program grants support the development of a globally competitive and profitable U.S. aquaculture industry through investments that help improve domestic aquaculture production efficiency, sustainability, safety, marketing, information sharing, and access to global science-based information and advanced technologies. NIFA provides leadership in coordinating federal activities related to aquaculture through the Interagency Working Group on Aquaculture, under the National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on Science. Grants are made through a competitive peer review process involving an external panel of experts. Four FY17 aquaculture grants totaling $1.2 million are recommended for funding: Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, $320,883 Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, $261,613   READ MORE…

Auburn-developed vaccine could help prevent costly catfish disease

By Paul Hollis Auburn researchers will use an almost $321,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to field-test a novel vaccine that would effectively and economically control one of the most serious bacterial infections in the aquaculture industry today. Columnaris disease can affect nearly all freshwater fish species and causes millions of dollars in annual losses in the catfish industry alone. The sole columnaris vaccine currently available is only moderately effective, but Auburn University researchers have been working on an improved immunization using bacteria derived from a highly virulent strain of the disease. Read More…