Semester 3

In Semester 3 of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in AquaCulture, Environment and Society + (EMJMD ACES+), students will study at the University of Nantes in France.  The team in Nantes are internationally recognised for their research on shellfish biology and physiology and coastal zone management issues relating to shellfish aquaculture.
Key staff include; 3 Professors who have considerable international experience in shellfish-related topics, postgraduate teaching and supervision.
The University of Nantes receives the support of the Research Federation, IUML (Institut Universitaire Mer et Littoral)
MODULE 7: Shellfish Lifecycle (Core: 10 ECTS)

Module Leader: Prof Laurent Barille

Description Students will gain extensive, detailed and critical knowledge that covers and integrates the main features, techniques and current research with the global shellfish aquaculture sector. The module will enable students to identify, conceptualise and define new problems and issues for the industry and regulators, including a detailed knowledge of the necessary conceptual frameworks for understanding commercial shellfish life cycles and their management. Students will also gain significant experience in the latest techniques used in the study and interpretation of life cycle data and to understand the environmental drivers of shellfish growth. The module will also provide the students with a critical awareness of the environmental, economic and societal processes, which influence the management and sustainability of the shellfish industry.

Indicative content includes:

  • Reproduction: Reproductive cycles, assessment goals and methodologies, wild vs. broodstock approach, conditioning goals and methodologies
  • Development: Early life stages, metamorphoses and postlarval critical developmental stages, focus on gill development, functions and performance in suspension-feeders, accessory feeding structures and functions.
  • Growth: Physiological processes, net energy balance and modeling
  • Analysing the food sources in the environment: spatio-temporal variability, ecosystem carrying capacity, trophic competition
  • History of French oyster production: a case study
  • Infectious diseases affecting oysters: characteristics and management
  • The economics of shellfish production
Teaching methods Seminars, guest lectures, practicals, guided uses of open learning materials, fieldtrip to aquaculture facility
Assessment Written assignment (40%) and written examination (60%)
MODULE 8: Marine Product Safety (Core: 10 ECTS)

Module Leader: Prof Laurence Poirier

Description Students will gain extensive, detailed and critical knowledge on the main toxic substances/inputs which may affect aquaculture product quality and human health. They will obtain a critical understanding of the conceptual frameworks describing the dynamics of toxic substance production/ input in marine aquaculture systems, and learn to apply a range of methodologies associated with the study of toxin production and input. Students will apply critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis to the environmental, economic and societal processes which influence the production and input of toxic marine substances and, and will also be able to identify, conceptualise and define new problems and solutions required for designing improved detection, monitoring, and  mitigation strategies.

Indicative content includes:

Micromycetes

  • Fungi in the marine environment, toxic and parasitic fungi in aquaculture.
  • Application: isolation, identification, collections of marine –derived fungi, dereplication of toxic fungal metabolites.

Toxic micro-algae and their toxins

  • Identification and ecology of toxic algae: morphological and bio-molecular taxonomy
  • Phycotoxins: classification of toxins according to biological effect and by chemical structure, methods of identification, purification and quantitation, risk evaluation, mitigation

Marine chemical inputs: risk assessment and consequences for marine products

  • Identification of chemical pollutants: sources, human toxicity and ecotoxicity
  • Environmental fate and chemistry of pollutants
  • Exposure of marine organisms: bioaccumulation, biomagnification, trophic transfer
  • Ecotoxicity for marine organisms: adaptive strategies, tolerance, biomarkers
  • Biomonitoring and public health: methodologies, regulation
Teaching methods Seminars, practicals, guided use of open learning materials, fieldtrip to aquaculture facility
Assessment Written assignment (40%) and written examination (60%)
MODULE 9a: Refinement & Development of Marine Natural Products (Optional: 10 ECTS)

Module Leader: Prof Olivier Grovel

Description The students will gain extensive, detailed and critical knowledge and awareness of the main marine natural compounds – actually marketed or in the future – that are produced via aquaculture and the major issues in the global market for these products.  Students will identify, conceptualise and define new problems and issues in the development of highly valuable compounds isolated from marine organisms (e.g., aquaculture vs synthesis vs fermentation of modified microorganisms).  This module also enables students to use a significant range of techniques used in the isolation, purification, characterisation and control of lead compounds (processes) and enables them to apply the skills to issues that are applicable to the aquaculture industry.

Indicative content includes:

  • Outstanding marine natural products in health, nutrition, cosmetics and biotechnology: origins, sources, chemical affiliations, uses
  • Main classes of marketed/marketable aquaculture products: algal proteins and peptides; algal pigments; lipids; polysaccharides; secondary metabolites
  • Marine compounds in pharmacology: aquaculture, a key step from the proof of concept to clinical trials and market development. Alternative routes for high – yield production.
  • Marine compounds in cosmetics
  • Production, purification and quality control of marine natural products
Teaching methods Seminars, practicals, guided use of open learning materials, fieldtrip to aquaculture facility
Assessment Written assignment (40%) and written examination (60%)
MODULE 9b: Food Composition, Trophic Transfer and Human Nutrition (Optional: 10 ECTS)

Module Leader: Prof Peter Beninger

Description Students will gain an extensive and detailed knowledge of  the main features, techniques and latest research concerning shellfish feeding and nutrition. It will enable students to gain experience in a wide range of principal techniques used in the study and interpretation of feeding and nutritional and allow them to critically review, consolidate and extend knowledge on particular aspects of feeding and nutrition in both shellfish and humans, regarding trophic transfer from marine sources.

Indicative content includes:

  • Primary level food sources: micro- and macro-algae, micro- and macrophages
  • Agro-industrial food sources: co-products, surplus products, by-catch products
  • Source biochemical and chemical compositions
  • Trophic transfer: source to consumer, performance measurement
  • Model systems: (1) Gastropod: Abalone (larva = microphage, adult = macrophage), (2) Bivalves (oysters, clams, mussels) (3) Decapod crustaceans (Shrimp)
  • Focus on lipids in nutrition: target species performance, human nutrition and health
Teaching methods Seminars, practicals, guided use of open learning materials, fieldtrip to aquaculture facility
Assessment Written assignment (40%) and written examination (60%)