Semester 2

Semester 2 at the University of Crete

In Semester 2 of the EMJMD ACES+ students will study at the University of Crete (Department of Biology) in Greece, a centre of excellence focusing on fish physiology, endocrinology, behaviour, welfare and innovative new methodologies that test fish and product quality. The University of Crete also specialises in the aquaculture-environmental interactions of Mediterranean marine species. During semester 2 students also undertake a 6-week industry based internship with an Associate Partner in Greece. This internship usually takes place during June-July and, completed alongside the professional and entrepreneurial skills session (UHI-SAMS), it is part of a new core module validated by the University of Crete (6 ECTS).
Teaching at the University of Crete is led by professors and associate professors with international reputations in the above fields. Teaching during semester 2 is also supported by key staff at the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), a government research organisation operating under the supervision of the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT) of the Ministry of Development and Investments. The HCMR has considerable experience in co-ordinating industry based placements including the EMJMD ACES+ research dissertations.
MODULE 4: Managing Lifecycles in Captivity: Finfish biology, nutrition and reproduction (Core: 6 ECTS)

Module Leader: Prof Michalis Pavlidis

Description Students will gain extensive, detailed and critical knowledge of the main features, techniques and current research on the biology of marine and freshwater farmed fin-fish species. Students will use a significant range of standard and specialised research equipment and techniques which are applicable to the rearing systems used during the whole life-cycle of aquaculture fish. Students will also gain a critical understanding of how the aquaculture industry manage the biological life-cycles of fin-fish and critically review, consolidate and extend their knowledge in thinking applicable to the critical points of production.

Indicative content includes:

  • Early life stages, major differences and critical points of development for marine (gilthead sea bream, European sea bass) and freshwater (rainbow trout, Atlantic salmon, common carp) aquaculture fish
  • An introduction to feeding and nutrition
  • Growth and metabolism
  • Reproductive biology and broodstock management
  • Domestication and intensification in Aquaculture
  • Opportunities and challenges for aquaculture in Europe and in developing countries
Teaching methods Laboratory and practical classes, lectures, seminars, guided use of open learning materials, tutorials, and site visits
Assessment Multiple-choice test and short answer questions
MODULE 5: Fish Welfare and Disease Management (Core: 6 ECTS)

Module Leader: Prof M. Pavlidis & Dr. P. Katharios (Hellenic Centre for Marine Research)

Description To gain extensive, detailed and critical knowledge of the main features, techniques and current research on stress biology, main pathogens, disease diagnosis and treatment of marine and freshwater farmed fin-fish species. To gain a critical understanding of how the aquaculture industry manage health and welfare of finfish and critically review, consolidate and extend knowledge in thinking applicable to the critical points of life-cycle in captivity and production. To get training into a significant range of the principal skills, techniques and practices, which are associated with the assessment of stress, health and welfare of farmed fish.

Indicative content includes:

  • The concept of stress in biomedical research
  • An introduction to animal welfare
  • Fish stress and welfare in aquaculture
  • Pathology and disease prevention
  • Health management
Teaching methods Laboratory and practical classes, lectures, seminars, guided use of open learning materials, tutorials, and site visits
Assessment Multiple-choice test and short answer questions
MODULE 6a: Fish Quality – Environmental and Genetic Components (Core: 6 ECTS)

Module Leader: Prof. George Koumoundouros

Description Students will gain an extensive and critical understanding of the different aspects of quality of reared fish, as a developing organism and as a final product. Students will apply a critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of knowledge regarding the factors which determine fish quality. Students will also critically review, consolidate and extend knowledge of the latest skills and techniques for the assessment and improvement of fish quality.

Indicative content includes:

  • Quality aspects of reared finfish, quality indices and critical phases of production (overview)
  • Compositional and organoleptic quality of farmed finfish
  • Morpho-anatomical abnormalities
  • Phenotypic plasticity: manipulating early environment to control normal variation of quality characteristics (morphology, sex ratio, growth potential, behaviour)
  • Certification norms and procedures – Legislation
  • The genetic basis of fish quality. Selective breeding programs
Teaching methods Laboratory and practical classes, lectures, guided use of open learning materials, tutorials
Assessment Final lab evaluation (40%) and final exam (60%)
MODULE 6b: Environmental Impact Assessment for Aquaculture Projects (Core: 6 ECTS)

Module Leader: Prof I Karakassis

Description Students will develop a thorough understanding of the Environmental Impact Assessment process and its application to aquaculture projects. They will acquire an in-depth knowledge of the available methods and tools for the prediction of impacts at various spatial scales. Students will gain an understanding of the approaches used for site selection and determination of the carrying capacity of aquaculture. Students will also gain an understanding of the importance of the participation of stakeholders in the EIA process in the context of the Ecosystem Approach to Aquaculture.

Indicative content includes:

  • Introduction to the principles of the Environmental Impact Assessment and the Strategic Environmental Assessment
  • Introduction to the relevant information on environmental interactions of aquaculture
  • Review of the appropriate scales for the detection of different environmental impacts
  • Quantitative relationships between production and impact
  • Aquaculture in the coastal zone: conflicts with other uses of the marine and coastal environment
  • Types of prediction models
  • Available mitigation measures
  • Monitoring of environmental impacts: principles, standards and methods and cost/benefit analysis of the methodologies used
  • Site selection and carrying capacity
  • Environmental Audit
  • Participation of stakeholders in decision making
  • Harmonization of international policies and standards with emphasis on Mediterranean international initiatives and relevant EU Directives (WFD, MSFD)
Teaching methods Laboratory and practical classes, lectures, guided use of open learning materials, tutorials
Assessment Laboratory and practical classes (30%); mid-term multiple choice test (20%); written/presentation assignment (40% essay and 10% presentation)
MODULE 7: Professional and Entrepreneurial Skills, including a 6-week internship supervised by a faculty member at the University of Crete (Core: 6ECTS)

Module Leaders: Professor Michalis Pavlidis

Description To enhance the employability of the students this module will focus on providing them with a critical understanding of the key skills required for becoming a highly effective employee and/ or entrepreneur.
Teaching methods Semester 1 (UHI-SAMS)

  • 18 weekly face-to-face skills development sessions
  • 2-day entrepreneurial workshop hosted by Scottish Institute for Enterprise
  • two ½ day sessions led by entrepreneurs on business planning and innovation
  • 1-day shellfish industry conference to practice networking skills
  • the organisation and delivery of a 1-day interactive exhibition at a Science Centre (UHI-SAMS Ocean Explorer Centre)
  • development of a CV
  • completion of the UHI Ethics Reflection and Practice online course
  • creation of an e-portfolio and a 15 min formal interview with an employer panel.

Semester 2 (University of Crete): 6-week internship with an Associate Partner in Greece or abroad

Assessment Oral presentation (50%) and Internship Report (50%)