Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society

Dr Georgina Robinson

Research interests:

My interests lie in the development of sustainable aquaculture technologies that are appropriate to the socio-ecological context of Small Island Developing States in the Western Indian Ocean.

I have over 12 years’ experience in the aquaculture industry in both temperate and tropical environments. In my early career, I developed integrated aquaculture systems in Scotland for the cultivation of Atlantic salmon, sea urchins and seaweed and pioneered the development of sea cucumber and seaweed farming in Madagascar. Since then, I have worked extensively in the field of tropical sea cucumber aquaculture in the Western Indian Ocean and further afield, including including Indonesia, New Caledonia, Madagascar, Tanzania, South Africa, Seychelles, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Mozambique, Mauritius, Rodrigues, Namibia and Thailand and has consulted for a wide range of private sector companies, international organisations, governments and NGO’s including AquaSol, Aqua-Spark, the National Aquaculture Group (NAQUA) in Saudi Arabia, the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations.

My research interests focus on understanding how sediment microbial communities and deposit feeding invertebrates interact to process organic matter and how these relationships can be harnessed and manipulated to enhance the bioremediation of aquaculture wastes. My PhD research focused on the development of state-of-the-art integrated aquaculture production and bioremediation systems, to culture high value sea cucumbers on effluent streams from land-based intensive aquaculture. I am particularly interested in the study of organismal and system microbiomes and the role they play in nutrient cycling. I will be pioneering novel techniques and technologies to improve the sustainability of aquaculture by promoting the assimilation and retention of nitrogen into biomass as opposed to its permanent removal.

Career history:

Oct 2018-Jan 2019 Consultant, African Development Bank. Scoping study on the potential for sustainable sea cucumber fisheries management and aquaculture in North Africa

Feb 2017-present PostDoctoral Assistant in Tropical Ecology. SAMS

Sep 2016-Dec 2017 Grow-out Manager. C Major Price Market Ltd., Mauritius (developing sea pen farming and ranching of sea cucumbers)

Jul 2014-present Consultant. Sea Cucumber Aquaculture. Aquasol Fish Farming Consultants

Apr 2014-present Consultant. Sea Cucumber Aquaculture. National Aquaculture Group. Al Leith, Saudi Arabia

2010-12 Consultant. Sea Cucumber Aquaculture. HIK Abalone Pty (Ltd). Hermanus, S Africa

2008-10 Mariculture Development Co-ordinator. Blue Ventures Conservation. SW Madagascar

2006-07 Integrated Aquaculture Coordinator. Loch Duart Ltd. Sutherland, Scotland

2005 Assistant Project Manager. Kaledupa Fisheries Project. Operation Wallacea Trust. SE Sulawesi, Indonesia

Active research projects:

UKRI Future Leaders Fellow ‘Securing reactive nitrogen for high value food and feed production in integrated bioremediation and energy generation systems’ This research will develop hybrid waste treatment, protein production and energy generation systems to treat nitrogen rich waste from land-based intensive agriculture and aquaculture systems. These innovative systems are designed to re-use and recycle nitrogen, by converting it into high value protein, in the form of commercially valuable deposit feeders that can be harvested and processed into human food and alternative feed ingredients for livestock feed.

Recent publications:

Robinson, G., Caldwell, G.S., Jones, C.L.W. and Stead, S. (2019). The effect of resource quality on the growth of Holothuria scabra during aquaculture waste bioremediation. Aquaculture, 499, 99. 101-108,

Robinson, G., MacTavish, T., Savage, C., Caldwell, G. S., Jones, C. L. W., Probyn, T., Eyre, B. D., and Stead, S. M. (2018). Carbon amendment stimulates benthic nitrogen cycling during the bioremediation of particulate aquaculture waste, Biogeosciences, 15, 1863-1878,, 2018.

Nel, A., Pletschke, B.I., Jones, C.L.W., Kemp, J., Robinson, G. and Britz, P.J. (2017). The effect of kelp (Ecklonia maxima) inclusion in formulated feed on growth, feed utilisation and the gut microbiota of South African abalone (Haliotis midae). African Journal of Marine Science African Journal of Marine Science, 39:2, 183-192, DOI: 10.2989/1814232X.2017.1338203

Robinson, G., Caldwell, G.S., Wade M. J., Free, A., Jones, C.L.W. and Stead, S. (2016). Profiling bacterial communities associated with sediment-based aquaculture bioremediation systems under contrasting redox regimes. Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 38850. doi:10.1038/srep38850

Robinson, G., Caldwell, G.S., Jones, C.L.W., Slater, M. and Stead, S. (2015). Redox stratification drives enhanced growth in a commercially important deposit-feeding invertebrate: implications for aquaculture bioremediation. Aquaculture Environment Interactions. Vol 8: 1-13. doi: 10.3354/aei00158. Epub 14/12/2015.

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