Faculty & Staff Members
TIMOTHY BRUCE - ASSISTANT PROFESSOR SCHOOL OF FISHERIES, AQUACULTURE & AQUATIC SCIENCES
Bruce’s aquatic animal health research program focuses on fish health and disease issues within warmwater aquaculture production systems. He is interested in defining host-pathogen interactions within fish production systems, along with therapeutant/vaccine development for cultured fish species. At Auburn, Bruce’s laboratory includes a fish health laboratory, fish necropsy laboratory, and two BSL-2 pathogen challenge laboratories for in vivo studies. Currently, Bruce is also working with Daniel Wells and Allen Davis on aquaponics research at Auburn, and the team investigates bacterial communities, pathogens and probiotic applications within biofloc rearing systems.
DR. DAVID CLINE - ASSOCIATE EXTENSION PROFESSOR SCHOOL OF FISHERIES AQUACULTURE & AQUATIC SCIENCES
Cline is involved in training teachers to use elements of aquaculture and aquaponics to teach multiple subject areas, from biology and chemistry to math, business and more. His research interests include how to improve educational experiences involving aquaponics, working to develop new or improve existing curriculum materials making them user friendly and appropriate for multiple age groups. He plans to develop online aquaponics training for Extension agents and potential practitioners, in the U.S. and around the world and would love to find collaborators. He is seeking potential master’s degree students with an interest in education, Extension and aquaponics. If this sounds like you, please contact him.
BRENDAN HIGGINS - ASSISTANT PROFESSOR DEPARTMENT OF BIOSYSTEMS ENGINEERING
The mission of Higgins’ lab is to investigate processes that utilize algae and bacteria for waste remediation, water quality, biofuel production and high-value product synthesis. They seek to understand underlying mechanisms that contribute to system performance, with a particular focus on organism interaction. Current projects include aquaponics, “poultry-ponics,” upgrading waste nutrients into fish feed, and harmful algae mitigation. We use experimental methods (reactor operation, PCR, sequencing, chromatography, and mass spectrometry) and modeling methods (process engineering and life cycle assessment) to study these systems to improve their sustainability.
ALLEN DAVIS - AQUATIC ANIMAL NUTRITIONIST & PROFESSOR, SCHOOL OF FISHERIES, AQUACULTURE & AQUATIC SCIENCES
Davis’s research and teaching efforts are dedicated to improving technologies for the culture of marine (Florida pompano, red drum, red snapper, white seabass, California yellowtail and Pacific white shrimp) and freshwater (catfish and tilapia) species for stock enhancement and aquaculture. His primary activities have emphasized the development and improvement of commercial feeds and feed management strategies as well as providing continuing education opportunities to the industry. He serves as associate editor for The Journal of the World Aquaculture.
DANIEL WELLS - ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF HORTICULTURE
Wells’ research and teaching programs focus broadly on improving CEA in the Southeast, and he works on both the Auburn Aquaponics Project and the Auburn Vertical Farms Project. A large component of his work deals with improving horticultural production in aquaponics. Among the many topics his group studies are nutrient and water use efficiencies, crop modeling, hydroponic system types, hydraulic retention times, pH effects, cultivar selection, and other cultural practices that can enhance horticultural productivity in aquaponics systems and other controlled environment systems.
DAVID BLERSCH - ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF BIOSYSTEMS ENGINEERING
Blersch is current director of the Algae Systems and Ecological Engineering Laboratory, researching sustainable ecological technologies for nutrient recovery, materials and energy recovery from aquaculture wastewaters. Ongoing research includes studying aspects of resource reuse from aquaponics wastes; development of novel algal cultivation ecotechonologies for aquatic nutrient remediation and recovery; and systems modeling aspects of nutrient flows in aquaponics systems. Blersch is looking for students at the Master and Ph.D. levels with interests in ecotechonology development and ecological systems modeling in aquaculture systems.
MELBA SALAZAR-GUTIERREZ - ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF HORTICULTURE
Salazar’s research program focuses on the challenges and opportunities to produce specialty fruit crops in protected environments and out-of-door production systems. Her Fruit Crops Physiology Lab conducts research focused on the modeling and characterization of the photosynthetic and respiratory activity of fruit crops, to simulate their physiological responses to environmental stress, and the interaction with the plant and soil under different climatic conditions (climate variability). This work is ideal for those with an interest in fruit production, experience in greenhouse and field operations.
- Mollie Smith – Outreach Programs Coordinator
- Gift Bender – Ag Technician
- Kyle Hensarling – Greenhouse Manager
- Caroline Blanchard – Research Associate II
- Emmanuel Ayipio, Ph.D. – Postdoctoral Researcher
- Dorcas Lukwesa – M.S. candidate
- Nelda Hernandez – M.S. candidate