The Fisheries Society of the British Isles (FSBI) internship enables undergraduates to conduct supervised research in the UK or Republic of Ireland lasting up to 8 weeks during the summer vacation whilst registered as a student, or during the summer immediately after completing their final year of studies. It is open to any student studying for an honours degree in a subject relevant to fish biology. For more information, click here.
Case study of FSBI intern:
Willow Smallbone: Assessing the toxicity of long-term nitrate exposure in a host-parasite system (2014)
Eutrophication is a water quality issue in freshwaters and aquaculture. The release of nutrients (e.g. nitrogenous compounds) into these systems enhances primary productivity and thus fish density. Conversely, nutrient enrichment can lead to the accumulation of nitrogenous waste (ammonia, nitrite and nitrate); diminishing fish growth and increasing mortality. Nitrogenous waste is a particular concern in recirculating aquaculture, with water changes and filter systems needed to maintain safe thresholds of these compounds to maximise fish production. Nitrates are largely ignored as a water quality hazard, but are harmful and may increase fish susceptibility to infectious diseases. Experimental investigation of the effects of high nitrate on fish immunity, disease susceptibility, and pathology is essential for understanding the consequences for host health and host-parasite interactions. This study will assess the interaction between long-term nitrate exposure and parasitic infection in a well-studied fish system, the guppy (Poecilia reticulata) and its highly contagious ectoparasite, Gyrodactylus turnbulli, which has devastating effects on captive fish populations. We predict that long-term exposure to nitrate will increase host susceptibility to infection, due to weakening of the host immune system by endocrine disruption.
Amanda Chapman: The effect of interspecific competition of non-native species on the growth and body condition of native species in the UK. (2016)
Through anthropogenic activity, many aquatic non-native species have become well established within Europe. Among these highly successful introduced fish is the pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus), which has wide ranging effects on freshwater ecosystems such as feeding heavily on macroinvertebrate fauna, harbouring non-native parasites and competing with native fish. Pumpkinseed are present in the UK and climate change is expected to favour its expansion in future. Since their current distribution is limited however, this presents an opportunity to evaluate pre-emptive management programs. Such non-native fish eradication is expensive (e.g. >£50,000 per site for another non-native fish, the topmouth gudgeon) and so, detailed information on the effects of non-native fish on native fauna in different habitats is key. The proposed study aims to investigate the effect of interspecific competition of the non-native pumpkinseed on the growth and body condition of two native UK species; perch (Perca fluviatilis) and the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). We predict that pumpkinseed fish will have a negative impact on the growth and body condition of native UK species.