Aquaculture Faculty Candidate Seminar-Dr. Carlo Lazado

Date and Time



ANNU 141


Please join us for the third Faculty Candidate Seminar for the position in the area of Aquaculture.

Dr. Carlo Lazado will be delivering a seminar titled "Mucosal Barriers and Health: A Fish Perspective "

The mucosal organs (i.e., skin, gills, gut, olfactory) of fish represent the biological interface between the internal and the external environments. The intimate interaction constantly presents the mucosal surfaces to several biological, chemical and physical pressures. Fish have complex and impressive defensive and adaptive strategies at the mucosa to these stimuli that dictate their fitness, health and survival. There are several layers of physical and biological barriers at the mucosa: mucus – the viscoelastic glycopolymeric secretions from goblet or mucus producing cells; the microbiota – an ensemble of microorganisms that resides on the surface; and the tissue layer which includes the epithelial structure and other immune cells. These mucosal components require tight coordination to maintain the barrier functions - once these barriers are compromised – fish become more susceptible to diseases and challenging environmental factors. Fish farming (e.g., water quality, production systems, density, nutrition, treatments) has a substantial impact on mucosal barriers; for example, morphomolecular changes in the epithelial layer, alteration in the diversity and composition of the microbiota, modification of mucus biochemistry, to name a few. There is a significant amount of evidence indicating that the health status of mucosal surface has a profound effect on the overall health status of fish. Hence, current trends are focusing on strategies on how to manipulate mucosal barrier functions for improved fish health.

I am interested in the physiology and immunology of mucosal barriers in fish, particularly aspects of how environmental changes and husbandry-related manipulations affect their functions and their eventual impact on fish health. Questions within this theme are explored from different levels of biological organisations – from gene function to external macromorphology of the mucosa. The first part of the talk will present my vision roadmap for research, and it will discuss the role of both fundamental and applied research within mucosal health for the sustainable development of modern aquaculture. The talk will present key priority areas for mucosal health research in fish farming, including 1) understanding the structures and mechanisms of the mucosa and how environmental factors affect them; 2) improving mucosal barrier functions through innovative strategies to produce healthy and robust fish, and 3) exploitation of mucosal responses to develop objective and rapid health assessment tools on farms. The second part of the talk will discuss my vision for the industry. It will highlight the adoption of Responsible Research and Innovation philosophy in forging partnerships, communication strategies and technology/knowledge transfer. The talk will end with my pedagogical philosophy which emphasises a holistic and innovative learning experience.

There will also be a meet and greet for faculty, staff students and guests from 3:45pm-4:45pm in ANNU 101.




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