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From studying agriculture to aquaculture at Harper

Posted 1 February

“Despite the move away from terrestrial agriculture and all that is familiar, my growing interest for aquaculture alongside the course offered by Harper has set me in good stead. The potential is endless and I’m looking forward to a bright future in aquaculture.”

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Harper Adams University student Charlotte Bolton has shifted industry focus from terrestrial agriculture to aquaculture. 

The 23-year-old from Honiton, Devon, graduated from Harper Adams with first class honours BSc Agriculture with Animal Science. With a background in dairy and an award won for her neonatal Holstein heifer calf research, a career in agriculture would seem befitting. However, Charlotte returned to Harper Adams last September to study for a Masters degree in aquaculture.

Charlotte first became interested in aquaculture when it was taught in a final year undergraduate module: Advances in Animal Production Science.
She said: “Aquaculture really appealed to me in the lectures with Professor Simon Davies, it’s a vast subject, covering a broad range of disciplines and species.

“There’s a lot of development and research currently being undertaken regarding increasing the efficiency and sustainability of aquaculture, with the population set to exceed nine billion in 2050 aquaculture is set to play an important role in meeting the demand for animal protein in human diets, especially in developing countries.”

Professor Davies said: “Harper has developed an innovative Masters programme in aquaculture, which is unique in complimenting other monogastric animal species such as pig and poultry.”


Charlotte, who’s now over half way through the programme, said: “I really enjoy learning about aquaculture at a greater depth, my favourite modules so far have been nutrition, and fisheries management.

“My favourite part about the course at Harper is the link to industry; there’ve been multiple external lecturers coming in to speak about their area of expertise. I enjoy learning about seaweed production from Dr Alex Wan of the Carna Research Station, National University of Ireland in Galway.

“For my Masters research project, I hope to work under the joint supervision of Professor Davies and Dr Wan looking at the effects of insect meal protein replacement in rainbow trout diets on growth.

“Despite the move away from terrestrial agriculture and all that is familiar, my growing interest for aquaculture alongside the course offered by Harper has set me in good stead. The potential is endless and I’m looking forward to a bright future in aquaculture.”

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