Daniel Gilbert - MSc Sustainable Aquaculture Systems graduate

Current employer: Biomar A/S 

Current job title: Technical Advisor

Current location: Denmark

What have you been doing since graduation?

I began working at a salmon farm on the North West coast of Scotland as Assistant Hatchery Manager, where I spent five years learning everything I could about rearing Salmon. 

I am now positioned within one of the top global aquaculture feed specialists, Biomar A/S, as a technical advisor based in Denmark. My role involves advising clients on how to fix, develop and improve their aquaculture systems. I also advise on feed choices/production planning and educate via seminars and workshops the theories behind daily production and why they are important to the farmers, for example; water chemistry in RAS systems.

Travelling and meeting clients all over the globe, understanding their difficulties and how we can help is the most exciting part of my career.

MSc Sustainable Aquaculture Systems at Plymouth

The MSc sustainable aquaculture systems was an important step for the development of my career in aquaculture, more than I realised at the time.

When I was looking to retrain from the engineering sector I had to undertake a course that allowed access onto my chosen field. The University of Plymouth not only had a great course available they also had an excellent reputation for marine biology. Hearing from the likes of Colin Munn and John Spicer at open days sealed the deal as they were very inspiring. 

I started out as most people who join marine biology, wanting to help endangered sea mammals; however, when I started to study aquaculture I knew this was the right path for me. 

The world is heavily populated and marine resources are becoming more regulated. The systems involved with aquaculture are always improving and reducing their environmental impacts, so I felt this was a good direction. Plus I knew there would always be jobs available in this sector. The MSc sustainable aquaculture systems was an excellent postgraduate degree for this sector delving into more detail than the bachelor’s degree. The lectures from Dr Daniel Merrifield and Dr Victor Kuri were invaluable for my current role.

Why Plymouth?

  • The studies I completed involved the perfect amount of field work and lab work for my preferences.
  • Volunteering opportunities - I volunteered in the research aquarium.
  • The field trips were brilliant fun but also educational and I met some great people.
  • There were many options available for students in terms of support but mostly I feel the Seale-Hayne Educational Trust bursary for my MSc studies was invaluable as it covered the course costs, lab fees and had a stipend to help with living costs.

  • The resources available at the University of Plymouth were invaluable, I really miss having easy access to scientific papers that interest me but are not relevant to my work.
Enjoy the experience as much as possible and get involved with the many opportunities available.