Dr Mark Rawling

Dr Mark Rawling

Associate Research Fellow

School of Biological and Marine Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)




  • BSc (Hons) Marine Biology and Oceanography
  • MRes (Distinction) Applied Fish Biology
  • Ph.D. Biological Sciences - thesis title 'The Assessment of selected novel feed ingredients to replace fishmeal on the nutrition and health status of ornamental fish'
  • Postgraduate Certificate Academic Practice (PGCAP)

Professional membership

Roles on external bodies

  • Member of the Editorial Board for Frontiers in Microbiology - Aquatic microbiology section


Teaching interests

Teaching - Current 
  • BIOL307 - Fish Haematology 
  • BIOL307 – Histology 
  • ANIM5009 – Aquarium health
  • BIO504 – Health and Production in Aquaculture 
  • BIO5132– Fish and Shellfish Immunology


Research interests

My principal research interests are in the field of immunonutrition in mono-gastric animals. Tools such as molecular microbiology, immunological assays such as ELISA, nutritional profiling of selected feed ingredients, and molecular biology help investigate the effects of feeding probiotic and prebiotic candidates on animal mucosal health and the immunological fate of mucosal tissues. 

Research degrees awarded to supervised students

Higher Education supervision:
  • Currently active as second supervisor on 2 Ph.Ds
  • Second and third supervisor to 3 Ph.D. studentships to completion

Grants & contracts

Secured over £40K of funding for research from Lallemand animal nutrition
Secured over £3K of funding from the aquaculture research collaborative hub grants for traveling to workshops including (Mexico and Holland).
Secured £1.5K from the ERASMUS travel grant scheme for traveling and working in an international laboratory based in the EU. 


Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

Rawling M, Schiavone M, Mugnier A, Leclercq E, Merrifield D, Foey A & Apper E (2023) 'Modulation of Zebrafish (Danio rerio) Intestinal Mucosal Barrier Function Fed Different Postbiotics and a Probiotic from Lactobacilli' Microorganisms 11, (12) , DOI Open access
Rawling M, Schiavone M, Apper E, Merrifield DL, Castex M, Leclercq E & Foey A (2023) 'Yeast cell wall extracts from Saccharomyces cerevisiae varying in structure and composition differentially shape the innate immunity and mucosal tissue responses of the intestine of zebrafish (Danio rerio)' Frontiers in Immunology 14, , DOI Open access
Rawling M, Leclercq E, Foey A, Castex M & Merrifield D (2021) 'A novel dietary multi-strain yeast fraction modulates intestinal toll-like-receptor signalling and mucosal responses of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)' PLoS One , DOI Open access
Leclercq E, Pontefract N, Rawling M, Valdenegro V, Aasum E, Andujar LV, Migaud H, Castex M & Merrifield D (2020) 'Dietary supplementation with a specific mannan-rich yeast parietal fraction enhances the gut and skin mucosal barriers of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and reduces its susceptibility to sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis)' Aquaculture 529, 735701-735701 , DOI Open access
Jaramillo-Torres A, Rawling MD, Rodiles A, Mikalsen HE, Johansen L-H, Tinsley J, Forberg T, Aasum E, Castex M & Merrifield DL (2019) 'Influence of Dietary Supplementation of Probiotic Pediococcus acidilactici MA18/5M During the Transition From Freshwater to Seawater on Intestinal Health and Microbiota of Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar L.)' Frontiers in Microbiologyy 10, , DOI Open access
Al-Hisnawi A, Rodiles A, Rawling MD, Castex M, Waines P, Gioacchini G, Carnevali O & Merrifield DL (2019) 'Dietary probiotic Pediococcus acidilactici MA18/5M modulates the intestinal microbiota and stimulates intestinal immunity in rainbow trout ( Oncorhynchus mykiss )' Journal of the World Aquaculture Society 50, (6) 1133-1151 , DOI Open access
Rawling MD, Pontefract N, Rodiles A, Anagnostara I, Leclercq E, Schiavone M, Castex M & Merrifield DL (2019) 'The effect of feeding a novel multistrain yeast fraction on European seabass (Dicentrachus labrax) intestinal health and growth performance' Journal of the World Aquaculture Society , DOI Open access
Standen BT, Peggs DL, Rawling MD, Foey A, Davies SJ, Santos GA & Merrifield DL (2015) 'Dietary administration of a commercial mixed-species probiotic improves growth performance and modulates the intestinal immunity of tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus' Fish & Shellfish Immunology 49, 427-435 , DOI Open access
Kühlwein H, Merrifield DL, Rawling MD, Foey AD & Davies SJ (2014) 'Effects of dietary β-(1,3)(1,6)-D-glucan supplementation on growth performance, intestinal morphology and haemato-immunological profile of mirror carp (Cyprinus carpio L.)' J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl) 98, (2) 279-289 Author Site , DOI Open access
Rawling MD, Merrifield DL, Kuehlwein H, Snellgrove D, Gioacchini G, Carnevali O & Davies SJ (2014) 'Dietary modulation of immune response and related gene expression profiles in mirror carp (<i>Cyprinus carpio</i>) using selected exotic feed ingredients' AQUACULTURE 418, 177-184 , DOI
Kühlwein H, Emery MJ, Rawling MD, Harper GM, Merrifield DL & Davies SJ (2013) 'Effects of a dietary β-(1,3)(1,6)-D-glucan supplementation on intestinal microbial communities and intestinal ultrastructure of mirror carp (Cyprinus carpio L.)' J Appl Microbiol 115, (5) 1091-1106 Author Site , DOI
Standen BT, Rawling MD, Davies SJ, Castex M, Foey A, Gioacchini G, Carnevali O & Merrifield DL (2013) 'Probiotic Pediococcus acidilactici modulates both localised intestinal- and peripheral-immunity in tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus)' Fish Shellfish Immunol 35, (4) 1097-1104 Author Site , DOI Open access
Rawling MD, Merrifield DL, Snellgrove DL, Kühlwein H, Adams A & Davies SJ (2012) 'Haemato-immunological and growth response of mirror carp (Cyprinus carpio) fed a tropical earthworm meal in experimental diets' Fish Shellfish Immunol 32, (6) 1002-1007 Author Site , DOI
Harper GM, Monfort M, Saoud IP, Emery M, Mustafa S, Rawling M, Enyon B, Davies SJ & Merrifield DL (2011) 'An ex vivo approach to studying the interactions of Pediococcus acidilactici and Vibrio (Listonella) anguillarum in the anterior intestine of rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss' Aquaculture research and development , DOI
Ferguson RMW, Merrifield DL, Harper GM, Rawling MD, Mustafa S, Picchietti S, Balcázar JL & Davies SJ (2010) 'The effect of Pediococcus acidilactici on the gut microbiota and immune status of on-growing red tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus)' J Appl Microbiol 109, (3) 851-862 Author Site , DOI
Rawling MD, Merrifield DL & Davies SJ (2009) 'Preliminary assessment of dietary supplementation of Sangrovit® on red tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) growth performance and health' Aquaculture 294, (1-2) 118-122 , DOI
Rodiles A, Rawling MD, Peggs DL, do Vale Pereira G, Voller S, Yomla R, Standen BT, Bowyer P & Merrifield DL (2017) 'Probiotic Applications for Finfish Aquaculture' Probiotics and Prebiotics in Animal Health and Food Safety Springer International Publishing 197-217 , DOI


Other academic activities

Reviewed for:
  • Aquaculture International
  • Aquaculture Research 
  • Aquaculture Nutrition 
  • Journal of Aquaculture Research and Development
  • Fisheries and Aquaculture Research 
  • Fish Physiology and Biochemistry 
  • Journal of Applied Aquaculture
  • Journal of the World Aquaculture Society 
  • Open Veterinary Journal
  • Fish and Shellfish Immunology 
  • Scientific Reports 
  • Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology 
  • Member of the academic review board for Frontiers in microbiology