The infrastructure offered by CSIC is made up of two types of installations (IATS-EXP, IATS-ANA) located in the campus of the Instituto de Acuicultura de Torre de la Sal (IATS) (Castellón, Spain) and a third located at the Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas (IIM-) (Vigo, Spain). IATS and IIM offer the use of experimental tanks (EXP) and IATS also offers the use of analytical labs (ANA).
The users will be able to develop a research project using highly qualified facilities and having access to a research environment which has proven to be highly productive in the previous FP7-AQUAEXCEL. Users will have the opportunity to consult, have advice and interchange ideas with experts on most of the disciplines in Aquaculture, with notable excellence in marine fish parasites, fish pathology, fish immunology, nutrigenomics, genomics, biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology to study and control fish reproduction, food intake and growth, Artemia and fish larviculture. IIMEXP in particular offers the possibility of infection/stimulation with several pathogens under biosecurity conditions; vaccination trials (live, attenuated and DNA vaccines).
Expected output/deliverables for users for the three installations: water parameters, biometrical data of fish, feeding and growth data, mortality records after challenges, vaccine efficacy records, gene expression studies, fish serum and tissue samples for RNA and cDNA for expression analysis, histological, pathological, biochemical/metabolic, genomic, functional biology studies, etc. The possibility of presenting an abstract for a conference and/or being involved in the writing of an article resulting from the project is highly envisaged.
Support offered under this proposal for the three installations: Users will be trained by highly qualified and experienced technical and scientific personnel on methodologies, experimental design and data analysis. Information about safety and security rules and procedures will be provided. The support would vary depending on the type of project and the actual degree of autonomy of the user. Users will be integrated in a research group and expected to collaborate in all the research process including report and article writing and publishing. The visiting scientist will receive a workplace including internet access, and receive support in finding accommodation. TNA visitors will have the possibility of conducting research experiments related to Aquaculture that may also include Aquatic Sciences, biotechnology, biomedicine, toxicology, genomics or molecular biology. During the stage, users will have online access to the full text journals and databases through internet, as CSIC is subscribed to the “Web of Science” and to most of the relevant scientific editorials. All this will mean scientists will have more opportunities to discuss the information available and to produce high quality scientific publications.
IATS-EXP: includes research holding tanks located in different units at IATS, with a total surface of 2,100 m2. About 250 tanks, with different shapes and capacities (from 3,000 l to 30 l), together with the associated wet labs and sampling rooms are offered. These installations are adequate for conducting experiments in most of the disciplines involved in aquaculture research: fish pathology (parasite and bacteria challenges), physiology, reproduction, nutrition and growth, live prey and larval rearing. Water quality (salinity, temperature, filtration, etc.) and light quality (photoperiod, intensity, etc.) vary depending on the type of projects and specific tanks in use. The open sea flow provides 90,000 m3/h and water temperature ranges naturally from 11 to 28ºC. Tanks with recirculation and heat/cooling systems are available in some units. Experimental studies can be conducted with a great variety of species: gilthead sea bream, European sea bass, sole, turbot, Artemia, with access to one of the largest Artemia Cysts collection available in Europe.
Modality of access
On average each user or user group is expected to stay 2 weeks at the infrastructure distributed at the convenience of the user. A typical user will have to designate a contact person for the setup of the project. This previous contact is essential to know the specific and detailed services required for the project, and to integrate it into the scheduling of the research groups and other external users which use the infrastructure. A typical project will have one user and an average duration of 12 weeks.
Users will receive access to all necessary live animals, equipment and consumables to complete their research project, as agreed in their project proposal. In addition, users will be provided with any necessary technical assistance, training and advice on methodologies, experimental design and data analysis. Users will be integrated in a research group and expected to collaborate in all the research process including report and article writing and publishing. The visiting scientist will receive a workplace including internet access, and receive support in finding living accommodation.
The access offered will include assessment by technical and scientific personnel, and will depend on the type of project. Users will be welcomed and introduced by the officer liaison and will be integrated in the scientific group related to the subject of the project. The support would vary depending on the actual degree of autonomy of the user in respect to efficiency and security aspects. Users will have the opportunity to consult, have advice and interchange ideas with scientific staff with expertise on most of the disciplines in Aquaculture, with notable excellence in: Morphological and molecular diagnosis of marine fish parasites; Fish immune response and immunomodulation, Methodologies and skills in biochemistry, immunology, cellular and molecular biology to study and control fish reproduction, food intake and growth; Transgenesis using model species as a tool for gene expression and function; Artemia; Fish larviculture and nutritional enrichment of live preys. Thus, users will have the opportunity of learning how to run a project under the best experimental conditions and to apply this knowledge to their own infrastructures back to their countries. This support and scientific environment is currently provided to external users working in collaborative projects and international grants. IATS researchers have expertise in training and outreach to students.
During the stage at IATS, users will have access to the full text journals and databases through internet, with the same rights as internal users. This will imply quick and efficient way of acquiring bibliographic information, as IATS is nowadays subscribed to the “web of knowledge” and to most of the relevant scientific editorials. More details can be found at the web page of the IATS library (http://www.iats.csic.es/biblioteca). All this will mean that scientists will have more opportunities to discuss the information available and to produce high quality scientific publications.
Unit of Access
Unit of access is defined as person-weeks - the number of weeks each person in a project is using a set of experimental tanks and associated lab units. One typical access consists of 12 units of access. This modality of access includes the preparatory work of the experiment including acclimatization period of fish and technical support for the samplings. It will not include the shipment of samples obtained during the project. Remote access to some tanks parameters during the experimental time for some of the installations while away is also available.