Aquaculture Researchers

Check out our researcher spotlights below to see what Aquaculture Researchers are up to!

Landon Bunting, Bioscience Research Technician


What is your major/degree?
  • I have a Bachelor's of Science in Chemical Engineering.
 How did you get interested in Aquaculture?
  • I grew up on the shores of Kachemak Bay in Homer, Alaska. I spent my life exploring the rich resources of the ocean and engaged with multiple community members who were involved in aquaculture, including culturing of oyster larvae, helping monitor ocean changes affecting the harvesting of shellfish, and expanding new industries in kelp farming.  In college, I found a way to combine my love of chemistry with marine sciences and now am fortunate to work in aquaculture research.
 Why do you think Aquaculture is important?
  • In a growing world population, a cost effective and efficient source of protein is becoming a valuable commodity. Aquaculture has the potential to fill this need across the world.  Already aquaculture supplies more than half of the world’s consumption of seafood. These protein rich resources have barely scratched the surface of their potential. Further development of these ocean resources could support more sustainable food sources as well as the ability to contribute to the economic viability of our coastal communities.  
 Describe your projects/work.
  • The main project I am working on is designing and exploring the functionality of an aeroponic system for growing Pacific dulse (Develeara mollis), a red marine algae known for its bacon-like taste, high growth rate, and high protein content comparable to soybeans. However, unlike soybeans or other conventional plant-protein sources, seaweed requires no arable land or freshwater for growth. Pacific dulse is currently grown in aerated aquaculture tanks. This project is exploring the idea of using sprayers similar to those found in grocery store vegetable isles and gardens to reduce the footprint that large tanks require. If found successful, dulse could be grown on a vertical plane without the need for areated aquaculture tanks opening the possibility for more accessible growth through aeroponic culture. 
 What are your career goals and how do they relate to what you      are doing now?
  • I am interested in applying my understanding of chemical engineering to the expansion of technology and research in industries involved in marine based systems including aquaculture. The project I am currently working on is introducing me to the idea of integrated approaches to designing systems as they relate to seaweed culturing. My goals are to continue designing systems that can help with understanding and potentially changing effects we are observing in ocean ecosystems.

Christopher Langdon

Chrisopher Langdon is a MSc and PhD from the University of Wales, UK in 1977 and 1980, respectively. Currently, Professor Langdon's lab has a broad range of research projects, but the overall goal is aimed to improve sustainable seafood farming. Professor Langdon and his team have been breeding Pacific oysters with high growth and survival for over 25 years under the program called “The Molluscan Broodstock Program” or MBP. The team also do research on the culture of the red seaweed dulse. This effort has resulted in the establishment of several dulse farms on the Oregon coast, California, and British Columbia. A benefit of this research lies in seaweed culture, which assists the environment by removing nutrients and dissolved carbon dioxide from coastal waters. The purpose of the research being conducted stems from the fact that about 80% of the seafood consumed in the USA is imported, with most wild fisheries being harvested at maximum sustainable yields or over fished. 

Read about Dr. Langdon's oyster breeding program here.

A list of his publications can be seen here

Hillary Egna

Hillary Egna is a MSc from The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and PHD from Oregon State University, respectively. Currently, she works as a Professor in the Fisheries and Wildlife department at Oregon State University. She has extensive involvement and experience in the aquaculture research, one of her most notable positions being her work as an Director for the (now discontinued) AQUAFISH lab. Professor Egna continues to embark on small research projects, one of them being her current research work in Bangladesh. When asked what this research primary focus is, she stated "What we are looking at, is if you could grow the perfect fish with the least negative external effects, how would you do it?" The research examines small fish and how to maximize high quality aquatic animal protein, and whether humans really need to consume "meat."