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Unveiling the Mysteries of HABs: A Conversation with Will

Updated: Jul 1

We had the pleasure of catching up with Will Barr, the brilliant mind behind the second prize-winning idea in our Early Career Innovator Competition. Will shared insights into his innovative project, his journey into aquaculture, and his enthusiasm for the sector.


Will is currently pursuing his PhD at the University of Glasgow, where he is unraveling the intricate microbiome dynamics of amoebic and complex gill disease, reflecting his commitment to understanding and tackling pressing issues in aquaculture.

Driven by a lifelong fascination with marine biology, Will's decision to pursue a PhD in the aquaculture sector seamlessly integrates his passion for aquatic life with his scientific expertise. His dedication to advancing the field shines through in his innovative research endeavors.

Inspired by the need for enhanced monitoring of harmful algal blooms (HABs), Will proposed using an automated sampler coupled with an ELISA unit which will allow for continuous, real-time monitoring of the toxins produced by HABs. This idea provides an early warning system to prevent significant damage to fish and offers researchers a rich data set to model HAB’s, potentially leading to better modelling systems.

When he's not immersed in sequencing the microbiome of salmon or revolutionizing HAB monitoring, you'll likely find Will showcasing his agility and competitive spirit on the squash court!

Reflecting on his involvement with YAS, Will emphasized the value of connecting with fellow professionals in the industry. As his PhD focuses on environmental and water research, YAS serves as a vital platform for expanding his network and engaging with like-minded individuals passionate about aquaculture.


Join us in congratulating Will on his achievements and wishing him continued success on his aquaculture journey! Stay tuned for more inspiring stories from our talented aquaculture community.

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