Johan Schrama is associate professor at the Aquaculture and Fisheries group (AFI) at Wageningen University & Research. He started as assistant professor at the Animal Husbandry Group in 1989. The first 12 years of his career, he headed the Climate Respiration Unit for farm animals and worked on thermoregulation, energy metabolism, and adaptation physiology of farm animals. This research was interdisciplinary and dealt with the interaction between nutrition, environmental and animal related factors (coping styles, genetics).
In 2001, he moved to AFI and developed two research lines:
- one on fish behaviour: focussing on husbandry influences on welfare;
- one on fish nutrition: focussing on consequences of fishmeal replacement by plant ingredients on digestive processes (incl. faecal waste) and feed intake.
From 2009 onwards, he fully focussed on fish nutrition regarding research and education. The fast growth and diversity of the aquaculture sector gives many opportunities for nutritional research. For keeping clear focus, the AFI-nutrition unit research concentrated on the following five domains on which various PhD/Postdocs are working:
- Feed intake (regulation) & behavior,
- Digestive physiology,
- Gut health,
- Nutrient requirements,
- Feed/ingredient evaluation.
The research focus is on the grow-out phase of fish. During this phase most aqua-feeds are consumed. Most of the past and current fish nutrition research solely study feed-fish relations. To be novel and distinctive and with the expectation of more fish culture in RAS, the AFI-nutrition unit has initiated and developed research considering feed-fish-system relations. This was achieved by addressing topics like waste production management by nutrition, knowledge development for aqua-feeds tailored for RAS.