Research Assistant Professor
Pallab Sarker is an expert in fish nutrition for sustainable aquaculture. His research interests involve developing and evaluating aquaculture nutrition strategies for improving the environmental sustainability of aquaculture. The main focus of his research is to evaluate microalgae as alternative ingredients for fishmeal and fish oil in aquaculture feed to reduce dependence on forage fisheries, and to formulate nutritionally balanced, environmentally sustainable, and cost-effective diets. Aquaculture, the fastest growing area of food production globally, raises important questions in the realm of sustainability science. Conventional aquafeeds use fishmeal and fish oil extracted from small ocean fish or “forage fish,” such as sardines. Aquafeeds use approximately 80% of the world supply of fish oil and fishmeal, worth at least $12 billion. Large-scale diversion and overfishing pose several environmentally unsustainable consequences. His current research addresses this enormous environmental sustainability challenge and enhances the sustainable aquaculture nutrition research, as part of sustainability science research in the Environmental Studies Program. His ongoing projects examine the in vivo and in vitro digestibility of different microalgae/co-products and their incorporation in tilapia and salmonids feed formulae to replace fishmeal and fish oil towards improved sustainability of aquafeeds while assuring human health benefits of fish raised on these diets. He is the member of the editorial board of the Journal of Aquaculture & Marine Biology and EC Nutrition. He is a member of the manuscript review committee of 7 peer-reviewed journals.Curriculum Vitae LinkedIn
Sarker, P.K., A.R. Kapuscinski, A. Lanois, E. Livesey, and K. Bernhard, M. Coley. 2016. Towards sustainable aquafeeds: complete substitution of fish oil with marine microalga Schizochytrium sp. improves growth and fatty acid deposition in juvenile Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). PLOS ONE, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0156684.
Sarker, P. K., M. M. Gamble, S. Kelson, and A. R. Kapuscinski. 2015. Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) show high digestibility of lipid and fatty acids from marine Schizochytrium sp. and of protein and essential amino acids from freshwater Spirulina sp. feed ingredients. Aquaculture Nutrition (doi: 10.1111/anu.12230).
Sarker, P.K., Pilote, A., Auffret, A., Proulx, E., Villemur, R., Vandenberg, G., 2014. Reducing geosmin-associated off-flavor compounds and metabolic phosphorus waste outputs through dietary phosphorus management in rainbow trout raised in recirculating aquaculture systems. Aquaculture and Environment Interaction, 6: 105–117.
Sarker, P.K., Bureau, D.P., Drew, M., Hua, K., Forster, I., Were, K., Hicks, B., Vandenberg, G.W., 2013. Sustainability issues related to feeding salmonids: a Canadian perspective. Reviews in Aquaculture, 5: 1-21.
Sarker, P.K., Yossa, R., Karanth, S., Ekker, M., and Vandenberg, G.W., 2012. Influences of dietary biotin and avidin on growth, survival, deficiency syndrome and hepatic gene expression of juvenile Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus. Fish Physiology and Biochemistry, 38 (4): 1183-1193.
Sarker, P.K., Fournier, J., Boucher, E., Proulx, E., Noüe de al J., Vandenberg, G.W., 2011. Effects of low phosphorus ingredient combinations on weight gain, apparent digestibility coefficients, non-fecal phosphorus excretion, phosphorus retention and loading of large rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Animal Feed Science and Technology, 168: 241-249.
Sarker, P.K., A.R. Kapuscinski, A.J. Lanois, E.D. Livesey, K.P. Bernhard, M.L. Coley. 2015. Towards sustainable aquafeeds: Evaluating three marine microalgae for replacement of fish oil and fishmeal in aquaculture diets for Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). 2015 Algae Biomass Summit, Washington, DC. See slides here.