Professor Samuel Martin

Professor Samuel Martin
Professor Samuel Martin
Professor Samuel Martin


Personal Chair

Accepting PhDs

Email Address
Telephone Number
+44 (0)1224 272867
School of Biological Sciences


2022- present  Director of Research, School of Biological Sciences

2020- present  Director Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre

2014- present   Professor, Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences (IBES)

2012-2014 Reader, IBES, University of Aberdeen

2010-2012 Senior lecturer, IBES, University of Aberdeen

2007-2010 Lecturer IBES, University of Aberdeen

1999- 2007 Research Fellow, School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen

1996-1999 Senior Research Officer, National Diagnostics Centre, NUI, Galway, Ireland

1993-1996 Postdoctoral RA, Department of Veterinary Parasitology, University of Glasgow

PhD Queens University Belfast 1993

BSc (Hons) Queens University Belfast 1989


Other links

Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre:

International Centre for  aquaculture Research and Development (ICARD) 

Aquaculture Research Hub-UK (ARCH-UK)

Google Scholar: 

Research Gate:

River Don Trust 


Sam discusses his research interms of climate chaange and COP26, November 2021

Sam Martin COP26.JPG

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships


Director Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre

Aquaculture Research Hub UK (ARCH-UK) Co leadSFIRC logo.png

Mentor for new lecturer staff members

Degree program coordinator MSci Biology

Teaching Committee (SBS)


External Memberships

Aquaculture Research Hub UK (ARCH-UK) Co Lead

Scottish Excetutive Ministerial Advisory Group for Aquaculture

MASTS: Productive seas/ aquaculture forum member

Coordinator for "New technologies in fish nutrition" European Aquaculture Technology Implementation Platform

Editorial Board Member : Journal of Aquaculture Research and Development

Board of Directors, River Don Trust


Research Overview


LIVE:  PhD opportunity in gill health;

Closing date 27th November 2023


Seminar delivered to School of Biological Sciences 27th January  2022

Sam Seminar 27_1_2022.png


1. Genomics in Aquaculture
2. Atlantic salmon transcriptomics
3. Nutrigenomics in farmed fish
4. Fish health and immunology
5. Life history stratagies and evolutionary adaptations in salmon

My research focuses on fish health and how this is impacted by other physiological processes. The fish immune system regulates the animals response to pathogens and other stressors, as such it is central fish performance at many levels. My research includes how nutrition- especially novel diets and functional feeds impact intestinal and systemic immune function.  We have several programs that are focussed on vaacacination, which includes developemnt of cells lines using gene editing (crispr/cas9) in both salmon and carp.

Much of my research is related to aquaculture which is one of the fastest growing global food producing industries, but often this grwoth is retarted due to health management.  Within Scotland the Atlantic salmon industry is worth >£1.3 Billion to the Scottish economy producing ~200,000 tons of salmon per annum, however there targets for increased production. Globally now ~50% all consumed fish is reared in aquaculture.  My group uses a variety of genomcs approaches to address key traits relating to improving the performance of fish in culture.

For wild salmonids I have a long term interest in the parr smolt transformation and the underlying regulation that controls this physiological process that controls both the migratory behaviour and the ability to osmoregulate in the marine environment.



Research Areas

Accepting PhDs

I am currently accepting PhDs in Biological and Environmental Sciences.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your research ideas further.

Email Me

Biological and Environmental Sciences

Accepting PhDs

Research Specialisms

  • Aquaculture
  • Bioinformatics
  • Genomics
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Biology

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.

Funding and Grants

2022-2025 Immune cellular dynamics predictive of vaccine protection in Atlantic salmon. With Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh. BBSRC Responsive mode BB/W008564/1

2020-2024 Development of cell culture tools to study fish virus interactions with a focus on fastidious carp viruses.  Phd with CEFAS

2021-2024. Knowledge Transfer Partnership between Innovate UK and Vertebrate Antibodies Ltd. KTP

2021-2022. Artificial intelligence approaches to improve diagnosis of gill disease in Atlantic salmon (AIGD). Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC)

2021-2022 Evaluation & Optimisation of thermal delicing in Scottish salmonid aquaculture SAIC

2020-2023  NucNanoFish: Nucleic  Nanovaccines for fish. BBSRC (ICRAD) BB/V019902/1

2020-2022 Spatial and Temporal Drivers of Gill Pathology in Atlantic Salmon (STGP). SAIC

2019-2023 NOSIFISH: Novel Omega-3 Sources in Feeds and Impacts on Salmon Health BBSRC Responsive mode BB/S005919/1

2019-2022 NUTRIPROG (IPA). Investigating the potential of nutritional programming to improve the utilisation of sustainable feeds in aquaculture. With University of Strirling BBSRC Responsive mode BB/R018812/1

2019-2022: Feed Additives for Improved Physiological and Health Parameters in Fish.  PhD studentship  Newton-Mosharafa Fund (UK- Egypt)

2019-2023: Photoperiod and immune function, how critical life cycle events in salmon impact on disease response and post smolt performance. PhD studentship funded by SAIC (industrial partner Scottish Sea Farms)

2019-2023 ROBUST-SMOLT: Impact of early life history in freshwater Recirculation Aquaculture Systems on Atlantic  salmon robustness and susceptibility to disease at sea. Consortium grant lead by University of Stirling BBSRC BB/S004270/1 

2019-2023 Advancing European Aquaculture by Genome Functional Annotation. H2020 Coordinated NMBU Oslo.

2019-2023 AQUALEAP: Innovation in Genetics and Breeding to Advance UK Aquaculture Production. Consortium grant lead by Edinburgh. BBSRC BB/S004181/

2018-2022: Functional feeds and gill health.  PhD studentship with BioMar

2018-2022 Improving resistance to infectious salmon anaemia using genome editing: Novel approaches to tackling viral disease in aquaculture (PI Prof Ross Houston, Roslin Institute) BBSRC BB/R008612/1 responsive mode

2017-2019 Clinical nutrition and the treatment of Atlantic salmon gill diseases. SAIC

2017-2019 Vaccines for chronic viral pathogens in salmon- generation of interferon attenuated cell lines.  NERC NE/P010946/1

2017-2020 Functional annotation of the Atlantic salmon genome, translation to improved health and performance for Aquaculture (Partnering award with Canada) BBSRC BB/P02582X/1

2017-2021 Gut leucocytes as a screen for the health impact of functional feeds. PhD studentship with Skretting

2017 Innovation for Health and Robustness in Aquculture  in NE India. NERC_BBSRC Innovation ODA scoping award

2017-2021 UK Aquaculture Initiative Network. Aquaculture Research Collaborative Hub -UK (ARCH-UK). NERC / BBSRC BB/P017223/1

2016-2018 Mucosal health and microbiota during sea lice parasitism: effect of oral delivery of immunomodulants. Newton Fund RCUK-CONICYT

2015-2017 Gut health and immune function: the emerging role of gut microbiota in sustainable aquaculture.  BBSRC BB/M026604/1

2015-2017. Epigenetic management of stress and disease resistance in Atlantic salmon. BBSRC BB/M026469/1 (with Prof Carlos Garcia de Leaniz, University of Swansea)

2015-2019 Nutrigenomic approaches for development of sustainable fish feeds. PhD studentship.  Ministry of Education, Malaysia.

2015-2019 The role of functional amino acids as regulators of metabolic pathways in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). (Industrial PhD studentship with BioMar). 

2015-2019  Light & Salt – thyroid hormone deiodinase paralogs and the evolution of complex life-history strategy. Research Council of Norway (Prof. David Hazlerigg, University of Tromso).

2015–2019 Characterization & exploitation of copy number variation in Atlantic salmon. BBSRC industrial CASE PhD studentship, Lead Dr Dan Macqueen.

2013-2017 Gut health and nutrition in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar).  BBSRC EastBio PhD studentship

2013-2017 (Norwegian Research Council)  Salmon health and immune function during parr smolt transformation.  (Coordinated by Dr Sonal Patel, Bergen, Norway)

2013-2016 The Molecular Interactions between Growth and Health Status in Salmonid Fish. PhD studentship  (Kuwait University sponsor) 

2011-2016 Development of protein-rich and starch-rich fractions from faba beans for salmon and terrestrial animal production respectively.  Technology Strategy Board, UK.

2013   Gene expression and health relating to organic feeds in aquaculture. MASTS visiting Fellow (Dr E Mente).

2011-2014  Nutritional requirements during viral induced muscle wasting in Atlantic salmon (Industrial PhD studentship with BioMar)

2011-2014 Selenium as an antiviral agent in farmed fish (Industrial PhD studentship with Alltech)

2010-2014  Application of nutrigenomics to develop new diets that reduce lice burden in Atlantic salmon. Industrial PhD studentship with BioMar

2010-2014   Farm animal proteomics.  EU COST

2010-2014 The physiological and genomic basis to the timing of life history transitions in Atlantic salmon.   BBSRC

2008-2011: Evolutionary dynamics of major histocompatibility genes in Arctic charr. NERC (with Prof Rene Stet and Dr W.C. Jordan, IOZ London)

2009-2013: LIFECYCLES: Building a biological knowledge-base on fish lifecycles for competitive, sustainable European aquaculture. 

2009-2012: A systems biology based approach to functionally annotate and analyse the genome of the fish pathogenic oomycete Saprolegnia parasitica.  BBSRC (with Dr P. Van West)

2008-2011: Molecular basis of improved feed quality for aquaculture.   PhD studentship with BioMar

2009-2010: Modulation of muscle atrophy gene expression in Atlantic salmon following an inflammatory response.  Royal Society




Teaching Responsibilities


1st year Introduction to Biological Sciences (BI1008)

1st year Diversity of life 1, (BI1012)

1st year Diversity of life 2, (BI1512, Course Coordinator)

3rd year Aquatic Biology, Conservation and Exploitation  (ZO3809)

3rd year Skills, Bioinformatics unit (BI3010)

4th year Sustainable Aquaculture (ZO4811, Course Coordinator)

4th year Grant Writing for MSci degree programme (BI4015, Course coordinator)

MSc Applied Marine and Fisheries Ecology, Aquaculture  (ZI5505, Unit Coordinator)

MSci  Degree programme coordinator


Outreach to Schools: "Trout in the Classroom". I teach about ecology and fish in the river Don by growing fish from eggs to fry in the classroom. (Kemnay Academy 2008, Inverurie Academy 2009, Strathburn School 2010).


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