Culturing conch, oysters, and other mollusks
Newcastle University, United Kingdom
Who: Vanessa Haley-Benjamin, Ph.D. student in biosciences
When: 2020 – Present
Institutes: Newcastle University, United Kingdom
Supervisors: Che Connon, professor of tissue engineering at Newcastle University
Vanessa is culturing molluscan (i.e. conch, oyster, etc.) tissue in vitro. Since little work has been done with mollusks in the past, Vanessa’s research will provide fundamental knowledge on how to culture molluscan cells – what goes in the media, what protocols work best, and how the cells grow and differentiate.
Mollusks are very economically and culturally important for many coastal communities but, due to overfishing, are in danger of becoming extinct. Vanessa hopes to use cellular agriculture to provide a more sustainable option to seafood production and relieve fishing pressure on local ocean ecosystems.