AREAS

The Stress Physiology Research Group encompasses 3 main areas of research; each devided in specific research lines (see table below).

The insights and results obtained on stress physiology across vertebrates are put in the framework of the multi-disciplinary research topic of glucocorticoid action, hereby translating the latter to other research domains including biochemistry, ecology, endocrinology, ethology, histology, immunology, morphology, physiology and toxicology.

Main Research AreaResearch Line
1.
Unravelling the fundamentals of glucocorticoid actions across vertebrates
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1.1 Mechanism(s) of glucocorticoid incorporation
1.2 Chronic stress, target glucocorticoid receptor profiles and ligand binding kinetics
1.3 Extra-interrenal and -adrenal glucocorticoids and alternative substrates for glucocorticoid biosynthesis
1.4 Glucocorticoid-mediated developmental programming and early life stress
1.5 Glucocorticoid-mediated bone (de)formation
1.6 Individual variation in stress response
2.
Unravelling the impact of chronic stress across vertebrates
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2.1 Management as stressor in fish farms, in ornamental fish aquaculture, in home and public aquaria, in zebrafish facilities, in amphibian and reptile terraria, in avian farms, in pig farms and in cattle farms
2.2 Feed as stressor focusing on invertebrates (e.g. Artemia salina), mycotoxins and fish feed constituents
2.3 Microbial endocrinology, interaction between bacteria, glucocorticoids and the stress level in fish.
2.4 Pollutants as stressor
2.5 Stress in human related pathologies
3.
Contributing to a more sustainable and animal welfare minded food production
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3.1 Development and validation of a biosensor for on-site glucocorticoid analysis in fish scale
3.2 Improving sustainability and animal welfare in aquaculture and husbandry
3.3 Improving our understanding of the impact of anthropogenic activities on the health status of vertebrates in the wild

© 2018-9 StressChron-Research Programs

Our research contributes overall to:

  • An optimized and more sustainable aquaculture and husbandry.
  • Monitoring the impact of anthropogenic activities on wild stocks.
  • Objectively assessing welfare of (ornamental) species in aquaculture, wildlife, public aquaria and laboratory settings.
  • The implementation of a welfare quality label so efforts of farmers investing in an animal friendly production can be valorised.
  • Providing the consumer with reliable product information with respect to animal welfare.
  • Helping governments to decide on sustainable production, environmental and welfare issues.