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South Centers

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


$2M grant awards to fund two meaningful aquaculture projects

Dr. Hanping Wang at the Ohio Center for Aquaculture Research and Development (OCARD) at The Ohio State University South Centers, in partnership with Dr. Gary Gao of the Specialty Crops team and University of New Hampshire, has been awarded approximately $1 million from a very competitive program of the USDA - the Urban, Indoor, and other Emerging Agriculture (UIE). This funded project is for the development of sustainable aquaponics model systems to enhance resiliency of urban, indoor, and emerging food systems using monosex and genetically improved fish with a variety of plants and DNA-based analyses of the structure and function of microbe communities in aquaponic systems. 

The program received more than 200 proposals and funded just 10 large projects this year, with each having an approximate value of $1 million. South Centers was among the recipients with the funding rate of around 5%. Dr. Hanping Wang is the Principal Investigator (PI), and Dr. Gary Gao serves as Co-PI of the project. This project is expected to contribute to: 1) enhancing UIE sustainability and satisfying human food and fiber needs; 2) enhancing quality of life and access to safe nutritious food for urban and peri-urban communities, and society as a whole; 3) reducing barriers to land access: and 4) sustaining the economic viability of urban farm operations.

Additionally, Dr. Hanping Wang and his collaborators in North Carolina State University have been awarded $1 million from NOAA to develop striped bass seedstock production technologies and related outreach activities.

As one of the National Sea Grant Aquaculture Hubs, this StriperHub project will conduct broodstock and seedstock production research and develop feeding strategies/ protocols and culture manual/methods for striped bass industry. The project will help address the seafood deficit in the United States by developing striped bass as a candidate aquaculture species and expanding hybrid striped bass aquaculture to strengthen the domestic seafood industry and boost the economies of coastal, great lake, and rural communities.

There is a growing interest in striped bass aquaculture within the Great Lake Region (GLR) and North Central Region (NCR). This project adds a new aquaculture research species to OCARD. South Centers’ own Dr. Hanping Wang is leading and coordinating research and outreach efforts of the StriperHub in the GLR and NCR.

Wang's laboratory has been competitive in winning research grants at the national level over the past 20 years. This success can be attributed to the efforts of their aquaculture team, with their nationally recognized aquaculture genetics program at Piketon and impact of their quality research and publications, plus the support of other teams and supporting staff at South Centers.

striped bassaquaponics