Aquaculture health in the 21st century: how to feed 12 billion people?

Play Video





1. Please provide a short summary of your research, project or technology.

The world population is over seven and a half billion and will be nearly 12 billion by the end of the century. Food security is a global issue. Aquaculture should help: 50% of habitable land has been used, but less than 1% of the potential aquaculture area. A big challenge in increasing aquaculture is the spread of disease. Aquatic health depends on marine microorganisms: they regulate their environment as they interact, reproduce and mutate, and can wipe out aquaculture populations through disease. But we do not understand these processes well enough. We must know more about microbes’ evolution to keep aquaculture healthy. I use evolutionary game theory to provide insight into competition and foraging processes of aquatic microbes. We aim to unravel the underlying mechanisms in disease spread, helping to prevent it. To achieve this, we are developing a new mathematical theory that explains how microbes adapt.


Meinolf Sellmann
over 2 years ago

By 2050, the world food production needs to increase by 50-100% to feed the growing human population. Aquaculture is an essential building block for achieving this goal. Maria sets out to provide us with the much needed mathematical models how aquatic ecosystems evolve, which is key when humans start cultivating the seas and aquatic ecosystems undergo change.

Historically, hunger has led to the most heart-breaking human tragedies: 9 million people die of hunger each year according to world hunger statistics; one million more than all deaths related to *all* forms of cancer combined, and also more than the death toll for malaria, AIDs and tuberculosis *combined*. Over 60 percent of the world's hungry are women. Every day, over 15.000 children die from hunger. That is more than 10 per minute. On top, hunger has also led to massive mass migration, armed conflicts, and even wars.

Maria is a rising star in a new, exciting field that bridges game theory and biology with mathematical rigor. She is a PHD Candidate at The University of Queensland and determined to mark her mark on the world. As such, she is a perfect role model for women in STEM as she exemplifies a new generation of young researchers for whom purpose comes first and who, by applying their raw intelligence, creatively solve pressing societal problems based on rigorous scientific analysis.

But even Maria's intellect and determination alone are not enough. She needs our support. You will not find a more worthy cause or more capable, or nicer candidate. I ask you for your vote.

Jody Fisher
over 2 years ago

A vitally important cause but also the grounds for developing some new and elegant mathematical theory - please support Maria and this exciting project!

Helen Flavel
over 2 years ago

Maria is a diligent, self-motivated post graduate student who strives to find answers to complicated questions. She desires to help ensure future generations have a better future, by overcoming problems which beset the potential wealth of food production opportunities provided through aquacultural ventures. Her love of the sea and her desire to make the world a better place for all have led her to investigate how mathematical models and game theory can calculate the reasons behind the explosion of microbes that flourish and undermine such valuable food production ventures. I am proud of her achievements so far and hope that winning this award will boost her vital academic research. I wholeheartedly support her and recommend that you do too!

Alex99999 Bor
over 2 years ago

Interesting project. Ready to make donations.