University of Stirling Appoints New Head of Aquaculture12 June, 2009 – Professor Brian Austin Stirling Universitys reputation as a world-class centre for marine sciences has been bolstered by the appointment of Professor Brian Austin as the head of the Institute of Aquaculture.Professor Austin, an expert in microbiology, joins from Heriot-Watt University where he is Head of the School of Life Sciences. He takes up his new post on 1 July and succeeds Professor Randolph Richards CBE, who will continue his research and teaching work at the Institute.Professor Austins research interests focus on bacterial fish diseases, and in particular the development of disease control strategies, including vaccines, immuno-stimulants and probiotics.He made the news four years ago when he discovered antibiotics in teak wood and sponges that could have wide-ranging applications such as preventing MRSA, stopping tooth decay and combating food poisoning.He also has an excellent track record in staff development and welfare. At Heriot-Watt, he chaired the Healthy Working Lives Working Group which helped the university to win the Healthy Working Lives gold award for its commitment to the health and wellbeing of its staff and students. It was the first academic institution in the UK to receive the award.The Institute of Aquaculture at the University of Stirling has grown steadily over the last 35 years to become the leading international centre in its field and the largest of its kind in the world. With over 110 staff and 120 postgraduate students, it brings together cross-disciplinary, world class researchers to meet the global challenges faced by aquaculture.Its focus is on developing strategies for sustainable aquaculture, whether in modern commercial markets or in feeding poor communities in developing countries. The Institute has a world-class reputation for ground-breaking research on environments, reproduction, genetics, aquatic health, nutrition and feed supplies, on production systems, on markets, and on social and economic impacts.