Details on our facilities can be found under each of the following four headings. Please click on a category heading to know more about the facilities provided under that category.
The Aquatic Medicine Laboratory has a fully functional diagnostic laboratory using the facilities of the Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. This laboratory provides diagnostic services to aquaculturists, home aquarist and researchers using aquatic animals. With the recent increased interest in marine aquaculture, detection and evaluation of various diseases in marine finfish has expanded in the laboratory.
Virginia Tech Food Science and Technology Department has several in-house and associated laboratories, as well as pilot plants to support department research and extension activities. The general laboratories include microbiological facilities that are equipped for human pathogen research and chemistry laboratories.
There are two recirculating aquaculture facilities:
The Southwest Virginia Aquaculture Research Center in Saltville, Virginia is dedicated to supporting sustainable aquaculture and high value alternative horticulture opportunities through research, extension, and education programs. It is the culmination of decades of Virginia Tech research in the area of aquaculture.
This center is one of the largest and most sophisticated facilities of its kind in the United States dedicated to research and development of both the aquaculture and aquaponic industries. This facility houses numerous recirculating systems that allow us to conduct experiments with the necessary replication for good statistics. Tank volumes vary from 60 liters to 600 gallons. "Recirculating Aquaculture" refers to a method of growing fish at high densities under controlled conditions in indoor tanks. The water used to grow fish is cleaned and reused; and waste water can be incorporated into additional products (i.e. aquaponics, biogas, biofloc carbon sources, etc.). New water is added only to replace losses from evaporation, splash out, and solid waste removal. Two climate-controlled greenhouses are also located onsite and are outfitted with both aquaculture and aquaponic systems.
Species currently housed at the facility for research include mollusks, shrimp, freshwater fish, and marine fish. Plants being cultivated include basil, cantaloupe, lettuce, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, mangroves, macroalgae, and peas. Research is conducted using funds from government and private companies. Virginia Tech actively welcomes and fosters public-private partnerships for the advancement of aquaculture research. Research areas include animal health, animal husbandry, alternative ingredients for aquaculture feeds, new species culture, nutrition, plant production, plant quality and safety, seafood quality and safety, systems engineering, toxicological assays, water quality, and waste handling/reuse..
Contact either Dr. David D. Kuhn (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mr. Daniel P. Taylor (email@example.com) for more information or for potential collaboration.
The Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center
The Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center's mission is to provide education, scientific and technical guidance, support, and leadership to the seafood and aquaculture industries throughout Virginia and the United States, thereby helping them to remain competitive economically on a global scale. Multi-disciplinary research and public service (driven by industry needs such as food science and technology, mariculture, economics, waste management, seafood engineering, and business planning) help accomplish the Center's mission.
Core research and extension programs at the Center focus on seafood safety and quality of wild caught and cultured animals and products, business marketing and plans for the commercial and aquaculture industries, engineering and thermal processing, intensive saltwater recirculating aquaculture, and education/outreach.
The Seafood Center currently functions as a regional Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) training center. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has implemented a mandatory seafood inspection program based on HACCP principles. HACCP is a preventive system of food control that requires a hazard analysis be conducted on the product and process and that Critical Limits (CLs) are set at each Critical Control Point (CCP) of the process. HACCP allows focusing of resources, money, people and equipment on the essential elements of a food control system.
Recirculating aquaculture research and extension efforts focus on summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus) production. Ozone injection and biological filtration methods control and eliminate potential incoming pathogens on the fish. Research efforts also focus on fish reproduction(a 180 day spawning cycle to ripen fish is used), larval rearing techniques, and live food production (e.g., algae, rotifers, copepods and artemia).
Visit their website at http://www.vaes.vt.edu/seafood
The Environmental Engineering laboratories are housed in approximately 11,800 sq. feet of space distributed between Norris Hall and Durham Hall. The laboratories in Durham Hall, which include three controlled temperature chambers and seven chemical fume hoods, support a broad range of research areas, including water and wastewater treatment, industrial and hazardous waste management, air pollution control, microbiology, chemistry, solid waste management, analytical methods, taste and odor control, modeling, and corrosion control. The Norris Hall laboratories are used for teaching, as well as research, and have two chemical fume hoods and one constant temperature chamber.