Naam TWO Staessen MSc

OrganisatieDepartement Dierwetenschappen
OrganisatieeenheidAquacultuur en Visserij
OrganisatieDepartement Dierwetenschappen
OrganisatieeenheidAquacultuur en Visserij
Reguliere werkdagen
Ma Di Wo Do Vr


I hold a MSc degree in Bioscience (option Food Industry) from the University College of Ghent and a MSc in Aquaculture from the University of Ghent. Since my high school days, when I studied Modern Languages and Sciences, I have developed a strong interests for the food producing industries, more particular animal production was closest to my interests. After my general education in bioscience, I really wanted to specialize and focus on one specific brand of the food producing industry. Since, from childhood, I am fascinated with the underwater life and keeping in mind my previous education, I decided to enroll for the master program Aquaculture at the University of Ghent.

In my study of aquaculture, I learned to work with and appreciate a diversity of people from countries all over the world. In the last year of my studies, I got the chance to go abroad and do my thesis on a scholarship at the Ocean University of China in Qingdao, one of the best universities worldwide in research in the field of aquaculture. There I became more familiar and fascinated with the topics Nutrition and Physiology. For my master dissertation ‘Anti-nutritional factors in the water extract of five protein sources’, I had a first contact with vegetable feeds as an alternative to fish meal and fish oil based feeds. The idea of a more sustainable development of the aquaculture sector by replacing fish meal with vegetable protein sources really appealed to me. Hence, my choice for the PhD project I am currently working on, which combines the subject of nutrition with the metabolism of bile salts.

My direct supervisor is Dr. Ir. Johan Schrama



I started as a PhD-candidate at the Wageningen University at the end of 2015. I am working on a NWO WIAS project entitled ‘Nutrient digestion and bile metabolism of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in relation to dietary factors’. Unfortunately, for the majority of carnivorous fish, the digestive system is neither built nor adapted to handle large amounts of plant ingredients. This results in poor fat digestion and gut and liver health. Reduction in fat digestibility can be overcome by addition of exogenous bile salts, as are intestinal abnormalities. These beneficial roles of bile salt supplementation highlight the urgency for a better understanding of the interactions between bile metabolism in fish and diet composition when shifting from animal-based to plant-based ingredients. This project should help in making this shift more successful. Therefore it focusses on understanding the interactions and effects of particular dietary components (NSP, cholesterol, methionine and taurine) on the bile salt metabolism, nutrient utilization and fish health.

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