The Tempscreen Project

By | April 26, 2022

In 2014 Marco Alexandre Cerqueira, a PhD student from the Centre of Marine Sciences of University of Algarve, successfully applied for a TNA project at the Institute of Aquaculture entitled “Using temperature choice in a dynamic environment to assess animal personality both within and between genetically distinct Tilapia populations”.

Photo of  Marco Alexandre Cerqueira,
Marco Alexandre Cerqueira

Marco explained “This research is in the scope of my PhD and aimed to explore the possibility that thermal preference is an indicator of animal personality. The development of a simple, inexpensive, non-invasive and non-lethal screening method would enable us to gain more information on both animal personality and welfare within a population, which would be valuable for refining fish production in the industry. The results obtained could open doors for future research and collaboration with this RI in the field of sustainability, welfare, health, and disease resistance of farmed fish”.

When asked about his experience of TNA at Stirling he said “AQUAEXCEL was undoubtedly beneficial for the development of this research and for my PhD project. It gave me the opportunity to develop a ground-breaking study with direct relevance to aquaculture and enabled me to gain experience that spans across the biological sciences, which is invaluable at my career stage. Thanks to this opportunity I gained knowledge about a species with a significant body of related research over the past 30 years and I was supported by in-house expertise which added value both on a personal and professional basis”.

A longer article about this project is available in the booklet “AQUAEXCEL KEY ACHIEVEMENTS 2014-2015” (Key Output 9, Pages 22-24). The results were also published in the Journal of Animal Ecology ( in 2016.