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Dr Annette Boerlage

Epidemiological Researcher (Aquaculture)
Future Farming Systems - Epidemiology Research Unit

Research interests 

My main research interest is to improve health management in aquaculture systems while taking into account the needs of animals, industry, policy makers and consumers. I make use of statistical and mathematical models that provide (evidence-based) insights into the interactions between environment, host and pathogen.

Examples of systems that are of interest to me are:

  • Integrated aquaculture-agriculture systems and specifically the life cycle of fish-borne zoonotic trematodes that can exist within these systems.
  • The salmon aquaculture sector and its aquatic diseases such as bacterial kidney disease (BKD), sea lice and gill disease.
  • Asia’s warm-water aquaculture systems, such as the tilapia, catfish, shrimp, and marine finfish sectors in Vietnam.

Selected research projects

  • Gill Health in Scottish salmon aquaculture
    In this project we characterize cases of Complex Gill Disease (CGD) and develop a consistent definition of the disease; improve understanding of the factors that drive gill disease via epidemiologic studies; and create evidence-based information and decision support tools regarding gill disease and fish husbandry.
  • Bacterial Kidney Disease (BKD) in Canadian salmon aquaculture
    We used evidence-based information to develop a case definition for BKD, improved understanding of risk factors for BKD, and provided insight into the long term effects of BKD and its treatments.  
  • Health management in warm-water aquaculture in Vietnam
    We described and characterized marine-finfish aquaculture and red tilapia aquaculture in Vietnam with respect to health management.
  • PhD project: Transmission and control of fish-borne zoonotic trematodes in aquaculture
    We provided recommendations for control measures for fish-born zoonotic trematodes in integrated aquaculture-agriculture systems based on a mathematical model that included input of our observational study and transmission experiments.


I have been involved in lectures for BSc and MSc students, as well as providing workshops for industry groups.


  • BSc: Animal Science from Wageningen University, the Netherlands.
  • MSc: Aquaculture & Fisheries from Wageningen University, the Netherlands.
  • PhD: Quantitative Veterinary Epidemiology and Aquaculture & Fisheries, from Wageningen University, the Netherlands.
  • Post-Doc: Aquatic epidemiology at Health management, Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, PEI, Canada.

Selected publications

  • Boerlage, A.S., Elghafghuf, A., Stryhn, H., Sanchez, J., Hammell, K.L. 2018. Risk factors associated with time to first clinical case of Bacterial Kidney Disease (BKD) in farmed Atlantic Salmon ( Salmo salar L.) in New Brunswick, Canada
  • Boerlage, A.S., Dung, T. T., Hoa, T.T.T., Davidson, J., Stryhn, H., Hammell, K.L. 2017. Production of red tilapia (Oreochromis spp.) in floating cages in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam: mortality and health management. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms.
  • Boerlage, A.S., Nguyen, K.V., Davidson, J., Phan, V.T., Bui, T.N., Dang, L.T., Stryhn, H., Hammell, K.L. 2017. Finfish marine aquaculture in northern Vietnam: Factors related to pathogen introduction and spread. Aquaculture,
  • Boerlage, A.S., Stryhn, H., Sanchez, J., Hammell, K.L. 2016. Case definition for clinical and subclinical Bacterial Kidney Disease (BKD) in Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar L.) in New Brunswick, Canada. Journal of fish diseases,   
  • Boerlage, A.S.; Graat, E.A.M.; Verreth, J.A.J.; Jong, M.C.M. de. 2013. Effect of control strategies on the persistence of fish-borne zoonotic Trematodes: a modeling approach. Aquaculture,

Link to SRUC repository 

Dr Annette Boerlage

Address: An Lòchran
10 Inverness Campus

Telephone: +44 (0)1463 246 056