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Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

Mr William Davison

Mr William Davison

Postgraduate research student

 Geoffrey Pope 201


Geoffrey Pope Building, University of Exeter , Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QD, UK


I’m an aquatic ecophysiologist studying how we can utilise a fishes innate physiology to maximize fish production in farmed systems. From a water chemistry point of view, fish farms are weird places with conditions that are way beyond anything found in the wild. My work focuses mainly on how carbon dioxide produced by the fish can build up in farm systems and how this elevated CO2 can impact a fishes ability to digest its food and therefore, how better water quality management can help fish farmers maximize their productivity.

Broad research specialisms

Anthropogenic stressors


Bsc Biological Sciences with Study Abroad

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Research interests

Project Title: Using physiology to improve the sustainability of fish production in aquaculture

Supervisors: Prof Rod Wilson, Dr Eduarda Santos

Funding Body: BBSRC SWBio DTP

Project Description: In the era of climate change and a massively growing human population it is becoming more and more important to maximize our food productivity. With most arable land already being farmed and wild-caught fisheries collapsing due to overfishing, massive growth of the aquaculture industry is required to feed the extra 2 billion mouths predicted to be on this planet by the year 2050. However, with huge stocking densities, the water in fish farms has chemistry that is far beyond anything a fish would experience in the wild. While most fish farms are able to remove the most dangerous compounds out of the water, CO2 produced by the fish builds up massively. My project will aim to investigate how this massive buildup of CO2 may be disrupting many biological processes happening inside the fish and hopefully inform the aquaculture industry on the best way to manage their water chemistry.


Ellis, R. P., Davison, W., Queirós, A. M., Kroeker, K. J., Calosi, P., Dupont, S., Spicer, J. I., Wilson, R. W., Widdicombe, S. & Urbina, M. A. (2017) Does Sex Really Matter? Explaining Intraspecies Variation in Ocean Acidification Responses. Biology Letters 13.

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