Collage with photos from Renata Gonçalves' experiments with juvenile lobsters.

PhD defence about nutritional requirements in early life stages of the European lobster

Monday 15 Nov 21


Renata Isabel De Sousa Goncalves
DTU Aqua
+45 35 88 32 04


Ivar Lund
Senior Researcher
DTU Aqua
+45 35 88 32 05

On 23 November 2021, Renata Gonçalves, DTU Aqua, will defend her PhD thesis. It is possible to attend the defence at DTU Aqua in Hirtshals and online.

The European lobster is an ecologically and economically important species, but an intense fishing pressure, in particular during the 1960s and 1970s, has led to significant declines in several wild lobster populations.

To counteract the decreases in landings various re-stocking programmes have been launched around Europe. Also the commercial culture of the species is attracting increasing attention as an additional measure to increase the market supply. However, the economically viable production has been hampered by several bottlenecks, including low growth and survival rates and lack of a suitable artificial feed.

During her PhD study, Renata Gonçalves, DTU Aqua, has investigated the metabolism and nutritional requirements in the early life stages of the European lobster. She has done a series of experiments with different stages of the lobster larvae and juvenile lobster and different types and compositions of feed.

Renata Gonçalves concludes in her thesis that her results can be used as a reference for future development of feed for juvenile European lobster. For instance, the results reveal that lipids, in particular cholesterol and phospholipids, are important compounds for the larval stages, that the requirement for dietary carbohydrates increases after the transition from larvae to postlarvae, and that protein requirement remains high during the entire early development. 

The most suitable formulated feed tested was composed of 50 percent protein, 24 percent carbohydrates, and 12 percent lipids. This combination promotes growth and survival rates comparable to those observed in juvenile lobsters fed the standard Antarctic krill diet. The results from an experiment with inclusion of shrimp waste meal in formulated feeds also seems promising. 

About the PhD defence

Renata Gonçalves will defend her PhD thesis "Ontogenetic development and nutritional requirements in early life stages of the European lobster" on Tuesday 23 November 2021, 11:00 a.m. on Zoom and at the Auditorium at the North Sea Science Park, Willemoesvej 2, 9850 Hirtshals.


  • Main supervisor: Senior Researcher Ivar Lund, DTU Aqua
  • Co-supervisor: Senior Researcher Manuel Gesto, DTU Aqua


  • Senior Researcher Anne Johanne Tang Dalsgaard, DTU Aqua (chair)
  • Senior Animal Technician, Lead NACWO Adam Powell, Stirling University, UK
  • Tenured Scientist Erick Perera, Department of Aquaculture Institute of Marine Sciences of Andalucia, Spain

Chairperson at defence

  • Senior Researcher Lars Flemming Pedersen, DTU Aqua
Learn more

A popular science summary of the thesis can be downloaded here

A copy of the thesis is available by e-mail on request. Please contact Karin Stubgaard,

Link to Zoom and guidelines for online attendance

It is possible to attend Renata Gonçalves’ defence on Zoom using this link:

Please, enter the meeting 10 minutes prior to the defence proceedings are scheduled to start. All participants are muted per default, but we ask you to double check that your microphone is turned off at all times. There will be instructions regarding the proceedings at the beginning of the defence.