Designing aquaponics systems suitable for Mars

A post-graduate research scholarship to investigate the potential for aquaponics to provide fish and vegetable produce in extreme conditions – including on the Moon and Mars – is being offered by the University of Greenwich.

The successful applicant will investigate the use of aquaponic waters and effluents to provide nutrients in earth-based regoliths to grow food in areas where little or no food can be grown at present and on simulated regoliths from the Moon and Mars – where the only way that communities will be able to live in permanent settlements is if fresh, nutritious food can be produced in situ.

The research will also investigate formulating diets for tilapia that are sourced from the hydroponic part of the aquaponic system and from an agricultural system that has been fertilized using fish and composted vegetal waste.

The chosen person will be expected to work 40 hours per week, and some of this may need to be at weekends, as fish welfare and the experiments will need to be monitored.

“This is an amazing opportunity to help drive forward your and our ambitions towards sustainable food production in some of the most inhospitable places on Earth and also to reach for the stars by demonstrating how aquaponics could provide fish and a range of fresh produce for settlers on the Moon and Mars. The Aquaponics Group and Laboratories at the University of Greenwich are at the forefront of aquaponic research in Europe,” said the university in the job description.

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