Researcher joins Campbell River’s Aquatic Health Sciences Centre

http://www.northislandmidweek.com/news/139322408.html
By Contributed – North Island MidWeek
Published: February 14, 2012 2:00 PM

The BC Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences (CAHS) has hired Dr. Ahmed Siah as a research scientist and diagnostician.

Originally from Morocco, he pursued his PhD studies in Oceanography at the University of Quebec at Rimouski (Quebec) and then spent three years of postdoctoral studies at the University of Le Havre (France). After an additional year as a postdoctoral fellow at the Atlantic Veterinary College (PEI), Dr. Siah was hired as an Associate Researcher and Adjunct Faculty at the same institution (AVC) in 2007. His research focused on the effects of contaminants such as antifouling compounds released in sea water on the health of shellfish, clams and mussels. More specifically, he aimed at understanding what could be the cause or causes of diseases that affect molluscs in their natural habitat and how mollusc health could be assessed.

This is an exciting time at BC CAHS, says Dr. Afonso: “Dr. Siah’s research expertise is an excellent match with our organization’s mission and vision, and he will be able to expand the services we provide to our stakeholders.”

Thanks to his expertise in molecular biology, he will be mainly involved at the CAHS in developing molecular techniques to screen for micro-organisms such as viruses and bacteria that affect health of fish and shellfish organisms. The molecular techniques that will be developed at CAHS will detect DNA molecules specific to the pathogens, similarly to the techniques used in crime scene investigation (CSI).

“I am so grateful to join the CAHS team and excited by the opportunity to be involved in the development of state-of-the-art diagnostic tools for aquatic organism’s health. My new position at the CAHS is an excellent fit in my career as an academic researcher,” said Dr. Siah.

He is also interested in conducting research studies on shellfish and finfish health by understanding how the aquatic organisms defend themselves against the infectious microorganisms and deal with the modifications of their environment (invasive species, ocean acidification, harmful algae and contaminants).

He recently arrived from Charlottetown, PEI to settle down in Campbell River with his wife and their two young sons. Ahmed is an avid soccer player and is already an active member of the Campbell River Master’s team. He looks forward to exploring the outdoors in and around Campbell River, as well as welcoming their third child in a couple of months.

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