Aaron Watson

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

Address: Marine Resources Research Institute, 217 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412
Phone: 843.963.0462
E-mail: watsona@dnr.sc.gov


Ph.D., 2013, University of Maryland, College Park
M.S., 2008, University of Texas at Austin

Research Interests

  • Aquaculture nutrition, taurine, fishmeal and fish oil replacement in aquafeeds, metabolomics, transcriptomics and gene expression, parasite detection

Current and planned research projects

  • Effects of graded levels of soybean meal on red drum production and metabolomics
  • Early detection of biomarkers indicative of animal health
  • Effects of graded levels of soybean meal on cobia production
  • Developing quantitative PCR (qPCR) assays for the detection of an invasive eel parasite
  • Evaluation of a qPCR assay for the detection of Kudoa in spotted seatrout


  • Watson, A.M., Buentello, A., Place, A.R. 2014. Replacement of Fishmeal, Poultry By-Product Meal and Soy Protein Concentrate with Two Non-Genetically Modified Soybean Cultivars in Diets for juvenile Cobia, Rachycentron canadum. Aquaculture. DOI: 10.1016/j.aquaculture.2014.08.003.
  • Watson, A.M., Barrows, F.T., Place, A.R. 2014. Effects of Graded Taurine Levels on Juvenile Cobia, Rachycentron canadum. North American Journal of Aquaculture. 76:3, 190-200.
  • Watson, A.M., Barrows, F.T., Place, A.R. 2013. Leaching of Taurine from Commercial Type Aquaculture Feeds. Aquaculture Research. DOI: 10.1111/are.12309.
  • Watson, A.M., Barrows, F.T., Place, A.R. 2013. Taurine Supplementation of Plant Derived Protein and n-3 Fatty Acids are Critical for Optimal Growth and Development of Cobia, Rachycentron canadum. Lipids. 48:9, 899-913.
  • Watson, A.M., Barrows, F.T., Place, A.R. 2013. Taurine Supplemented Plant Protein Based Diets with Alternative Lipid Sources for Juvenile Gilthead Sea Bream, Sparus aurata. Journal of Fisheries and Aquaculture. 4:1, 59-66.
  • Watson, A.M., Kissil, G.Wm., Barrows, F.T., Place, A.R. 2012. Developing a plant-based diet for Cobia Rachycentron canadum. International Aquafeed. 15:1, 34-38.
  • Watson, A.M. and Holt, G.J. 2010. Energy Budget of Early Juvenile Cobia, Rachycentron canadum. Journal of the World Aquaculture Society. 41:S2, 224-234