LINDSAY LAIRD Student Award 2008

Author: AquaTT

Date: 01 Oct 2008

The first Lindsay Laird Student Award for innovation in aquaculture was won by Ms Sabine Keuter of the University of Hamburg for her poster, "Inhibitory effects of plastics and nitrate on nitrification in aquacultural biofilters". It is entirely fitting that the award, set up by AquaTT in memory of an outstanding individual whose achievements are an inspiration to us all, was presented by Dr Selina Stead, President of the European Aquaculture Society, at  the EAS International Conference in Krakow, September 2008.

At the time of her untimely death from cancer in 2001, Dr Lindsay Laird was a Senior Teaching Fellow in the Department of Zoology at the University of Aberdeen. However, in no way did she conform to the stereotyped image of the academic research scientist, though her many and varied publications, as well as her work as series editor of the Ellis Horwood Aquaculture and Fisheries Support Series, her translations (Barnabe's Aquaculture, Billard's Carp: Biology and Culture) and her joint editorship of Handbook of Salmon Farming (with Dr Selina Stead) demonstrate her international academic standing.

Right from the start of her career she worked along with the expanding Scottish aquaculture industry, on different aspects of salmon farming, later developing the concept of a green label for farmed salmon and defining the standards for Organic Farm Salmon, becoming the first Chairman of the Organic Fish Producers' Association in 1998. As scientific adviser to the Shetland Salmon Farmers' Association, she was extremely active during the turmoil caused by the Braer oil tanker episode to the islands' salmon industry, before serving as Vice-Chairman of the Scottish Executive Fisheries Committee. She also served on the Board of Directors of the European Aquaculture Society from 1994, till 2000, when she retired for health reasons.

Her innovative spirit led her to participate in the development of a draft curriculum for the first Bachelor of Technology, run jointly with the Scottish Agricultural College and the first undergraduate course of its kind in Scotland (now no longer given).  She became involved in several EU training initiatives, student exchanges and pilot projects, in which she worked in close collaboration with AuqaTT. Her intellectual gifts along with her wide experience greatly enhanced the innovative multilingual aquaculture glossary AQUALEX. She carried out research and gave lectures in the Far East in Sarawak, Taiwan, Singapore, Philippines, Sabah, Borneo, where a new species of moth (Dasychera lairdi) was named after her. Her visit to Chile was unremarkable compared to her visit hopping across the tundra near Murmansk travelling by a Russian ex-military helicopter, where wild bears came a little close for comfort.

Lindsay Laird was a remarkable woman, moving easily between the rival spheres of teaching, research and industry, and excelling in all three. A high achiever, relishing being the first with the latest, she nevertheless hugely enjoyed her contacts with people at all levels in all three areas. She was generous with her ideas, triggering numerous research projects as colleagues approached her always open office door. She virtually ran an unofficial one-woman employment agency handling enquiries from fish farms looking for personnel or advising students or ex-students.

In the words of Professor Priede, Lindsay's husband: "Lindsay Laird will not be forgotten by the many whose lives she touched".


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