Term of Award

Fall 2023

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Department of Biology

Committee Chair

Anthony Siccardi

Committee Member 1

Heather Joesting

Committee Member 2

Michele Guidone

Non-Voting Committee Member

Brigette Brinton


Since the 1980s, non-algal aquaculture has grown to encompass 49% of all seafood production in response to a growing human population and increased seafood demand (FAO, 2022). Hurdles exist to aquaculture sustainability, including dependence on wild sourced fishmeal (FM) and the impacts wastewater discharge. It takes 4-5 tons of wild forage fish to produce one ton of dry FM (Miles and Chapman, 2006) and as aquaculture is primarily conducted in earthen ponds and public open water bodies (FAO, 2022), finfish culture can have a high impact on the surrounding environment by discharging excess nutrients. This study used algae turf scrubber (ATS) biomass grown on a 9.14-meter ATS placed at the outflow of a Statesboro wastewater treatment facility to raise black soldier fly (BSF), Hermetia illucens, as a FM replacement protein in blue tilapia diets. Five diets were formulated to include a 100% FM diet, 50% FM replacement, and 100% FM replacement with commercial feeds used as controls. These were fed to 125 juvenile Blue Tilapia stocked in 60.6-liter tanks in a randomized design over six weeks. Results showed no differences amongst the diets with respect to growth, survival, hepatosomatic index, visceral index, intraperitoneal fat, or muscle mass. Excess nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) from discharge waste can be recycled by ATS biomass converted into feed for blue tilapia using BSF larvae. This study demonstrated a possible sustainability solution in both aquaculture and wastewater management.

Research Data and Supplementary Material


BSF Nutrition Study Appendix Repository.xlsx (45 kB)
Appendix Table and Figure Data

BSF_Study_Script.R (87 kB)
Data Analysis R Script

Sample_Analyses_BSF_Nutrition_Study_Edit.csv (1 kB)
Digestibility and Feed analyses

ATS_Data_Raw.csv (11 kB)
ATS Harvest Data

Organism_Data_BSF_Nutrition_Study.csv (11 kB)
Fish Lengths and Widths

Trial_Data_BSF_Nutrition_Study.csv (2 kB)
Digest and Mortality Data