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Department of Zoology



David is an interdisciplinary scientist aiming to improve the health of our population and planet through innovations in sustainable nutritious food production. 

David’s research focusses on developing mechanisms to improve production of and facilitate demand for sustainable seafood. Recently this has included the development and testing of novel microencapsulated feeds to overcome key production bottlenecks for one of the most sustainable and nutritious foods on the planet – bivalve shellfish (clams, mussels, oysters). Current research projects are aiming to use novel species, scalable modular growth systems, and innovations in food processing to realise the global potential of bivalve-based foods.

David collaborates with major global food manufacturers and leading international NGOs. 



Food Security

Planetary Health

Human Health


Key publications: 

Willer, D. F. & Aldridge, D. C. (2020). Sustainable bivalve farming can deliver food security in the tropics. Nature Food, 1(7): 384-388. 

Willer, D. F. & Aldridge, D. C. (2020). Vitamin bullets. Microencapsulated feeds to fortify shellfish and tackle human nutrient deficiencies. Frontiers in Nutrition, 7:102.

Willer, D. F., Furse, S. & Aldridge, D. C. (2020). Microencapsulated algal feeds as a sustainable replacement diet for broodstock in commercial bivalve aquaculture. Scientific Reports, 10:12577.  

Willer, D. F. & Aldridge, D. C. (2020). From pest to profit - The potential of shipworms for sustainable aquaculture. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, 4:575416. 

Willer, D.F., & Aldridge, D. C. (2019). Microencapsulated diets to improve bivalve shellfish aquaculture for global food security. Global Food Security, 23, 64-73.

Willer, D. F., Smith, K. & Aldridge, D. C. (2019). Matches and Mismatches Between Global Conservation Efforts and Global Conservation Priorities. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 7, 297.

Willer, D., & Aldridge, D. C. (2019). Microencapsulated diets to improve growth and survivorship in juvenile European flat oysters (Ostrea edulis). Aquaculture, 505, 256-262.

Fitch, A., Orland, C., Willer, D., Emilson, E., & Tanentzap, A. J. (2018). Feasting on terrestrial organic matter: Dining in a dark lake changes microbial decomposition. Global Change Biology, 24, 5110–5122.

Willer D, Aldridge DC. (2017). Microencapsulated diets to improve bivalve shellfish aquaculture. Royal Society Open Science, 4, 171142.

Other publications: 


Interesting Stories

‘The world’s their fish finger’

Scientists supercharge shellfish to tackle vitamin deficiency in humans’

'The simple food that fights climate change' 


Aldridge D, Arantzamendi L, Einarsson M, Keeper A, Schubert J, Willer DF, Zorita I, Campatini C. (2020). Microencapsulated diets offer new opportunities for sustainable bivalve production. Aquaculture Europe Magazine, 45:28.

Research Associate

Contact Details

Room 3.01 David Attenborough Building
+44 (0) 7549 948517