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Sonia Rey Planellas

Senior research fellow, University of Stirling

Dr. Sonia Rey Planellas has a PhD on Animal Sciences: Behaviour and Ecology. She has been working in the field of behaviour, physiology and welfare of individuals and groups of animals for the past 10 years.

Her interests lie in two aspects of this wide field of research: 1) the study of individual differences and their impact on fish general performance: cognition, immune system, welfare, survival of fish and gene expression and 2) impact of the environmental conditions (temperature for example) on the physiology and welfare status of fish.

She has been and is actually involved in multiple projects (13 different projects): COST action on fish welfare, Aquaexel research mission, AQUISOST (MEC-CENIT: Towards a sustainable aquaculture), AquaGenomics (MEC-consolider: development of biotechnological tools for aquaculture) and two different INIA projects (MEC) first one on stunning methods for seabream and the second on the characterisation of behavioural profiles (stress coping style) and their impact on reproductive success in Senegalese sole.

Her current position is within the Health and Welfare group at the University of Stirling Institute of Aquaculture as a senior research fellow working within a DEFRA research project on salmon fin damage. The EU COPEWELL project aimed to provide a better understanding of underpinning mechanisms in the physiology, biology, and behaviour of fishes and their relationship to individual coping styles, environment and development.

The over-arching aim is to improve fish welfare status across the EU (aquaculture, research facilities, etc). She is also involved as a co-researcher in a SAIC (Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Center) on vaccination protocols on salmon cleaning fish. She has been recently awarded with a cleaning fish (Lumpfish) project on health and welfare as a Principal Investigator.


  • –present
    Post doctoral research fellow in aquaculture, University of Stirling