Research interests (last edited in 2012):
My present research is multifaceted. The central theme of my work is to develop culture technology for the rabbitfish Siganus rivulatus. This is a local Lebanese teleost species with rapidly growing market demand in the Middle-East and in the Indo Pacific region. I am working on determining optimal environmental requirements such as salinity, temperature, culture density, ammonia and nitrite tolerances, diseases and tolerances, hematology, stress response etc. in order to develop an aquaculture protocol for the fish. I am also working on developing a diet for S. rivulatus. Rabbitfish are herbivorous fish and thus we might be able to feed them a diet without fishmeal, thus improving long-term sustainability of the industry. Another research program in my lab is the determination of seasonal effects on nutritional value of the rabbitfish for human consumption. We have several publications with regards to nutritional value of herbivores compared to carnivores and how that affects dialysis patients. A new line of research we are developing is in fish hematology and stress response. We optimized techniques for measuring various hematological parameters in rabbitfish and presently several of my graduate students are working on various facets of this theme, mostly studying the effects of various environments on hematology and immune response. I am also collaborating with scientists in Cyprus on fertility, spawning and determining larval and juvenile rearing conditions for Siganus rivulatus. I expect to be working on this fish for years to come, refining culture techniques and processing technology. Our lab at AUB is without doubt one of the premier labs in the world with regards to siganid aquaculture research although I know that various countries are starting to invest heavily in this genus. I hope to try to collaborate with these labs to help siganid aquaculture reach its potential.
Another aspect of my research interests is in optimizing culture techniques in various regions. I run studies on management practices such as liming, fertilization, aeration, stocking and harvesting. My work has also encompassed some environmental and ecological studies such as oyster restoration in Mobile Bay, native shrimp distribution within estuaries and effects of varying environments on shrimp physiology. Finally I specialize in aquaculture system design for research and commercial facilities.
Imad Saoud. (2011). Dietary requirements, nutrient replacement and hematological indicators of nutritional status in rabbitfish Siganus rivulatus in order to develop a species specific diet. Lebanese National Council for Scientific Research. (2 years).Imad Saoud. (2011) Developing Methodology and Assessing Hematological, Biochemical and Immunological Parameters in Marbled Spinefoot (Siganus rivulatus). URB
Imad Saoud. Effects of acute and chronic nitrite exposure on marbled spinefoot (Siganus rivulatus). URB (2010)
Imad Saoud. University Research Board. Osmoregulation and Sodium-Potassium-ATPase activity in gill tissue of fish reared in various ratios of aqueous Na+/K+. (2009).
Imad Saoud. Lebanese National Council for Scientific Research. Evaluating dietary requirements and fishmeal protein replacement in rabbitfish diets in order to develop a regional marine aquaculture industry. (2008)
Imad Saoud. URB. Determining protein requirements in the diet of spinefoot rabbitfish (Siganus rivulatus). 2008
Nadim Farajalla and Imad Saoud. University Research Board. Development of a Recirculating Aquaculture System for Producing Tilapia Fry in the Bekaa: Feasibility and Economic Cost. 2008
Nadim Farajalla and Imad Saoud. University Research Board. Improving Water Productivity in Lebanon - Aquaculture and Irrigation: A Case Study of Tilapia and Radish Production. 2007
Imad Saoud. URB. Ammonia toxicity, 96 hr LC50, and effects of chronic exposure on Siganus rivulatus. 2007.
Nadim Farajalla and Imad Saoud. IUCN. Biodiversity Assessment and Monitoring in Palm Island Nature Reserve. 2007
Imad Saoud. URB. Population density and size separation of siganid juveniles: Effects on growth depensation, intra-specific competition and condition index. 2006
Imad Saoud. URB. Size sorting fish fry to decrease intra-specific competition and increase yield. 2005
Imad Saoud. Lebanese National Council for Scientific Research. Studying Seasonal Variability and Effects of Fish Oil Supplements in Fish Feeds on ω-3 fatty acids in marine fish. 2004
Imad Saoud and Malek Batal. URB. Assessment of Nutritive Value of Two Mediterranean Fishes with Seasonal Comparisons between Species. 2004
Imad Saoud. American University Research Board. Environmental Optima of the Rabbitfish Siganus rivulatus. 2004.
D. Allen Davis, I. P. Saoud and Ray Henry. AAES Foundation Grants. Technologies for the culture of marine shrimp in inland low-salinity well waters from west Alabama and southeastern USA. 2003