David Berlinsky

Office: Agriculture, Nutrition & Food Systems, Kendall 427, Durham, NH 03824
David Berlinsky

My research primarily focuses on improving the culture of commercially important finfish species by understanding and ultimately controlling physiological processes. Much of my research has focused on understanding reproductive processes, as this is requisite for successful propagation of aquatic species and often limits production. Fishes exhibit an astonishing array of reproductive strategies and each species' unique strategy must be unraveled before successful culture can be realized. Some of the specific topics which are of interest to me include the endocrine control of sex differentiation, factors that influence egg development and quality, effects of social interaction and environmental conditions on sex change (sequential hermaphroditism) and environmental control of reproductive cycles. Study of the life cycles of wild fish is often necessary to understand these processes. My students and I are also studying environmental conditions that minimize stress and optimize growth of cultured fish, such as salinity levels, light intensity, tank densities and temperature. We utilize applied aspects of aquaculture, such as hormonal induction of spawning, as well as modern laboratory techniques to address these questions.

Some of the species I have worked with in the past include summer flounder, alewives, blueback herring and Atlantic cod. Currently, my colleagues and I are investigating the aquaculture potential of black sea bass, a highly sought species in the upscale restaurant trade. As this fish is a protogynous hermaphrodite, changing from female to male, and is extremely fragile during its larval stage, we have many interesting problems to address before widespread commercial production is realized.

Some additional research projects in my lab include the culture and conservation of rainbow smelt, strain evaluation of striped bass for growth stress responsiveness and assessing the northeastern stock structure of migratory striped bass.


  • Ph.D., Zoology/Animal Biology, University of Rhode Island
  • M.S., Genetics, University of New Hampshire
  • B.S., Agriculture, Michigan State University
  • B.S., Natural Resources/Conservation, Michigan State University

Courses Taught

  • ANSC 701: Physiology of Reproduction
  • ANSC 701/801: Physiology of Reproduction
  • BIOL/MEFB 873/773: Physiology of Fishes
  • ZOOL 610: Principles of Aquaculture
  • ZOOL 773/873: Physiology of Fish
  • ZOOL 795W: Spc Inv/Aquaculture
  • ZOOL 999: Doctoral Research

Selected Publications

Kenter, L. W., Kovach, A. I., Wojtusik, K. J., Reading, B. J., & Berlinsky, D. L. (2020). Paternal Strain Effects on Growth and Body Shape in Hybrid Striped Bass (White Bass female x Striped Bass male). NORTH AMERICAN JOURNAL OF AQUACULTURE, 82(4), 405-413. doi:10.1002/naaq.10162

McCarthy, I. D., Jones, N. J. E., Moore, D. M., & Berlinsky, D. L. (2020). Determining the optimum temperature and salinity for larval culture, and describing a culture protocol for the conservation aquaculture for European smelt Osmerus eperlanus (L.). JOURNAL OF APPLIED ICHTHYOLOGY, 36(1), 113-120. doi:10.1111/jai.13992

Sullivan, K. M., Bailey, M. M., & Berlinsky, D. L. (2019). Digital Image Analysis as a Technique for Alewife Fecundity Estimation in a New Hampshire River. NORTH AMERICAN JOURNAL OF FISHERIES MANAGEMENT, 39(2), 353-361. doi:10.1002/nafm.10273

Breton, T. S., Kenter, L. W., Greenlaw, K., Montgomery, J., Goetz, G. W., Berlinsky, D. L., & Luckenbach, J. A. (2019). Initiation of sex change and gonadal gene expression in black sea bass (Centropristis striata) exposed to exemestane, an aromatase inhibitor. COMPARATIVE BIOCHEMISTRY AND PHYSIOLOGY A-MOLECULAR & INTEGRATIVE PHYSIOLOGY, 228, 51-61. doi:10.1016/j.cbpa.2018.10.024

Kenter, L. W., Gunn, M. A., & Berlinsky, D. L. (2019). Transport Stress Mitigation and the Effects of Preanesthesia on Striped Bass. NORTH AMERICAN JOURNAL OF AQUACULTURE, 81(1), 67-73. doi:10.1002/naaq.10072

Walker, A. B., & Berlinsky, D. L. (2011). Effects of Partial Replacement of Fish Meal Protein by Microalgae on Growth, Feed Intake, and Body Composition of Atlantic Cod. NORTH AMERICAN JOURNAL OF AQUACULTURE, 73(1), 76-83. doi:10.1080/15222055.2010.549030

Kovach, A. I., Breton, T. S., Berlinsky, D. L., Maceda, L., & Wirgin, I. (2010). Fine-scale spatial and temporal genetic structure of Atlantic cod off the Atlantic coast of the USA. MARINE ECOLOGY PROGRESS SERIES, 410, 177-U195. doi:10.3354/meps08612

King, W. V., Hooper, B., Hillsgrove, S., Benton, C., & Berlinsky, D. L. (2005). The use of clove oil, metomidate, tricaine methanesulphonate and 2-phenoxyethanol for inducing anaesthesia and their effect on the cortisol stress response in black sea bass (Centropristis striata L.). AQUACULTURE RESEARCH, 36(14), 1442-1449. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2109.2005.01365.x

Daniels, H. V., Berlinsky, D. L., Hodson, R. G., & Sullivan, C. V. (1996). Effects of stocking density, salinity, and light intensity on growth and survival of Southern flounder Paralichthys lethostigma larvae. JOURNAL OF THE WORLD AQUACULTURE SOCIETY, 27(2), 153-159. doi:10.1111/j.1749-7345.1996.tb00264.x

Berlinsky, D. L., King, W., Smith, T. I. J., Hamilton, R. D., Holloway, J., & Sullivan, C. V. (1996). Induced ovulation of Southern flounder Paralichthys lethostigma using gonadotropin releasing hormone analogue implants. JOURNAL OF THE WORLD AQUACULTURE SOCIETY, 27(2), 143-152. doi:10.1111/j.1749-7345.1996.tb00263.x

Most Cited Publications