Auburn’s Youssef recognized for catfish research

By Mary Catherine Gaston

Nermeen Youssef Nermeen Youssef

Nermeen Youssef, a Ph.D. student studying under Rex Dunham in Auburn’s School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences, was honored with the Soy Aquaculture Alliance’s Student Award during Aquaculture America 2017, the World Aquaculture Society’s annual meeting in February.

The award recognizes Youssef’s abstract, “Effect of combined transgenic channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus growth hormone (GH) and their siblings on growth rate of channel catfish in earthen ponds,” which summarizes her research on the growth performance of male and female transgenic channel catfish growth hormone (GH) cDNA and their full siblings in earthen ponds at different ages.

Youssef, who originally arrived at Auburn University four years ago as a visiting scholar from Alexandria University in Egypt, transitioned to become an Auburn student and will complete her Ph.D. in May.

“Her work was so interesting and of such high quality that we mutually agreed to change the plan,” making Youssef an Auburn student, Dunham says.

Dunham explains that, if applied in the catfish industry, the results of Youssef’s research could increase catfish production and profitability. Because catfish production generates more than $100 million annually in Alabama—the nation’s No. 2 catfish-producing state—the increase stands to significantly impact the state’s economy.

For more information on the research and award, contact Youssef at or Dunham at

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