David Berlinsky

Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems
Phone: (603) 862-0007
Office: Agriculture, Nutrition & Food Systems, Spaulding Hall Rm 171, 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
  • ZOOL 610: Principles of Aquaculture
  • ZOOL 773/873: Physiology of Fish
  • ZOOL 999: Doctoral Research

Selected Publications

Caruso, C. C., Breton, T. S., & Berlinsky, D. L. (2016). The effects of temperature on ovarian aromatase (cyp19a1a) expression and sex differentiation in summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus). Fish Physiology and Biochemistry, 42(2), 795-805. doi:10.1007/s10695-015-0176-0

DiMaggio, M. A., Kenter, L. W., Breton, T. S., & Berlinsky, D. L. (2016). Effects of dietary genistein administration on growth, survival and sex determination in southern flounder,Paralichthys lethostigma. Aquaculture Research, 47(1), 82-90. doi:10.1111/are.12470

Colburn, H. R., Breton, T. S., Nardi, G. C., & Berlinsky, D. L. (2015). Sex differentiation of summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatesL.) raised at practical hatchery temperatures. Aquaculture Research, 46(5), 1188-1196. doi:10.1111/are.12274

Morin, S. J., Decatur, W. A., Breton, T. S., Marquis, T. J., Hayes, M. K., Berlinsky, D. L., & Sower, S. A. (2015). Identification and expression of GnRH2 and GnRH3 in the black sea bass (Centropristis striata), a hermaphroditic teleost. Fish Physiology and Biochemistry, 41(2), 383-395. doi:10.1007/s10695-014-9990-z

Breton, T. S., DiMaggio, M. A., Sower, S. A., & Berlinsky, D. L. (2015). Brain aromatase (cyp19a1b) and gonadotropin releasing hormone (gnrh2 and gnrh3) expression during reproductive development and sex change in black sea bass (Centropristis striata). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology, 181, 45-53. doi:10.1016/j.cbpa.2014.11.020

King, W., 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

Berlinsky, D. L., William, K. V., Hodson, R. G., & Sullivan, C. V. (1997). Hormone Induced Spawning of Summer Flounder Paralichthys dentatus. Journal of the World Aquaculture Society, 28(1), 79-86. doi:10.1111/j.1749-7345.1997.tb00964.x

Berlinsky, D. L., & Specker, J. L. (1991). Changes in gonadal hormones during oocyte development in the striped bass,Morone saxatilis. Fish Physiology and Biochemistry, 9(1), 51-62. doi:10.1007/bf01987611

Daniels, H. V., Berlinsky, D. L., Hodson, R. G., & Sullivan, C. V. (n.d.). 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 V, W., Smith, T. I. J., Hamilton, R. D., Holloway, J., & Sullivan, C. V. (n.d.). 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