First let me introduce myself, in the real world I am the Aquaculture Coordinator for USDA APHIS Veterinary Services (National Import and Export Services [NIES]) stationed in Ruskin, FL at the University of Florida, Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory. I received a Master’s degree from the University of Maryland studying phosphorous utilization in striped bass and a DVM and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. My PhD work was in drug metabolism in summer flounder. I work closely with USDA staff, aquatic animal producers, University faculty and staff, and private veterinarians to assist in the diagnosis and control of exotic and domestic diseases affecting aquatic animals, and ensuring the safe and efficient trade of aquatic animals to and from the U.S.
I take great pride in working for the U.S. government and working toward a goal of securing and promoting aquaculture in the U.S. I am a courtesy Assistant Professor at the University of Florida in the Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Program. I have served two consecutive terms on both the AVMA’s Food Safety Advisory Committee and its Aquatic Veterinary Medicine Committee. I currently serve on the Professional Standards Committee of the American Fisheries Society-Fish Health Section and am a certified AFS FHS Aquatic Animal Health Inspector. I am a member of the World Aquaculture Society (WAS) and President-Elect of the USAS Chapter.
My intent with this “Health Highlights” column is to cover health issues for farmed aquatic animals – including fish, crustaceans and mollusks. To do this I plan on, at times, asking colleagues with more knowledge and experience in certain areas to assist me on certain topics. I would like to start at the beginning of the aquatic animal health “story” – and to me that begins with the tools on the farm and the early signs that animals are “ADR” (ain’t doin’ right). From there the column will cover topics ranging from diseases to diagnostic testing to preventative medicine strategies and biosecurity.
Aquaculture Magazine is the perfect opportunity and forum to share current information on old and emerging diseases and related topics affecting farmed aquatic animal health! I am also open to receiving column topic ideas from the readership. If I don’t know the answer – I’ll find someone who does! To me, there is nothing more globally important than promoting aquaculture – farming and trading healthy aquatic animals…for whatever uses.