Friday, January 20, 2017

2017 Snieszko Student Travel Awards

For students (undergraduate, graduate, or veterinary) and postdocs interested in presenting at the 2017 Fish Health Section Annual Meeting in April, please see the attached flyer for more information about Snieszko travel awards. 

In addition, prizes will be awarded for both oral and poster presentations. 

Students and young professionals planning on attending this meeting, please keep your eye on this space as there will be more information published soon including the room share document.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Job posting

There's a great job opportunity in Oregon that we wanted to make sure students and early career members are aware of.

The job posting can be found here,

It closes on April 8th at 11:59 pm..

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Student Profile: Danielle Van Vliet

Danielle is a graduate student at Michigan State University studying bacterial coldwater disease in the Great Lakes.

1. What is your current research/position?
I’m currently a PhD candidate in the Aquatic Animal Health Lab at Michigan State University working with Dr. Mohamed Faisal. My research focuses on multiple epidemiological aspects of Flavobacterium psychrophilum, particularly as is relates to infections of Great Lakes basin salmonid populations.

2. What sparked your interest in aquatic animal health?
As an undergraduate at Michigan State University I had a strong interest in animal medicine and was sure I would pursue veterinary school. I discovered the Fisheries and Wildlife department at MSU, where I recognized another main interest of mine, natural resource management. Fortunately for me, Dr. Faisal teaches a Fisheries and Wildlife Disease Ecology course, where my two strongest interests were really allowed to mix: natural resource management and animal health. It was a fateful semester where I discovered aquatic animal health, Dr. Faisal, and his lab.

3. What has been your favorite fisheries-related job?
I don’t have much employment experience as I jumped right into graduate school after completing my Bachelor’s in 2011, however, I will say some of my favorite days in the lab are when we get to work on some of my favorite fish species, including wild muskellunge broodstock. We do all the fish health inspections for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, through this I have been able to visit the operating weirs in the state, as well as all State fish hatcheries, which has given me further appreciation for the fishery conservation programs in the Great Lakes.

4. What do you like most about graduate/professional school?
My favorite thing is coming to work every day and being surrounded by people with the exact same interests (and maybe weirdness) as myself. The lab family at the AAHL is unlike any other group of people I have ever met, and every single one of them make the treacherous journey of graduate school a little more manageable. I also really enjoy attending professional conferences where I can meet even more likeminded “fish people”. An unexpected enjoy that I’ve discovered during graduate school is teaching. It’s really quite an experience to be on the other side of the classroom.

5. When and why did you first become involved with AFS and the FHS?
My first summer as a grad student I attended the AFS FHS meeting in LaCrosse Wisconsin with a labmate. I was welcomed by everyone, and really felt like a part of a wonderful group, even as a first year student. I continue to maintain involvement with AFS and FHS because of the wonderful collaboration that comes from friendships forged through these groups.

6. What are your long-term professional goals (FHS or otherwise)?
As my graduate career comes to an end, I’m looking forward to the next step. The options are endless, however I hope to continue in fish health and disease ecology and management. My love for research and lab work will never cease, and an opportunity that allows me to mix both field work and lab work would be wonderful. I plan on maintaining a relationship with the FHS and fish health community for many years to come.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Student Profile: Carolyn Chang

Carolyn Chang is a Ph.D. student in the Fish and Wildlife Biology and Management program at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Her current research is focused on understanding and controlling infectious diseases that infect laboratory zebrafish.

1. What is your current research/position?
I am currently a PhD student at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry working with Dr. Christopher Whipps. I am researching the control of infectious diseases in laboratory zebrafish. Specifically I research mycobacteriosis, a common disease in zebrafish. I am interested in better understanding this disease in order to implement effective disease control and management measures.

2. What sparked your interest in aquatic animal health?
I was introduced to aquatic animal health during my M.Sc. degree where I used the zebrafish model to investigate craniofacial development. The focus of this research was more biomedical; however, I ended up learning a lot about fish health and husbandry through working with the zebrafish model. I also had the opportunity to work as a research technician in an immunology lab shortly after completing my M.Sc. where I gained interest in immunology and disease research. For my doctoral studies I knew that I really wanted to continue to work with the zebrafish, but I also wanted to move into studying infectious diseases. I was fortunate to find a research advisor with a research project that allowed me to pursue both of these interests.

3. What has been your favorite fisheries-related job?
I have only had the opportunity to work with fish in graduate school. My favourite part of my fish work so far has been conducting in vivo experiments. I have had a chance to perform these experiments during both my masters and my current research. I feel that there is finesse to performing surgical procedures, injections and manipulations on a tiny little fish and an associated amount of patience to repeat these procedures many times. I love this part of my research, especially the really finicky parts.

4. What do you like most about graduate/professional school?
I enjoy the balance of being able to work both independently and under the supervision of my advisor and thesis committee. I like that I can work on my research independently, but I still have assistance from these established researchers to help me brainstorm, overcome obstacles and learn new techniques. Working in this environment, with this support system, has helped me grow and gain experience so that I will be prepared to move forward as a researcher.

5. When and why did you first become involved with AFS and the FHS?
I first became involved with AFS and the FHS when I moved to SUNY-ESF to start my Ph.D. My first AFS meeting was the 7th ISAAH meeting in 2014 which was a great first experience. This was when I joined AFS and the FHS section. I have since been able to get a paper published in the FHS Journal (JAAH) and attend the FHS meeting this year in Ithaca, NY. I have found that the FHS section is composed of an impressive group of professionals who are welcoming and all doing amazing work.

6. What are your long-term professional goals (FHS or otherwise)?
My long-term professional goals are to continue to conduct research and move forward to post-doc and then to work in academia. Ideally, I would like to be in a position where I can conduct research as well as teach. Further into the future, I am also interested in working in an administrative role for a government agency or industry. I hope to also be able to experience living in some new and great places as I move through this career path!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Early Career Member Profile: Laura Braden

Laura Braden is a postdoctoral fellow at the Atlantic Veterinary College. Her current project is focused on elucidating molecular pathways and mechanisms for disease resistance in salmonids.

1. What is your current research/position?
Currently I am a post-doctoral fellow with Dr. Mark Fast at the Atlantic Veterinary College in the Pathology and Microbiology Department. My research is focused on elucidating molecular pathways and mechanisms for disease resistance in salmonids.

2. What sparked your interest in aquatic animal health?
I had originally thought to pursue neuroscience or neurology. However, during my undergraduate degree at Vancouver Island University, I took a summer research position with Dr. Duane Barker, studying the potential for sea lice to act as vectors for certain aquatic pathogens. That work resulted in a larger strategic NSERC grant looking at the host-parasite relationship between sea lice and salmon, and I decided to be a part of that project for graduate school. This was the best decision I have ever made.

3. What has been your favorite fisheries-related job?
I don’t have a lot of employment experience in fisheries as I didn’t start working with salmon until graduate school. However, my favorite part of graduate school would definitely be working in the field. When it was time to run experiments, I had to visit fish farms and collect sea lice from Atlantic fish during harvest. Although that job wasn’t particularly glamorous, hitching a ride on a crew boat through the hundreds of islands on the east coast of Vancouver Island was amazing. I also had the opportunity to ride along with sockeye and chum test fisheries which was really interesting.  

4. How did you find your current position?
During the last year of my PhD. I began looking into potential post-doc positions. I had made several connections in Chile and Norway and was considering moving there to continue researching salmon. In the summer, Dr. Fast asked me to move to PEI and join his lab in Charlottetown and I accepted immediately. There was no doubt working with him is the best move for me. He is an emerging world-leader in fish parasitology/immunology and his lab is full of fabulous and creative people. I’m really excited to join the group.

5. What do you like about your current position?
The lab here at the AVC is involved in many different projects that I am able to be a part of. From sea lice and salmon interactions to studying arctic charr immunity to looking at drug responses in parasites to studying sturgeon – there are so many opportunities to research new and exciting topics. It is so awesome to be involved in such a spectrum of really cool projects.

6. What are your long-term professional goals (FHS or otherwise)?
I love doing research on such an important topic. Globally, aquaculture is emerging as one of the most important industries. However, truly sustainable aquaculture is impeded by our relative lack of knowledge with respect to host-parasite/pathogen interactions in teleosts. The reason I love my work so much is because I want to contribute to making aquaculture more sustainable. I definitely will continue in this field for a long time, and I hope to make significant advances in our understanding of disease resistance in fish. Ultimately, I would like to be involved in a more political manner, perhaps as consulting for policy regarding aquaculture in Canada.

7. Do you have any tips or advice for others that may be looking for a job soon?
From my perspective, it really is about two things: work ethic and a drive for success. Current supervisors and people you work with can only give references based on your productivity, and when it comes to applying for scholarships/awards or job positions, the only thing that will put you apart from your peers are your references. And especially in a small community such as fish health, it is all about who you know and how they know you.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Student Profile: Marc Terrazas

Marc Terrazas is a masters student at the University of Idaho. Marc’s work focuses on stress-mediated disease and thermal ecology issues associated with burbot culture and restoration. 

1. What is your current research/position?
Currently I am a research and teaching assistant for Dr. Kenneth Cain at the University of Idaho pursuing an M. S. in natural resources. My research is focused on stress-mediated disease and thermal ecology issues associated with burbot conservation and restoration in the Kootenai River drainage of northern Idaho and British Columbia.

2. What sparked your interest in aquatic animal health?
I did not have any real background with aquatic animal health from my undergraduate education but upon completion of my degree and searching for a job there was an opening with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks as a fish health specialist. This was my first exposure to aquatic animal health issues and was the catalyst for the direction of my graduate studies, research, and career. This job exposed me to many aquatic animal health issues as well as exposing me to many other aspects of fisheries management.

3. What has been your favorite fisheries-related job?
I would not be where I am today without my first job with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and the confidence of Ken Staigmiller, my former boss. He showed a lot of trust in me to take on a lot of responsibility and really gave me a lot freedom to pursue projects that were of interest to me and beneficial to the State of Montana’s aquatic resources. I owe a lot to him, and I think he made a good choice.

4. What do you like most about graduate/professional school?
The exposure to varied research programs going on in fisheries and similar fields has been very interesting, as has exposure to advanced coursework. I have benefited greatly from the enhanced statistical and fisheries training, and coursework that an advanced degree has provided.

5. When and why did you first become involved with AFS and the FHS?
I first became involved with AFS shortly after completing my undergraduate degree and gaining employment. My involvement with the FHS soon followed and, as part of my employment agreement, I completed certification as an Aquatic Animal Health Inspector in 2011. I have been involved with both AFS and the FHS as well as at the Chapter and Subunit levels since then.

6. What are your long-term professional goals (FHS or otherwise)?
I really enjoyed my employment with the State of Montana and all of the fieldwork associated with that position. I would entertain fish health employment if there were a strong fieldwork component to the job. I have learned that I do not enjoy doing entirely one thing (fieldwork, labwork, or paperwork) so my ideal job would have a little of each but not too much of one. I am also very fond of the intermountain west, so ideally I would find a job somewhere in that region.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Fish Health Section Annual Meeting Update


We wanted to provide some bits of information for members for the upcoming Fish Health Section Annual Meeting in Ithaca, NY.

The meeting will be held from July 13-15th at the Hotel Ithaca. The early registration deadline for the meeting is June 1st. After this date, registration prices will increase.

The Continuing Education session will be held on July 13th and is titled "Prevention of Infectious Diseases in Aquatic Animals: Management Practices and Vaccines".

The deadline for applications for the Snieszko Student Travel Award is June 1st. More information on the award and how to apply can be here.

Finally, we have set up a Google doc for students/early career members looking for a roommate to help defray costs at the meeting. The room rate is good until June 1st or the hotel sells out of the block of rooms.