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Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I wanted to thank everyone for participating and making WADVL-PALOOZA V at the Florida Museum of Natural History such a success (see attached photos courtesy of Nott Imnoi). The final program included 24 presentations from 8 faculty, 7 PhD students (CVM, IFAS, CALS), 3 postdoctoral researchers (CVM), and 2 undergraduate students (CLAS, CALS)! There were 92 participants (45 in person and 47 via zoom) from 5 universities (UF, UCF, GSC, FAU, KU), 2 agencies (FWC and USGS), and 5 continents (NA, SA, EU, AS, OC). The strength of the program stemmed from the diversity of topics (e.g., ecology and diseases of fish, amphibians/reptiles, aquatic mammals, and invertebrates) presented by individuals from varied backgrounds. Our session opening speakers did a wonderful job introducing the fish session (Dr. Win Surachetpong), amphibians/reptiles session (Dr. Robert Ossiboff), invertebrate session (Dr. Donald Behringer), and aquatic mammal session (Dr. Adam Schaefer). Finally, it is worth noting that Dr. Anna Savage’s students (UCF), Dr. Joseph Groff (UC Davis), Theresa Cody (FWC), Dr. Adam Scaefer (FAU), and Dr. Zhou/Annie Yan/Prithvi Karki (Bronson Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory) all traveled quite a distance to give their presentations and/or attend. Thanks to you all for your efforts! 


The purpose of the meeting was to allow undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers to share their aquatic animal research in a friendly/constructive environment. Most of our students will be presenting at upcoming spring meetings such as the Eastern Fish Health Workshop and the International Association of Aquatic Animal Medicine. WAVDL-PALOOZA V was meant to provide feedback to our students prior to these meetings so they deliver polished presentations. This was accomplished in two ways: 1) students were evaluated by each of the onsite participants using an evaluation form and 2) presentations were recorded so students and their mentors could review the delivery of the presentations. The video presentations and evaluations have been scanned and emailed to each of the participants. I can tell you that this feedback was tremendously helpful for my own students who will be presenting this week at the EFHW. I think it was incredibly powerful for the students to receive written evaluations from the panel of experts and then watch their video performance to see the strengths and weaknesses of their presentation. A special thanks to all those faculty (e.g., Drs. Alison, Bonde, Campos, Francis-Floyd, Romero) that donated their time to come and evaluate our students.

Finally, a huge super big thanks to Dr. Kuttichantran Subramaniam who organized all aspects of WAVDL-PALOOZA V. I also owe Chitrah Maniam a debt of gratitude for putting together such an excellent proceeding booklet (attached). Although only a single full day symposium, coordinating the meeting location, people, presentations/proceedings, food, parking, zoom, etc. was a Herculean task. This meeting could not have occurred without the dedication of the aforementioned folks as well as the rest of the WAVDL Warriors who all pitched in (thanks guys)! I would be remiss if I did not thank Amber Tison who assisted us with the rental of an excellent conference space at the Florida Museum of Natural History. And lastly, thanks again to all the participants of WADVL-PALOOZA V that made the day a success!

Cheers - Dr. Thomas Waltzek


Fin-tastic Turnout

 Published: December 21st, 2018

UF Wildlife and Aquatic Veterinary Disease Laboratory (WAVDL) out in force at the International Symposium on Aquatic Animal Health.

Ten members of the Wildlife and Aquatic Veterinary Disease Laboratory (WAVDL) recently made a splash at the 8th International Symposium on Aquatic Animal Health (ISAAH) in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.

With over 500 participants, the meeting hosted researchers from all over the world. Members of the WAVDL presented individual research projects in the form of 15 talks and 3 posters, covering emerging infectious diseases in ornamental and food fishes, amphibians, reptiles, and marine mammals.  … Dr. Thomas Waltzek, principal investigator of the WAVDL, gave talks on the host range of mimiviruses, another on a lake sturgeon herpesvirus, and one on the first fish bunyaviruses.

Waltzek is the president of the American Association of Fish Veterinarians (AAFV) and served as the moderator and lead organizer of the AAFV’s full day Annual Symposium held concurrently with ISAAH. The AAFV symposium was standing room only and featured 14 preeminent veterinary speakers discussing the history and role of veterinarians in aquaculture in North America.

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The American Association of Fish Veterinarians Announces

Four Scholarship Recipients for 2018


The American Association of Fish Veterinarians announces the 4 recipients of their 2018 AAFV scholarships.  As in previous years, all applicants were well qualified which made the task for the scholarship committee difficult.  AAFV is very appreciative of the scholarship money they received from the University of Florida Wildlife and Aquatic Veterinary Disease Laboratory, Dr. Tim Kniffen, Merck & Company, Inc., Dr Allyson McNaughton and Dr. Rick Harmon.  Their contributions help further aquatic veterinary medicine.

The American Association of Fish Veterinarians and the AAFV Scholarship Committee would like to announce the following recipients and congratulate them:

Courtney Wright
Courtney is in the class of 2019 at The Ohio State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, She
plans to use the scholarship for externships at Tennessee Aquarium, Chattanooga, TN , Clear Springs Foods, Buhl, ID, Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory, Ruskin, FL,  Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, and the University of Washington’s Department of Comparative Medicine.  Her scholarship is sponsored
by the University of Florida Wildlife and Veterinary Disease Laboratory

 Sarah Wright
Sarah is in the class of 2020 at University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine.  She will use
the scholarship for attending: IAAAM conference in Long Beach, CA, AQUAVET® II

Josh Zlotnick
Josh is in the class of 2020 at North Carolina State University. College of Veterinary Medicine.
He will use the scholarship to attend AQUAVET ®I.

Katherine Weber
Katherine is in the class 2019 of University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Veterinary Medicine. 
She will be use the scholarship to attend AQUAVET® I.



After midterms last month, I had the opportunity to travel to Dallas, Texas, to attend the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (AAZV) conference. The conference was held at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Convention Center in Frisco, Texas. The conference was also held concurrently with the American Association of Fish Veterinarians (AAFV), the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians (AEMV), the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians (ARAV), and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Nutrition Scientific Advisory Group (NAG) conferences. Rest of story