Students, residents honored at national aquatic animal health meeting

AAH students

Veterinary studentsBarbara Linnehan and Kyle Donnelly with Aquatic Animal Health resident Stephen Cassle.

Two University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine students and one resident were honored for their presentations during the annual International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine meeting, held in May in Cavallo Point, Calif. Sixty students from all over the world gave presentations this year.

“The awards were given on the basis of the quality of work, content and scholarship,” said Dr. Mike Walsh, co-director of UF’s Aquatic Animal

In the undergraduate, veterinary, doctoral and master’s graduate student competition,  Kyle Donnelly, a senior veterinary student, tied for second place in the poster category for her presentation, “Preliminary Investigation into Antibiotic Resistance patterns of Bacteria from Nasal and Rectal Cultures from Florida Manatees.”

In the oral presentation category, junior veterinary student Barbara Linnehan received second place for her presentation, “Examining Corneal Vascularization Ability in Pinnipeds in Response to Ocular Injury.”

In the interns, residents and post-doctoral student category, Aquatic Animal Health resident Stephen E. Cassle received second place for his presentation, “Understanding Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Free ranging and Managed Populations of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncates): Proper Identification, spa Typing and Future Considerations.”

Several UF graduate students, residents and faculty presented research during the meeting as well.


  • Jason Ferrante- Development of a Quantitative PCR Assay for Measurement of Trichechid Herpes Virus 1 (TrHV1) Load in the Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris)
  • Charlotte Jones- Diagnostic Performance of Plasma Uric Acid, Magnesium and Other Biochemical Parameters in the Diagnosis of Renal Insufficiency in Sea Turtles
  • Oral Presentations
  • Elizabeth Arnett – Intern Aquatic Animal Health
  • Small Intestine Pathology Associated with Trematode Infection in the Florida Manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris
  • Jay Coisman SACS Surgery Resident
  • Looking Through the Portal: Laparoscopy in Small Cetaceans
  • Galaxia Cortes-Hinojosa – Graduate Student WAVDL Laboratory
  • The Genome of California Sea Lion Adenovirus 1 and Diagnostic Testing of Pinnipeds Using Quantitative PCR
  • Heather T.D. Maness- Aquatic Animal Education in a Changing World

Faculty Oral Presentation:

  • Thomas B. Waltzek-Exploring the Indian River Bottlenose Dolphin Virome
  • Michael T. Walsh- Individual Health Assessments of Live Interventions and Post Mortem Specimens: Diagnostics, Investigations and Field Support Pros and Cons
  • James F.X. Wellahan- Identification of a Novel Herpesvirus of Northern Fur Seals (Callorhinus ursinus) Related To the Carcinoma-Associated Otarine HV1, phylogenic Analysis, and Quantitative PCR Surveillance
  • Craig A. Pelton –The Use of Triazinones for the Treatment of Coccidia Morphologically Resembling Caryospora cheloniae in Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas)
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