Graduate student receives grant to attend meeting

Amanda Ardente and dolphin

Dr. Amanda Ardente is shown with a dolphin at the Atlantis Dolphin Cay in the Bahamas. Dr. Mike Walsh of UF’s Aquatic Animal Health program arranged for Ardente to spend time at Atlantis in order to learn more about dolphin husbandry and to assist with diet record keeping. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Amanda Ardente)

Dr. Amanda Ardente, a graduate student at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, has received a travel grant from the International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine to attend the group’s annual meeting in April.

The competitive award of $500 was made on the basis of Ardente’s application. Along with two additional travel grants she received from UF, the award will allow her to present her work relating to the diet of bottlenose dolphins.

Ardente is a 2009 graduate of North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the college’s Aquatic Animal Health program. She plans to receive her degree this year.

In an email congratulating Ardente on her award, Dr. Allison Tuttle, chairman of the IAAAM’s student liaison committee, complimented her on the “high quality” of her work.

Ardente will present an assay she developed to more accurately assess the dietary purine content of managed and free-ranging bottlenose dolphins.

“This research is an important component of the extensive diet analysis I am conducting in order to better understand why ammonium urate kidney stones develop in dolphins under human care, but not in free-ranging dolphins,” she said.




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