Graduate student honored for presentation at workshop

Natalie Steckler

Natalie Steckler

Natalie Steckler, a Ph.D. candidate in the college’s department of infectious diseases and pathology, received the “Best Student Presentation Award” from the 42nd Annual Eastern Fish Health Workshop, held April 3-7 in East Lansing, Michigan.

Steckler is pursuing her degree under the mentorship of Dr. Thomas Waltzek, an assistant professor in the department. According to the EFHW’s Facebook page, Steckler and Watzek are the first student and mentor duo to have both received this award.

The award consists of $250 and a plaque. Eligible individuals must be currently enrolled as an undergraduate, graduate or veterinary student, and must present his or her own research. Steckler’s presentation was titled, “The Effect of Water Temperature on Frog Virus 3 Disease In Young-Of-The-Year Pallid Sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus).” Her work focuses on ranaviruses, an important group of viruses that impact fish, amphibians and reptiles worldwide.

The workshop, an annual aquatic animal health conference, was founded in 1976 by a group of federal researchers. Although the title of the workshop appears to be exclusive for fish, the workshop encompasses all aspects of aquatic animal health from invertebrates to mammals and reflects contributions from researchers, resource managers, state and federal regulators, biologists, aquarists, veterinarians and university personnel working within both marine and freshwater environments. Waltzek and Dr. Roy Yanong, a professor and extension veterinarian with UF, serve on the workshop’s steering committee and several of the college’s students and faculty typically attend this conference each year.

The 43rd Annual Fish Fish Health Workshop will be held April 9-13 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.


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