UF virtually hosts international aquatic group meeting

The UF Aquatic Animal Health and veterinary extension programs virtually hosted the annual meeting of the International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine, the specialty association for aquatic animal health, on June 27-28.

It was the first time UF has hosted the event, although it has participated in several.

“In 2001, the meeting was hosted by the Florida Aquarium in Tampa, and UF may have been a co-host, with Dr. Roy Yanong, our aquatic extension specialist, based in Ruskin at the Tropical Fish Lab, assisting in those efforts,” said Dr. Ruth Francis-Floyd, a professor and aquatic extension veterinarian at UF.

“In 1990, the meeting was hosted by Marineland and the Whitney Lab, but this event was all us,” she said.

Spearheaded by Dr. Iske Larkin, director of the Aquatic Animal Health program, UF coordinated registration, implemented the program and handled the technical and online logistics. The program attendance was the second highest in the event’s history, with 382 registrants from 27 countries and more than 40 presentations, Francis-Floyd said.

Presentations included two master classes, including one by UF’s Dr. Roy Yanong, a professor and extension veterinarian with UF’s Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory in Ruskin, on fish medicine. Many UF graduates, as well as current trainees, presented their work on topics covering a broad spectrum of marine mammal species, fish, elasmobranchs and invertebrates.

The scientific program was coordinated by IAAAM president Dr. Katie Colgrove of the University of Illinois.

“Dr. Larkin, myself and Dr. Molly Martony served as co-chairs and moderators,” Francis-Floyd said. “Dr. Larkin and Jamie Holloway managed technical issues flawlessly. Dr. Martony and I developed questions for the continuing education component. The website created by Dr. Larkin will remain active until the 2021 conference, which is scheduled to be in Tampa.”


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