Key grant renewed for UF’s Aquatic Animal Health Program

Dr. Iske Larkin with manatees

Dr. Iske Larkin leads UF’s Aquatic Animal Health program.

The UF Aquatic Animal Health Program’s $2.5 million, three-year marine mammal training grant has been successfully renewed with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, ensuring that the program will continue to be able to further its efforts to advance education relating to the care of marine mammals in the state, with an emphasis on Florida manatees.

“We support training through resident and internship programs at the post-D.V.M. level, an Aquatic Animal Medicine Certificate for veterinary students and research training for graduate students at the M.S. and Ph.D. level who are conducting projects on Florida-related marine mammal health,” said the program’s director, Dr. Iske Larkin.

The grant supports collaboration among several faculty, staff and students throughout the college. Larkin and Dr. Ruth Francis-Floyd, who serves as resident coordinator, are both in the department of large animal clinical sciences, while Dr. Mike Walsh, Dr. Nicole Stacy and Dr. Craig Pelson, who serve as clinical training coordinator, clinical pathologist and marine mammal veterinary specialist, respectively, all are in the department of comparative, diagnostic and population medicine, or CDPM.

“Our staff are located primarily in large animal clinical sciences and include a biological scientist, a program assistant and a special projectsa manager,” Larkin said.

Graduate students supported by the program include two in the department of physiological sciences and one in CDPM.

“This grant is central to supporting our Aquatic Animal Health program,” Larkin said. “While we do a significant amount of collaboration with Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, governmental and private organizations that work with aquatic species ranging from fish and invertebrates to marine mammals and sea turtles, species in both fresh and salt water, this grant through FWC has been foundational in allowing all of these partnerships to grow.”


More information about the program can be found on its website.

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