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Cornell University

Aquatic Animal Health Program Renewed for Five Years

We are proud to announce that funding for the Aquatic Animal Health Program has been renewed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) ($50,000 per year for a 5-year period). This program, part of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, engages scientists in research, teaching, diagnostic services, outreach, and rapid response pathology services to improve and sustain aquatic ecosystem health, with a particular emphasis on fish health challenges of economic and environmental importance. Scientists in the Aquatic Animal Health Program also utilize genetics research to aid in forensic investigation of shark fin trafficking.

Rod Getchell shwon working at a microscope
Dr. Rod Getchell examining samples in the Fish Pathology Laboratory. Photo provided.

Aquatics Health Scientist Rod Getchell, PhD, Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, operates the Fish Pathology Lab. Dr. Getchell works with the NYSDEC to diagnose the pathogens responsible fish die-offs in New York State and focuses his research on investigating emerging pathogens of fish.

"The two most recent projects that have utilized our expertise are collaborative efforts with NYSDEC and Cornell biologists studying: (1) the impact of ultrasonic devices designed to kill blue-green algae on New York's fishes, and (2) the prevalence of mycobacterial species in the striped bass spawning in the Hudson River,” said Getchell. “Our ongoing research efforts provide safety data to gain approval of several new animal drugs, including AQUI-S 20E®, which addresses the need for an immersion anesthetic for marine fish species."

Dr. Rod Getchell also represents Aquatics programs on the Steering Committee of the Cornell Wildlife Health Center.

Written by Isabel Jimenez, DVM ‘19

Related projects: Freshwater Fish Sharks
Related programs: Aquatic Animals