Dr. Tom Waltzek to speak in September

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Dr. Tom Waltzek to speak in September

Post by LewC » Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:23 am

Our speaker this month is Dr. Thomas Waltzek, of the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida. Tom sent this profile to introduce himself:

Thomas B. Waltzek studied marine biology at Florida State University, graduating with a BS in 1998. He then came to the University of California at Davis, where he studied the functional anatomy and ecology of cichlid fishes, receiving a MS in 2002. Thomas then studied veterinary medicine at UC Davis, focusing on fish health, and received a DVM in 2009. Thomas finished his PhD dissertation on the evolution and ecology of viral diseases of aquatic vertebrates in 2010. In 2011, he joined the University of Florida as a Postdoctoral Research Associate to begin the surveillance and characterization of emerging aquatic animal pathogens. He accepted the position of Assistant Professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida (UF) in 2012. Currently, he serves as the co-director of the UF Wildlife and Aquatic Veterinary Disease Laboratory and the UF Aquatic Animal Health Program.

While the above paragraph tells us about his academic and professional history and credentials, it doesn’t say much about Tom as a person. That information I got from people who have met him and heard him speak. Tom has a gregarious personality, is a riveting speaker and an enthusiastic aquarist, with a special love for cichlids. He will share with us his outstanding photography and fascinating video as he discusses fish diseases, with a focus on those that often afflict cichlids.

Next month, we will be visited by Ed Burress, a PhD candidate in the Department of Biological Sciences at Auburn University. Ed appeared at an OCA meeting in 2013, speaking about pike cichlids. This time, his talk is entitled “Body Shape Diversity Among Cichlids”, which is about how different body profiles help various cichlids to fit into their ecological niches.

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