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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Carolyn Friedman
FISH 404
Seattle Campus

Diseases of Aquatic Animals

Overview of communicable and noncommunicable diseases that affect fish and shellfish. Major pathogens of free-ranging as well as captive animals discussed. Students learn to recognize, prevent, and control economically and ecologically important disease syndromes. Recommended: 10 credits biological science.

Class description

You will learn about ecological impacts of disease in marine and freshwater systems. We will study the relationship between host, pathogen and the environment. This course will teach you how to diagnose diseases of shellfish and finfish and will introduce you to marine mammal diseases. You will investigate molecular and traditional approaches to disease diagnosis; treatment and/or management options for diseases will also be explored. Students will learn both the theory behind and hand-ons application of a variety of diagnostic methods such as polymerase chain reaction test, in situ hybridization tests, necropsy procedures, histology viral plaque assays and others. In addition, students will learn experimental design, problem solving, critical thinking, scientific writing and public speaking in the laboratory session.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

This course is designed with a combination of lectures, seminars and class discussions during the lecture periods and an experiential weekly laboratory session. One to two field trips will also be included. One field trip will occur during the weekly lab session, while an optional session may be held on the weekend and will involve the students in an oyster disease research project!

Lectures will be provided in a Power Point format; students will be provided copies of the slides as handouts. Student discussion and use of overheads/white boards will also used to discuss key concepts and areas in which students are particularly interested.

The laboratory session includes three case studies in which students will learn a variety of methods and apply the methods to diagnose various diseases. A brief discussion will precede the weekly laboratory experiment. Each week students will have the opportunity to examine stained tissue sections of a variety of marine invertebrates and freshwater and marine finifish to learn about normal and abnormal (diseased) anatomy.

This course is designed to cover key elements needed to understand and diagnose diseases of aquatic organisms. In addition, the course is specifically designed with built-in flexibility to allow students to explore areas that they find particularly interesting.

Recommended preparation

This is a newly designed course that is recommend for students interested in molecular applications, biology, physiology and pathology in an enjoyable and experiential setting. Ten credits of Biology are recommended as preparation for the course. Fish 324 may also aid students in preparation for this class.

Class assignments and grading

Assignments will include 3 laboratory reports based on the lab case studies. Reports will be written as short scientific papers. Example laboratory reports will be provided. One lab experiment will be selected by the students to present as an oral paper.

Grades will be based on 2 mid-tern exams (20% each), the laboratory session (3 lab reports and an oral presentation = 30%) and a final examination (30%). For additional information please see:

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Linda Murdock
Date: 04/01/2003