Student Blogs

Students Enjoy Summer AQUAVET® II Course

Sarah Wright

Last month I had the amazing opportunity to participate in AQUAVET® II: Comparative Pathology of Aquatic Animals. This two-week course is offered through Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and takes place at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island. The course is a natural extension of AQUAVET® I, which I took last summer, and offers an in-depth learning experience in the pathology and histopathology of marine and freshwater fishes, invertebrates, and amphibians.

Hands-on Learning 

This slide under the microscope shows sea star tube feet.

We would start each day with pathology lectures and end the day looking at histopathology slides under the microscope and online via Aperio Slide Hosting. We would also spend some days participating in aquatic animal anatomic pathology laboratories. I enjoyed the hands-on learning in this course because, in addition to gaining a working knowledge of the pathology of aquatic species, we also gained practical training in aquatic animal necropsy and interpreting aquatic animal histopathology slides.


One of my favorite aspects of this course was the diversity of my class. I learned alongside pathology residents, veterinarians in private practice and academia, Ph.D. and M.S. candidates, new grads, and other rising third-year veterinary students. My peers were from places as close as Kansas and as far as Australia. This diversity brought various perspectives to the course and enhanced my learning experience.

‘Best Learning Experience Possible’ 

I would like to thank Cornell University for putting on the course, the zoo and aquatic animal pathologists from around the country who taught during the course, and the AQUAVET® directors. I would like to especially thank Dr. Rod Getchell who supervised AQUAVET® II and ensured that we had the best learning experience possible. I look forward to putting my new aquatic animal pathology experiences into practice!

Sarah Wright, third-year veterinary student

Pictured above: Sarah Wright (at right) with Allison Murawski, second-year veterinary student

Pictured below:AQUAVET® II 2018 group photo 

aquavet group