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Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory

Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory

Katharine Starzel

Veterinary Medical Officer/
USDA Aquaculture Liaison Coordinator

Katharine Starzel joined USDA’s aquaculture team in 2015 at the UF Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory (TAL).  Specializing in animal import and export, she serves the terrestrial animal and avian agricultural sectors in addition to the aquaculture industry.  In the field, her work includes live animal inspection, USDA registration of animal and animal product export facilities, and endorsement of export health certificates.  She offers guidance to importers and exporters working with non-English documentation, or with English as a second language, having studied French, Spanish, German, and other languages. Along with UF TAL faculty and staff, she helps assess biosecurity needs of Florida producers.  As USDA’s Aquaculture Liaison Coordinator, she serves her USDA colleagues across the country with their aquaculture work. 

Prior to her position in Ruskin, Dr. Starzel was USDA’s Port Veterinarian in San Francisco.  Her interest in aquaculture developed while working at UC-Davis’s aquatic research laboratory, CABA.  Prior to veterinary studies, she worked with seals and sea lions in Sausalito, California, and with sea otters in Santa Cruz, California.  She is an experienced SCUBA diver.

Away from work, Dr. Starzel runs her good-natured whippet mutt, trains in yoga and Krav Maga, and crews in local sailing races.

Kat Starzel bio page


UF/IFAS Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory
1408 24th Street SE
Ruskin, FL  33570
813-671-5230 x114

  • Education

    D.V.M., Veterinary Medicine, 2910, University of California - Davis

    B.S., Biology, 2003, University of Massachusettes - Boston

    B.A., Philosophy; B.A., French, 1990, University of Wisconsin - Madison