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Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory

Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory

Student Opportunities

Casey doing research


  • Master of Science Graduate Assistantship: Investigating the reproductive roles of the SREB receptor family in fish

    Start:  August 21, 2024 (Fallsemester)
    Program:  Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
    Application Deadline:  February 23, 2024, or as soon as a suitable candidate is identified.

    We are currently seeking applicants for a two-year, MS research assistantship investigating the reproductive roles of the SREB receptor family in a comparative fish model.

    Description: Super-conserved Receptors Expressed in Brain (SREBs) are a family of highly conserved G protein–coupled receptors that regulate several processes, including reproduction, immunity, and energy metabolism. Although some functions for SREBs have been studied in mammals for the past twenty years, researchers still do not have a thorough understanding of their ligands or their downstream signaling pathways. In addition, little research has focused on the role of these signaling pathways in nonmammalian vertebrates. This project will use a novel comparative approach across multiple fish species—with different SREB systems—to better understand the roles of this receptor family in reproduction. The graduate student will be expected to maintain and condition the model fish species, conduct in vitro experiments, and participate in transcriptomic analyses. The graduate student will be co-advised by Dr. Matthew DiMaggio at the Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory and Dr. Christopher Martyniuk at the Center for Environmental and Human Toxicology.

    Location: This position will be located at the University of Florida’s Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory (, a fully equipped research and extension center located in Ruskin, Florida. The facility includes 5 greenhouses, 50 earthen ponds, a climate-controlled hatchery, and a full-service disease diagnostic laboratory. The degree will be awarded through the Program in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences in the School of Forest, Fisheries, and Geomatics Sciences (


    • B.S. degree in biology, zoology, marine sciences, aquaculture or related discipline
    • Demonstrated research experience and familiarity with molecular techniques is highly desirable
    • Excellent verbal and written communication skills

    Salary/Benefits:  Annual stipend, tuition remission and health insurance.

    Application:  Interested applicants should submit the following documents as a single PDF or Word file via email to Dr. Matthew DiMaggio ( and Dr. Christopher Martyniuk ( by the February 23, 2024 deadline.

    • Cover letter summarizing interest in the position, qualifications and experience, as well as research and career aspirations
    • Curriculum Vitae
    • Unofficial academic transcripts
    • Names and contact information for three professional references

    Final candidates will be contacted and required to submit formal applications to the University of Florida graduate school.

  • Master of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (MFAS)

    Aquatic resources harbor a large share of the earth’s biodiversity and provide crucial ecosystem services including production of food, maintenance of water and environmental quality, and provision of recreational opportunities. Yet these resources and the services they provide face unprecedented threats from overfishing, habitat loss degradation and global environmental change.  The Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Program in the School of Forest Resources and Conservation (SFRC) conducts cutting-edge research, training, and extension for the sustainable development and conservation of aquatic biological resources in Florida, the Nation, and worldwide. Among our educational programs, the Master of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (MFAS) specifically addresses the need for high-quality professional training in the field.

    The online Master of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences is offered by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) in the School of Forest Resources and Conservation. This program is designed for working professionals in environmental sciences, fisheries, aquatic sciences, and natural resources, and marine biology fields who are interested in advancing their careers by earning a graduate degree. The availability of this program entirely online means that students will not have to sacrifice their commitments to career and family in order to earn the degree.

    Program Requirements

    The MFAS program consists of 32 credits, of which at least 16 must be Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (FAS) courses. The remaining credits may be chosen from any graduate-level courses in the SFRC or at UF, with the approval of your advisor. For information on the application process, visit the How to Apply page at SFRC..

    Part of the application process involves identifying a faculty member to serve as your advisor. Direct inquiries in areas of aquaculture production to Dr Matt DiMaggio, non-native species to Dr. Jeff Hill, aquatic ecology to Dr. Quenton Tuckett and aquatic animal health to Dr. Roy Yanong.

    Course Options

    As noted above, any FAS courses may be used to fulfill the 16 major credits required for this degree, but students may choose to take more FAS credits if desired. During the degree, students register for a maximum of 6 credits of FAS 6905 for credit towards their technical paper, usually split between the first semester and the final semester.

    Technical Paper

    The online MFAS is a non-thesis degree and therefore does not require a research thesis for completion. The degree does require the student to write a technical paper/final project based on extension/outreach or research on a topic of their choosing in an appropriate professional area. The technical paper/final project must be approved by the Supervisory Committee.

    Final Examination

    Academic programs are required to give a final examination to students as part of their MS graduation requirements. The examination format (e.g., written or oral), length, breadth, location, and subject matter will be determined by the Major Advisor plus an additional SFRC faculty member in concert with the student. The content will be centered on subject matter drawn from the student’s coursework. A second SFRC faculty member, to be identified by the Advisor and student working together, will be required to participate in the student’s examination. The examination should be taken during the last semester of enrollment, but no later than one month prior to the end of the term. See Graduate School deadlines for specific dates.

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