There is an increasingly greater depth of information available regarding aquatic species but unfortunately it is still quite limited when compared to domestic or terrestrial animals. While many aquatic species are maintained in progressive education based collections there is actually a near void in our knowledge base of wild aquatic animals and their reliance on the complicated environments they inhabit. To advance the conservation of these species it is imperative to investigate disease processes and environmental changes that impact these unique animals and their watery home. Human development and competitive activities threaten the very existence of many animal species relying on finely balanced ecosystems that are easily tipped in the wrong direction. There is a vast range of research that directly and indirectly benefits aquatic animals, from invertebrates to marine mammals, as well as their environments. The aquatic animal health program at the University of Florida contributes to our better understanding and management of aquatic species through basic and applied research.