Ph.D.’s in the Power of Threes!


grad students

The Aquatic Animal Health Program is extremely excited to announce that three of our Ph.D. candidates have passed their final defenses! Dr. Jonathan Cowart, Dr. Aristide Kamla, and Dr. Jessica Jacob all did an exemplary job and we could not be more proud of all three of them.


Jonathan award Dr. Jonathan Cowart focused his research on “Gonadal Function, Semen Characterization, and Morphometry of the Spermatozoa in the Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).” Upon the completion of his dissertation and graduation, Dr. Cowart looks forward to continuing his involvement with the program as a post doc. He will continue his reproduction research in manatees but also expand into other marine mammal species while also venturing into teaching in online education. We are thrilled to have Dr. Cowart stay with the program and look forward to continue to support him and his innovative reproduction research.




Dr. Aristide Takoukam Kamla presented his research on “Genetic Diversity,Diet, and Habitat Quality of the African Manatee (Trichechus senagalensus) in the Downstream of the Sanaga River Watershed, Cameroon”. As Dr. Kamla calls Cameroon home, he is planning on continuing his fieldwork there to mitigate the issues caused by invasive aquatic species, Salvinia molesta, to the manatee habitat in Lake Ossa, Cameroon. He will also be searching for a post-doc position that will allow him to expand the non-invasive fecal DNA approach that he utilized during his PhD program, throughout the African manatee distribution range. Furthermore he will be work with Dr. Larkin on some of the online courses we utilize in our program. We wish Dr. Kamla the best of luck and look forward to our collaboration with him through his research and advancement of our courses.


Jessica Jacobs Dr. Jessica Jacob presented her work on “Developing¬† an Innovative and Safe Protective Immunity Enhanced Salmonella Vaccine against Brucella melitensis“. Dr. Jacob is looking to continue her growth as a researcher through a post-doc position in aquatic animal health. She is currently in the process of interviewing with various research institutions and hopes to find the best fit for her research interests. We wish Dr. Jacob the best of luck and hope to collaborate with her in the future.

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