Dr. Sarah Wahltinez

PhD Student

Sarah W

Sea Star Physiology and Anthropogenic Stressors

Sarah is a PhD student in the Aquatic Animal Health Program with a passion for marine invertebrates, especially sea stars. She earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2017 then continued her education for a year in a rotating small animal internship in California before starting her PhD in the Comparative, Diagnostic, and Population Department.

Her research includes understanding normal sea star physiology as well as understanding how anthropogenic stressors cause changes to sea star health. This research is important because it helps us to determine how sea stars cope with the inevitable changes to their environment and allows us to make better informed conservation decisions. Sarah’s PhD is funded by a competitive Graduate School Alumni Fellowship from the University of Florida. She hopes to use her veterinary and graduate degrees toward improving our knowledge of marine invertebrate health, disease, medicine and conservation.



Wahltinez, Sarah J., Alisa L. Newton, Craig A. Harms, Lesanna L. Lahner, and Nicole I. Stacy. “Coelomic Fluid Evaluation in Pisaster ochraceus Affected by Sea Star Wasting Syndrome: Evidence of Osmodysregulation, Calcium Homeostasis Derangement, and Coelomocyte Responses.” Frontiers in Veterinary Science 7 (2020): 131. https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2020.00131

Wahltinez, Sarah J., Nicole I. Stacy, Lesanna L. Lahner, and Alisa L. Newton. “Coelomic fluid evaluation in clinically normal Ochre sea stars Pisaster ochraceus: cell counts, cytology, and biochemistry reference intervals.” Journal of Aquatic Animal Health 31, no. 3 (2019): 239-243.https://doi.org/10.1002/aah.10072

To find out more information about her research, grants, and affiliations, please contact Dr. Wahltinez or visit her UF directory profile below.

Sarah Wahltinez

Sarah Wahltinez

PhD Candidate
Sarah with a sea star

University of Florida


As part of both the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and UF Health, Veterinary Medicine is dedicated to advancing animal, human and environmental health through teaching, research, extension and patient care.



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