Animal Care Services

AAHP Services


Researchers working with aquatic animals occasionally have questions about life support systems, water chemistry, changes in an animal’s food response or behavior and other questions. Oregon State University’s Aquatic Animal Health Program offers a range of services for researchers and students, which can be helpful in proactively managing animal health concerns. Some of these services are provided as a professional courtesy; the nature of other services requires a fee, but all are provided by aquatic animal health specialists and/or a Certified Aquatic Veterinarian.


Support Services

Life Support System Design Consultation: The health of aquatic animals begins at the design stage of a life support system. If a lab is planning to build a system or modify an existing one and would like an experienced professional’s opinion, the AAHP’s technical expertise is an available resource.

Life Support Troubleshooting: If a lab is experiencing a problem with its aquatic life support system and would like the life support specialists in the AAHP to provide an evaluation, under most circumstances, this can be arranged on fairly short notice. After-hours support may require a fee for a timely response during emergencies.

Animal Husbandry Consultation: Reaching out for aquatic animal husbandry support consultation before and during a research project can make a significant impact in the health of your research animals. Sometimes, the most important aspects of husbandry are the easiest to overlook, such as appropriate habitat, substrate, dietary considerations, etc. The AAHP can also provide husbandry consultation support for live food cultures, as well as standardized daily rounds sheets, water chemistry test results sheets and other aspects of animal husbandry.

Animal Health Consultation: Researchers working with aquatic animals at Hatfield Marine Science Center and other Oregon State University campuses occasionally observe changes in animal behavior, water quality test results, and other factors that can affect their research projects. The animal health specialists and Certified Aquatic Veterinarians at the AAHP can be a resource to help proactively prevent such problems from occurring or make recommendations for addressing them when they occur.

SOP Creation Support: Standard Operating Procedures are required by IACUC for vertebrate animals under all circumstances and the HMSC Animal Care Plan for invertebrates not following approved guidelines for research purposes. They are also very important for the continuity of animal care on any husbandry team. SOPs outline feeding protocols, life support system maintenance, targeted water chemistry parameters, identification of common diseases, and other mission-critical aspects of working with aquatic research animals. In many cases, the most difficult part of writing SOPs is getting started and making them comprehensive enough to be useful to the reader. The AAHP can provide SOP templates, which simplify the process and make creating SOPs for your lab much easier.


Fee-Based Services

Aquatic Life Support System Design and Fabrication: If a researcher or student doesn’t have the time or expertise to build a custom aquatic life support system capable of accomplishing their project goals, the AAHP life support specialists can help design and/or build the system or recommend another experienced professional to assist with the project.

Husbandry Coverage: The AAHP may be able to provide limited temporary or long-term husbandry coverage to assist researchers on weekdays, holidays, emergencies and other circumstances.

Health Diagnostic Lab Work: If a researcher is trying to determine the nature of an animal health problem or the AAHP Certified Aquatic Veterinarian recommends that tissue samples be submitted to a diagnostic lab, the AAHP can facilitate this and provide a lab report.

Water Quality Sensor Calibration and Maintenance: Over time, all sensors and equipment require cleaning, maintenance, and occasional replacement to provide reliable data. The AAHP's life support and instrumentation specialists can provide these services on a regular, ongoing basis to ensure that a lab’s instruments are professionally maintained at all times or occasionally, as needed.


If you’re a researcher or student interested in one or more of these services, reach out to the AAHP Aquatic Husbandry Lab Manager. We are a resource for researchers and students and understand that each researcher's needs and system(s) are unique. The AAHP is adept at tailoring our services to the specific needs of each lab and offering solutions that proactively protect the health of their animals and the goals of the project.