Annette Boerlage – ECD – Norway

This Early Career Development Award from CERC allowed me to attend the first global conference in Aquatic Animal Epidemiology in Oslo, Norway, from September 20-22, 2016. With 9 researchers from the Health Management department at AVC, we had strong representation. This conference showed me how the capabilities and interests of our group align with other groups in the field, and that we have unique features to add to the pursuit of knowledge. (For more information about the content of this conference, please refer to Krishna Thakur’s 2016 Early Career Development Award summary.)

This first AquaEpi conference as an important step forwards in the development of aquatic epidemiology worldwide. Aquatic epidemiology is a growing field that parallels the growing aquaculture sector. The fact that this conference took place emphasizes that the differences between aquatic and terrestrial epidemiology are significant, and that that specialization is necessary, though also we should keep learning from each other.

I was impressed with the different subjects that were presented and I learned about some new techniques. I gave an oral presentation on “Risk factors associated with clinical Bacterial Kidney Disease (BKD) in marine farmed Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar L.) in New Brunswick, Canada,” and received useful feedback that I used to refine my manuscript. Even though there were not too many highly technical presentations, I think the conference was successful, because it shows what we still have to grow, improve, and collaborate.

I am thankful to have had the opportunity to attend the conference a few months after my contract ended. Aquatic epidemiology is my field of interest and attending this conference was a good opportunity to connect with a lot of people in the field and establish my network. I hope it will help me continue my career in this field in the future.