Meet the Executive Board

The Executive Board manages the day to day operations and long-term strategic planning for the organization.  The Executive Board adheres to the Constitution and Bylaws that govern the organization.  Each position volunteers a two year commitment.  The President-Elect transitions to President in their second year.

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Claire Allen, President

Claire has been manager at the Bateson Centre Zebrafish Facility (BCZF) since 2008. She manages a team of 7 and together they care for over 4,500 tanks, which house 770 genetically modified lines. The Sheffield Bateson Centre Zebrafish Facility supports the research of more than 125 users from over 20 laboratories.

Before this role Claire worked for 8 years in zebrafish research studying many aspects of developmental biology and biomedical disease modeling.  Throughout this time she took a keen interest in the legal and ethical side of animal research, which led her into management. This broad background in zebrafish research gives her an excellent insight into the drive behind research and has helped her to develop the facility for a growing research community. She is also privileged to sit on several ethical review committees. Taken together Claire feels that she has a wealth of experience in linking husbandry and welfare with research demands.

During her time as the aquarium manager she has contributed to many husbandry meetings and given several talks about facility management, research support and outreach activities ( She is passionate about sharing information and over the years I have formed some great professional alliances with other facility managers. Her Twitter account @zebrafishclaire has increased her connections and is a powerful tool in science communication #zebrafish. The position of President Elect 2018 will allow her to develop networks, explore social media and continue the great work of the ZHA.  She aims to reach out to the global zebrafish husbandry community, no matter how big or small the facilities are, to share common opinion and knowledge.

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Rory Francis, President-Elect

For over 18 years, Rory has served the Zebrafish community in various roles. Rising through the ranks at Aquaneering Inc. during and after receiving his B.A. in Economics, followed by a stint working at Brigham & Women’s Hospital as an aquatics technician. Rory has dedicated himself to sharing knowledge and helping the community through local events, coordinating webinars and various conferences. Currently, Rory operates Danio Lab in Boston, MA, with a mission to provide new tools and services for Zebrafish users. As President-Elect, Rory is looking forward to meeting more of the community and continuing to give back to the organization, build membership and connect members worldwide.

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Patty Oden, Vice President

Patty is a Senior Aquatic Technician at the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB) and has worked in the Zebrafish Research Facility there since it opened 7 years ago.  This facility has 27 racks with the potential for 2200 3 liter tanks and also contains a fully equipped microinjection, florescence microscopy and zebrafish behavior analysis laboratories. She has been part of the UAB family for over 10 years and has been a veterinary technician for over 25 years. She has been a member of ZHA for 7 years and is also honored to serve on the Research Fund Committee. She is also a member of the Zebrafish working group that was previously based in Gadsden that has moved to UAB and is responsible for the 3 day hands on workshop and an online course that is offered each semester at UAB. She has also completed both of these courses. Patty recently presented at the Zebrafish Husbandry Workshop in 2014, sharing work that was done in the UAB ZRF, which explored the color preferences in zebrafish and how it could affect breeding and behavior and fecundity.

Patty is also excited to continue learning and growing in her profession as she attends meetings so that she can go deeper into the wonderful world of zebrafish.

Patty has two sons who are both married and one grandson. She also enjoys many animals and works with local youth.


Stephen Canter, Treasurer

Stephen Canter is the Zebrafish Facilities Supervisor at Washington University in St.Louis.He has been working with fish for over ten years. He received his Bachelors from the University of Alabama-Huntsville in Biology/Marine Science and his Masters from Missouri State University in Fisheries Biology. He has worked at Washington University and with zebrafish for 5+ years.

Dante D'India

Dante D'India, Secretary

Dante is the Seattle Children's Research Institute Aquatics Core Facility Supervisor.  Dante previously managed the Megason Lab Zebrafish Facility at Harvard Medical School and has worked in laboratory animal science for the past 10 years.  Dante has previously served the ZHA as the President from 2016-2017.

Get Involved!

Nominations for open Executive Board seats start in the Fall with elections following shortly thereafter.  Email if you wish to nominate yourself or another member.  Nominations and voting are reserved for ZHA members in good standing.