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.
Michelle Altemara has over ten years of zebrafish husbandry experience and manages the Zebrafish Aquaculture Core (ZAC) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received a BS in Biology with a minor in Chemistry in 1998 and a MS in Marine Science in 2007 from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her career journey began in GMP laboratories as a chemist, microbiologist, quality assurance reviewer, and trainer, followed by a short stint as a Biology instructor. All of these experiences led to a career in aquatic lab animal husbandry. She has successfully managed the ZAC with the knowledge gained from sources such as the ZFIN web site, the GSCC Zebrafish Husbandry Education Workshop, the Tecniplast Annual International Zebrafish Husbandry Course, and colleagues on the ZHA listserv. Michelle is now the Exotics Husbandry Manager overseeing all fish, amphibians, and reptiles on campus. She is currently establishing a Killifish colony and plans to continue investigating the use of analgesics in zebrafish. As a member of the zebrafish community, Michelle would like to contribute to the progress of the standardization of care, enrichment, and stress relief provided to lab animals.
Thom Berriman is the Technical Manager of the Zebrafish Facility at King’s College London, and a fishkeeping hobbyist for the last 25 years. He studied for a BSc (Hons) in Aquaculture and Fishery Management at Sparsholt College near Winchester, graduating with first class honours in 2009 while working as a freelance journalist writing for fishkeeping magazines and websites. Since 2010, he has been working with zebrafish – initially with the MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology at King’s College London before transferring to the Biological Services department to help open a new 50-rack Zebrafish Facility.
Ana Cristina Borges holds a Bachelor's degree in Biology (2000) and earned her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology in 2004. She transitioned from being a developmental biologist to serving as the Aquatic Facility Manager at the Gulbenkian Science Institute in Oeiras, Portugal, starting in 2014. Her responsibilities encompass the oversight of facilities for zebrafish, Xenopus laevis, and Nothobranchius furzeri, where her team actively seeks to advance zebrafish research through innovative husbandry techniques, health monitoring, and facility management.
Ana Cristina has a track record of authored papers and active participation in international conference presentations, including events like the National AALAS, European ZHA, FELASA, Aquaculture America, and the European Zebrafish Meeting. She also collaborated in organizing the 1st ZHA European meeting in London in 2022.
In addition to her professional roles, Ana Cristina is an active member of the Animal Welfare Body at the Gulbenkian Science Institute since 2015 and has been involved in Laboratory Animal Science Courses, contributing to the standardization of zebrafish training programs across multiple institutions in the Lisbon area.
Beyond her work, Ana Cristina is committed to educational outreach initiatives in her local community and is a dedicated advocate for animal-based research with a focus on public awareness.
Ana Cristina aims to enhance online resources for zebrafish husbandry and facility management by leveraging the ongoing collaboration on platforms like Danio Zoom and ListServ discussions. She also plans to strengthen ZHA's presence in Europe, expanding the network's reach at scientific meetings, and fostering partnerships with European companies.
When she's not immersed in the aquatic world, Ana Cristina enjoys spending her free time in the mountains, engaging in trail running and hiking adventures
Nicholas Fiorella is the Zebrafish Facility Coordinator and Operations Specialist within Comparative Medicine Services at Tufts University. He received a BA in Intelligence and National Security and a BS in Marine Science with a focus on geopolitical and socioeconomic effects on fisheries from Coastal Carolina University. Currently Nick will be graduating in December with his Master of Science in Engineering Management from Tufts University. From tidal pools to vernal pools Nick has had a curiosity of aquatic environments and the animals in or around them. Prior to Tufts Nick has worked as an Aquarist at Shark Reef Aquarium in Las Vegas and several years with NOAA as an ASM IFS Fisheries Observer. With a combination of intellectual curiosity and a strong business mindset, Nick hopes to maintain and elevate ZHA finances to better serve the community along with the rest of the E-Board.
Logan Fehrenbach is the Lead Aquatic Technical Specialist at the Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. He received his B.S. in Biology at Northern Kentucky University. After receiving his bachelor’s degree, he went on to obtain an M.S. in Biology with a focus in Herpetology at California State University, Fullerton. While obtaining his master’s degree, his research focused mostly on two lizard species located in dry habitats. Once he graduated from California State University, Fullerton, he started his transition from working with mostly terrestrial animals to working with completely aquatic animals and began working with zebrafish around four and a half years ago. When he first started working with zebrafish, his facility only had two racks, one researcher, and himself to run the facility. He has played a large role in growing the zebrafish program at his institution who now has twenty- six racks, multiple researchers, and three staff members to run the facility. During his time working with zebrafish, he has pursued several research and educational efforts to help broaden the understanding of zebrafish husbandry including recently having a paper published in Comparative Medicine about the temperatures a box of live fish experience in the shipping process, teaching multiple seminars on zebrafish husbandry, and giving a workshop and serving on a panel at National AALAS. Logan has also served a role in his local community participating in educational outreach opportunities mentoring local high school students and teaching them about career opportunities available in the scientific community. He has been a standing member of the ZHA since he started working with zebrafish and looks forward to possibly serving the community in a larger role.
Dr. Yara Zayed is the Zebrafish Facility Research Manager at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, Canada. She has a Ph.D. in molecular biology and the genetics of zebrafish at York University and did her M.Sc. and HBSc. at the University of Toronto. She also held two post-doctoral fellowships using zebrafish for neuroscience and genetic research. During the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, Dr. Zayed was one of the few essential personnel allowed on site, responsible for the husbandry and well-being of the zebrafish in the Research Vivarium. While research was not allowed for many months at that time of the shut down, she re-structured and re-established the zebrafish facility at St. Michael's Hospital, significantly improving the health of the fish and tripling the size of 12 dpf larvae. As a Ph.D candidate, Dr. Zayed was actively involved in community service, chairing the Events Committee as well as the Graduate Student Association, for which she received the Peter Moens/AGSBS Graduate Award in Biology. Through serving the student body, she was able to improve many processes at the student association. She also provided support and guidance to many graduate students. Dr. Zayed also organized and executed many events and brought the association out of a deficit, ending the year in a significant surplus through raising funds at useful events and attracting investors. With her experience, Dr. Zayed will be a valuable addition as an Executive of Industry and Association Partnerships on the Executive Board of the Zebrafish Husbandry Association and is looking forward to serving the zebrafish community.
Dr Claire Allen arrived at the University of Sheffield back in 2000, as a research associate, and worked as a zebrafish developmental biologist for 8 years (until 2008). Within this time she held a stock project license (PPL, UK Home Office requirement) for a reverse genetics library, which created desirable genetically modified (GM lines; pre-CRISPR). In 2008 she moved into the role of facility manager because of her knowledge of the law and interests in the 3Rs. Over the last 14 years she has helped to implement many changes to the running of the Sheffield zebrafish facility, improving housing, diet, breeding success and research support tools. Claire was voted onto the ZHA board in 2018 and served as president elect and president the following year. Claire is an active member of the ZHA and was on the organising committee for the ZHA European Meeting held at the Crick, London 2022.
Nominations for open Executive Board seats start in the Fall with elections following shortly thereafter. Email email@example.com if you wish to nominate yourself or another member. Nominations and voting are reserved for ZHA members in good standing.