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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Rory Francis, President

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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Mollie Millington, President-Elect

Mollie Millington is the Aquatics Unit Manager at the Francis Crick Institute in London UK.  She received a BA in Marine Biology from Boston University in 2001 and a MSc in Zoo and Aquarium Management from Michigan State University in 2008.  Mollie holds the Institute for Animal Technology level 2 diploma and is currently enrolled in Level 3 for completion in 2020.  Having always enjoyed working with aquatics species, Mollie has been fortunate enough to work in both public (New England Aquarium, Alaska SeaLife Center, and Mystic Aquarium) and academia aquaria (Marine Biological Laboratory, Queen Mary University of London, National Institute for Medical Research, Francis Crick Institute) during her career. In October 2019, she won an award with her colleagues for her 3Rs work in establishing a system to use lidocaine pre- and post-fin clipping that did not impact the scientists' research.  She has also co-authored several papers using zebrafish as animal models and a methodology for environmental screening zebrafish systems for pathogens.  In September 2019, Mollie helped organize the very first Zebrafish Husbandry Association (ZHA) UK branch meeting in London and hopes to continue to strengthen communication between zebrafish technicians globally in order to share valuable information and understanding during her term as President-Elect.

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Kristin Merrill, Vice President

Kristin’s foray into aquaculture began during her senior year at Stevenson University when she interned at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD. While there, she learned the basics of aquatic animal husbandry and maintaining recirculating aquatic systems (RAS) and their associated life support equipment. Kristin graduated from Stevenson in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in biology and immediately began working as a full-time Aquarist Aide at the National Aquarium where she worked for a brief time before being offered a position as an Aquatics Specialist for Charles River in 2013 at their contract site at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD. The NIH is home to the Building 6 Shared Zebrafish Facility (SZF), one of the largest Zebrafish facilities in the nation, as well as several smaller, aquatics facilities spread out in different buildings across the NIH campus. Kristin worked as an Aquatics Specialist for 3 years gaining experience caring for Zebrafish and Xenopus species and maintaining the aquatic systems, as well as experience in the planning, construction, and start-up of newly designed facilities. In 2016, Kristin was promoted to Assistant Project Manager where she oversees a husbandry team of 23 Aquatics Specialists plus a Technical Trainer. Her team currently cares for 4 aquatic animal species housed in 17 different recirculating systems in 10 different aquatic facilities across the NIH campus. Kristin has experience working with laboratory RAS from various manufacturers including Aquaneering, Pentair, Aquatic Habitats, Aquarius/Aquatic Ecosystems, Tecniplast, and Marine Biotech including the system-specific automation and monitoring systems.

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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 admin@zhaonline.org if you wish to nominate yourself or another member.  Nominations and voting are reserved for ZHA members in good standing.