Inside the Tank: A Peek into the Tecniplast Annual International Zebrafish Husbandry Course, 2023

Charli Corcoran

Part I/III

In October 2023 I was fortunate to attend the 10th Annual International Zebrafish Husbandry Course, hosted by Tecniplast and held in Buguggiate, Italy. The course brings together zebrafish husbandry experts from around the world to present recent advancements in zebrafish husbandry to the course attendees.  In 2023 the course ran from 9th October – 13th October, and there were 40 attendees representing 15 countries.  My place among them was funded by both the Zebrafish Husbandry Association’s Advancement Fund, and my facility at the Institute of Genetics and Cancer, University of Edinburgh, and I am grateful to both for the chance to attend this course.

The week was full of education and collaboration, aligning with the Zebrafish Husbandry Association’s mission of promoting and developing zebrafish husbandry standards through education, collaboration, and publication.   The course was attended by zebrafish enthusiasts with many years of experience behind them and those making their first steps into zebrafish husbandry, and the content covered a wide range of topics from the natural history of zebrafish, the details of managing a zebrafish colony to the intricacies of balancing water quality and the importance of disaster planning.  Not only did we have the opportunity to learn from the expert panel of speakers, but there was also time for us to learn from each other during the networking and social events throughout the week.

“The knowledge and experience that people share (is) definitely not something that I can search online and find easily.” Iris Y.K.  Woo, University of Hong Kong.

For me, the most important part of the course was the chance to engage with colleagues from around the world.  Being able to discuss challenges and contribute to conversations with members of the international zebrafish community has opened doors to different and diverse perspectives, new approaches – and provided me with a list of people to email for advice if needed.

“I think the networking we got across the world is key to optimize and running a successful facility”
Michael Henningsen, University of Copenhagen

I spoke to several of the course participants, and asked their views on aspects of the course, including key takeaway messages, what they thought the zebrafish community should be excited about and how they might implement the knowledge that they gained on the course.  Thank you to everyone who responded and shared their views with me, I feel that it really highlights the international and collaborative nature of this course.  

While this blog is my opinion of and reflection on the course, I have included quotes from other participants to highlight the international impact that the course has had.  The blog will discuss key take home messages from each of the eight expert speakers and summaries of the (in my opinion) key lectures throughout the course.

  1. Top Tips from the Speakers
  1. Lecture Summaries
    • Disease and Disease Management
    • Health Monitoring
    • Water Quality Fundamentals
    • “Refinement” and “Setting & Validating Standards”
    • Genetic Colony Management

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