Swimming with the Big Fish

Alistair DoveMANAGER OF LABORATORY SERVICES
Veterinary Services and Conservation Medicine Department, Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta

QUALIFICATIONS
BSc (Zoology and Parasitology) 1994
Hons (Parasitology) 1995
PhD (Parasitology) 1999

SALARY RANGE
Not-for-profit business - salary unavailable.   

ALISTAIR Dove has taken to his job at the world’s newest and largest aquarium like a fish to water.

Alistair, who studied a Bachelor of Science (Honours) and a PhD at UQ, describes working at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, USA as “an amazing feeling”. 

“I love the diversity of activities I can participate in, the diversity of animals in our collection, and the opportunities to collaborate with large numbers of creative and motivated people,” he says.

As Laboratory Services manager, Alistair oversees water quality, analytical chemistry and veterinary diagnostic activities at the aquarium, as well as the staff who carry out this work. He is also part of the management team that guides husbandry, veterinary and life support decisions for the aquarium.

An additional highlight of his role, according to Alistair, is the opportunity to carry out self-directed research.

He says his approach to research, learned during his time at UQ, is now a “recurrent theme” in his studies.

“I learned how to think critically and to apply scientific approaches to solving problems – even if I wasn’t familiar with the problem at hand.”

It is Alistair’s revolutionary work on the whale shark – the world’s largest living fish species – that feeds his commitment to his career in science.

Participating in the first health assessments of whale sharks has reminded me how little we know about even the largest fish in the oceans,” Alistair says.

“Participating in the first health assessments of whale sharks has reminded me how little we know about even the largest fish in the oceans,” Alistair says.

“This gives me energy to stay in science-oriented fields, since there is still so much to learn.