Webinar: Research with Aquatic Species

View the webinar recording:


The use of aquatic species is increasing in a range of scientific fields, including biomedical research, evolutionary biology, and environmental research. There are unique considerations when using aquatic species in research as compared to terrestrial animals. Challenges vary depending on whether protocols involve biomedical research with laboratory species, field research with wild species, or research with wild species that have recently been brought into captivity. How can researchers and IACUCs help ensure effective and ethical care and use of these animals while facilitating research?

Dr. Braithwaite will discuss her research and its potential implications for investigators and IACUCs whose work involves aquatic species, with particular attention given to zebrafish, trout, sticklebacks, and cod. Topics of discussion will include:

  • Social housing and environmental enrichment that allow for expression of species-specific behaviors
  • Minimization of pain and distress through innovative methods of administering analgesia, anesthesia, and euthanasia
  • Welfare considerations for wild fish that have been brought into captivity

What will I learn?

After attending this webinar, attendees will be able to:

  • Utilize new strategies in social housing, environmental enrichment, minimization of pain and distress, and administration of euthanasia, to improve the welfare of aquatic animals in research
  • Better understand aspects of fish experience during development that help promote aquatic species’ health and well-being, and decrease stress in the laboratory environment
  • Understand and apply some considerations for IACUC protocol review

Who should attend?

This webinar will benefit researchers, animal care and use personnel, and IACUC professionals and members who conduct or review research with aquatic species.


Victoria BraithwaiteVictoria Braithwaite, DPhil, is professor of fisheries and biology and the co-director of the Center for Brain, Behavior and Cognition at Penn State University. Her research uses neuroscience and animal behavior to investigate what animals perceive and how they use this information to change their behavior. One of her research projects on pain perception in fish generated considerable debate and led her to write a popular science book Do Fish Feel Pain?, which was published by Oxford University Press in 2010. More recently, her research has focused on the emotional component of pain, and what it means for an animal to be aware of its emotions. She collaborates with fish biologists, fisheries scientists, and industry to determine what it means to provide good welfare for fish in captivity, particularly those we farm.

Additional Resources

A collection of relevant background reading, further reading, links, templates, checklists, and/or charts accompany each PRIM&R webinar. Groups that register for webinars receive a discussion guide containing thought-provoking questions and facilitation tips that may help in using the webinar as an educational tool for IACUCs.


Review our webinar FAQs

for information about policies, CE credit, technical requirements, and webinar recordings

Please email webinars@primr.org if you have additional questions.