Professor and Extension Veterinarian
Florida SeaGrant Affiliate Extension Specialist
Ruth Francis-Floyd is a professor and extension specialist for aquatic medicine within the College of Veterinary Medicine.
Her area of expertise is production aquaculture and clinical fish medicine, but her extension and outreach efforts also include some marine mammal activities. She served as the Director of the Aquatic Animal Health program within the College of Veterinary Medicine from 2004-2013 before returning to her role as an extension specialist.
She currently coordinates the Residency Training program in Aquatic Animal Health that is accredited by the American College of Zoological Medicine within the College of Veterinary Medicine. She also currently serves as Chairman of the Education Committee of the American Association of Fish Veterinarians.
Ruth often collaborates with other researchers to work on broad problems. In recent years, she has coordinated a large group of researchers working on the health of the long-spined sea urchin (Diadema antillarum) in Florida, and recently was lead author on a diagnostic manual published for the species.
She currently supports projects at the Florida Conservation Center in Apollo Beach Florida that are directed at culture of the species with the ultimate goal of stock enhancement in Florida waters. She is the principal investigator of a USDA-NIFA project that provides training in aquaculture practice to a nationally selected group of practicing veterinarians, our “Veterinary Aquaculture Fellows”.
In recent years, she has also collaborated on projects that led to improved understanding of the biology and habitat requirements of the African manatee (Trichechus senegalensis) in Cameroon, West Africa; and she collaborated with Zoo Tampa on a project funded by the Joy McCann Foundation that supported improved understanding and clinical management of Cold-Stress syndrome in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).
Ruth frequently collaborates with scientists in the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, various federal agencies, and other public entities.