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School of Forest, Fisheries, & Geomatics Sciences

School of Forest, Fisheries, & Geomatics Sciences

Roy Yanong

Professor, Fish Health and Aquaculture

Roy Yanong’s longtime interest as a tropical fish hobbyist eventually resulted in a career in fish veterinary medicine. After college, Roy worked at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, studying leukemia in soft-shell clams from Boston Harbor. Two years later, he attended the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine where he concentrated in aquatic animal medicine and received his V.M.D. in May 1992. After graduation from vet school, he was hired by 5-D Tropical, Inc., a large ornamental fish farm in Plant City, Florida, where he was quickly immersed into the industry. He worked as staff veterinarian there for four and a half years.

In 1996, he joined the UF/IFAS Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory (TAL) in Ruskin where he provides extension, research, and educational programs in fish health management, including on-site veterinary assistance and disease diagnostic support for aquaculturists throughout the state.

Roy and his colleagues at the TAL, UF/IFAS Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Program/FFGS, and the UF College of Veterinary Medicine work collaboratively to promote the advancement of aquatic animal medicine and fish health management through courses, internships, externships, extension and scientific publications, continuing education sessions, and other venues.

Over the years, Roy has participated in a number of local, state, and national fish health-related committees. He is currently the Chair of the Aquatics Working Group for the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Panel on Euthanasia; a former member and Chair of the AVMA’s Aquatic Veterinary Medicine Committee (AqVMC); and a past member of the AVMA’s Animal Agriculture Liaison Committee (AALC). He is also a founding member, currently Past President, and on the Executive Board of the American Association of Fish Veterinarians, and a member of a number of other aquaculture and fish health organizations.

Courses Taught

IdentifierCourse Name
FAS 6256/VEM 5912 Fish & Aquatic Invertebrate Histology
  • Research Interests

    Roy’s research program is applied and industry-driven, and concentrated primarily in ornamental fish species. Guidance is received through the Tropical Aquaculture Lab’s Aquaculture Advisory Committee, the Florida Tropical Fish Farms Association’s Research and Fish Health Committees, and the Florida Aquaculture Association.

    Losses caused by disease in Florida’s tropical fish industry have major economic impact. Consequently, his program has been focused in two major areas of concern: 1) diseases of production and 2) drugs, chemicals, and biologics.

    Research interests involving diseases of production include: determination of production risk factors for disease and reducing those risks; development of improved harvesting, grading, and transport technology for ornamental fish; clinical/pathologic characterization of ornamental fish diseases (such as cryptobiosis in cichlids and mycobacteriosis in frogfish).

    Drugs, chemicals, and biologics are important fish health management tools. Even the best-managed farms have disease and require some type of therapy. Given the present FDA-approval process, pharmaceutical companies have had little economic incentive to apply for drug approvals for ornamental fish. However, with the passage of the Minor Use Minor Species (MUMS) Act, there is more interest in ornamental fish. The TAL has been working closely with companies who are interested in gaining FDA approval or Indexing (legally marketable, unapproved) for drugs. Biologics such as vaccines can be cost-effective, but have not been used routinely in Florida’s aquaculture industries. Projects include completed or ongoing research on: Ovaprim (GnRHa, a spawning aid), which became the first listed drug on the FDA Index; Aquacalm (metomidate hydrochloride), which was the second drug placed on the FDA Index; SLICE (emamectin benzoate), an oral parasiticide; florfenicol, a very effective antibiotic that had not been used previously in the industry; Pyceze ® (bronopol) an antibacterial and anti-fungal also not currently used in the industry; use of different chemicals against Cryptobia iubilans, an important parasite of an important group of fish, the cichlids; 17-alpha-methyltestosterone, a chemical used to masculinize swordtails; use of different sedation and anesthetic agents; and vaccine production and feasibility against important bacterial diseases. Non-funded projects include: use of hydrogen peroxide against external bacteria and parasites and toxicity of recommended adult doses of formalin and salt treatments to fish larvae and fry.


Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory
1408 24th Street SE
Ruskin, FL 33570
(813) 671-5230 ext 104

  • Education

    • VMD, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, 1992
    • BA, Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, 1986

  • Publications
    • Weisbrod TC, Jeon AB, Childress A, Pouder DB, Castellanos-Gell J, Stacy NI,. Walden HDS, Garner MM, Yanong RPE, Ossiboff RJ. (2021) Gastrointestinal entamoebiasis in captive anurans in North America. Dis Aquat Org 143:109-118.
    • Lovy J, Yanong RP, Stilwell JM, Waltzek TB, Shelley JP, Pouder DB, Wolf JC, Camus AC. 2021. Tetra disseminated microsporidiosis: a novel disease in ornamental fish caused by Fusasporis stethaprioni n. gen. n. sp. Parasitol Res.120(2):497-514.
    • Cassle SE, RPE Yanong, DB Pouder, C Rodriguez, N Mylniczenko, PM Thompson, NK Stilwell, KJ Heym, T Harmon, NI Stacy. 2020 (published online 23 October 2020). Reference intervals for blood analytes of adult aquarium-housed Russian sturgeon (Acipenser gueldenstaedtii). Journal of Aquatic Animal Health. doi: 10.1002/aah.10116
    • Scherbatskoy EC, K Subramaniam, LAl-Hussinee, K Imnoi, PM Thompson, VL Popov, TFF Ng, KL Kelley, R Alvarado, JC Wolf, DB Pouder, RPE Yanong, and TB Waltzek. 2020. Characterization of a novel picornavirus isolated from moribund aquacultured clownfish. Journal of General Virology 101(7).
    • Lipscomb TN, RP Yanong, SW Ramee, and MA DiMaggio. 2020. Histological, histochemical and biochemical characterization of larval digestive system ontogeny in Black Tetra Gymnocorymbus ternetzi to inform aquaculture weaning protocols. Aquaculture 520.
    • Wright SE, Stacy NI, Yanong RP, Juhl RN, and Lewbart GA. 2020. Hematology and Biochemistry Panel Reference Intervals for Captive Saddleback Amphiprion polymnus and Tomato Clownfish Amphiprion frenatus. Journal of Aquatic Animal Health. Published online 7Sept2020. doi:10.1002/aah.10114
    • Koda SA, Subramaniam K, Pouder DB, Yanong RP, Waltzek, TB. 2019. Phylogenomic characterization of red seabream iridovirus from Florida pompano Trachinotus carolinus maricultured in the Caribbean Sea. Archives of Virology 164 (4): 1209-1212.
    • LaDouceur EEB, Cartoceti, AN, St. Leger J, Holder K, Yanong RP, Kim R. 2019. Endocardiosis in Tetras (Family Characiformes). Journal of Comparative Pathology 171: 19-23.
    • Patrick G, Tarnecki AM, Rhody N, Schloesser R, Main K, Yanong R, Francis-Floyd R. Disinfection of almaco jack (Seriola rivoliana Valenciennes) eggs: Evaluation of three chemicals. Aquaculture Research 2019; 00:1-9.
    • Pomaranski EK, Griffin MJ, Camus AC, Armwood AR, Shelley J, Waldbieser GC, LaFrentz BR, García JC, Yanong R, Soto E. 2019. Description of Erysipelothrix piscisicarius sp. nov., an emergent fish pathogen, and assessment of virulence using a tiger barb (Puntigrus tetrazona) infection model. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology.
    • Vorbach BS; Chandasana H; Derendorf H; Yanong RPE. 2019. Pharmacokinetics of oxytetracycline in the Giant Danio (Devario aequipinnatus) following bath immersion. Aquaculture, 498:12-16 (pre-print digital available online 2018).
    • Warren MB, Dutton HR, Whelan NV, Yanong RPE, and Bullard SA. 2019. First record of a species of Mermithidae Braun, 1883 infecting a decapod, Palaemon paludosus (Palaemonidae). Journal of Parasitology 105(2): 237-247.
    • Degidio J, Yanong RPE, Ohs CL, Watson CA, Cassiano EJ, Barden K. 2018. First feeding parameters of the milletseed butterflyfish Chaetodon miliaris. Aquac Res. 49:1087–1094.
    • Koda SA; Subramaniam K; Francis-Floyd R; Yanong RP; Frasca Jr. S.; Groff JM; Popov VL; Fraser WA; Yan A; Mohan S.; Waltzek TB. 2018. Phylogenomic characterization of two novel members of the genus Megalocytivirus from archived ornamental fish samples. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 130:11-24.
    • Martony, M, Pouder, D, Yanong, R, Kiryu, Y, Landsberg, JH, Isaza, R, Waltzek, T, Stacy, NI, Giglio, R, Baker, S and Francis‐Floyd, R. 2018. Establishing a diagnostic technique for coelomocentesis in the Long‐Spined Sea Urchin Diadema antillarum. J Aquat Anim Health, 30: 325-331. doi:10.1002/aah.10043
    • Pomaranski EK; Reichley SR; Yanong R; Shelley J; Pouder DB; Wolf JC; Kenelty KV; Van Bonn B; Oliaro F; Byrne B; Clothier KA; Griffin MJ; Camus AC; Soto E. 2018. Characterization of spaC‐type Erysipelothrix sp. isolates causing systemic disease in ornamental fish. Journal of Fish Diseases, 41(1):49-60.
    • Vorbach BS; Wolf JC; Yanong RP. 2018. Odontomas in two long-finned ocellaris clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris). Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation, grant30 (1): 136-139.
    • Degidio J, RPE Yanong, CA Watson, CL Ohs, EJ Cassiano and K Barden. 2017. “Spawning, embryology, and larval development of the milletseed butterflyfish Chaetodon miliaris in the laboratory. North American Journal of Aquaculture 79(3): 205-215.
    • Pomaranski EK, Reichley SR, Yanong R, Shelley J, Pouder DB, Wolf JC, Kenelty KV, Van Bonn, B, Oliaro F, Byrne B, Clothier KA, Griffin MJ, Camus AC, and Soto E. 2017 (online). Characterization of spaC-type Erysipelothrix sp. isolates causing systemic disease in ornamental fish. Journal of Fish Diseases. 10.1111/jfd.12673
    • Vorbach BS, Wolf JC, and Yanong RP. 2017. Odontomas in two long-finned ocellaris clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris). Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation.
    • Griffin, M.J., S.R. Reichley, T.E. Greenway, S.M. Quiniou, C. Ware, D.X. Gao, P.S. Gaunt, R.P.E. Yanong, D.B. Pouder, J.P. Hawke, and E. Soto. 2016. Comparison of Edwardsiella ictaluri isolates from different hosts and geographic origins. Journal of Fish Diseases 39: 947-969.
    • Francis-Floyd, R., Yanong, R., Landsberg, J., Baker, S., Kiryu, Y., Waltzek, T., Pouder, D., Flint, M., Stacy, N., Smolowitz, R., Beck, G., and Sharp, W. (2015). Development of diagnostic protocols for health assessment of long-spined sea urchins, Diadema antillarum, in Florida. Journal of Shellfish Research 34: 630-631.
    • S. B. Fogelson, Yanong, R.P.E., Kane, A., Teal, C.N., Berzins, I.K., Smith, S.A., Brown, C. and Camus, A. 2015. Gross, histological and ultrastructural morphology of the aglomerular kidney in the lined seahorse Hippocampus erectus. Journal of Fish Biology 87:805-813.
    • Bourtis, C.M., R. Francis-Floyd, A. S. P. Boggs, E. A. Reyier, E. D. Stolen, R. P. Yanong, and L. J. Guillette, Jr. 2015. Plasma glucose levels for red drum Sciaenops ocellatus in a Florida estuarine fisheries reserve. Florida Scientist. Vol 78. No. 2. P. 88-93.
    • Gardner, P.G., T.K. Frazer, C.A. Jacoby and R.P.E. Yanong. 2015. Reproductive biology of invasive lionfish (Pterois spp.). Frontiers in Marine Science 2:7. [doi:10.3389/fmars.2015.00007]