At an early age, I developed my interest in marinelife and decided to be a biology scholar. Over ten years, as a hobby, I havecultured cold-water species, and tropical water species.

Through this, I wasable to maintain fish under adequate water condition and observed their behaviorunder different stress factors. Furthermore, I acquaint myself with theirbiology and this has enhanced my knowledge about aquatic life.  During outbreaks, I gained a stronginterest in diseases as I monitored behavioral interactions between fish andtheir pathogen agents. This offered me essential information about how shouldassess the clinical signs observed in an animal and diagnose the problem.

Afterwards, I would often read up on how different pathogens interact withanimals, how immune system response to disease and how possibly the pathogencan occurred again. Additionally, I kept myself updated with new inventionsabout different kinds of treatments to cure diseases. As an undergraduatestudent, I majored in microbiology at Umm-al Qura University at Saudi Arabia.Through lectures and practical work, my interest towards aquatic pathobiologygrew significantly. I learned a lot about different kinds of pathogens and howthey react depending on the condition of the water quality, nutrients level,suspended solids, oxygen level, temperature, salinity and pH. At this point, I focusedto specialize in marine microbiology and wanted to further my knowledge bylearning molecular techniques that would maintain the health of an animal. I decided to further my education atthe University of Miami, majoring in aquaculture.

In University of MiamiExperimental Hatchery (UMEH), I was honored to work under dr. Daniel Benettisupervision and my experience and knowledge has been enriched ever since. Igained massive knowledge about high market value species such as Cobia,Mahi-mahi, Florida pompano, Nassau grouper and Japanese flounder. Working on myproject, I learned the advantages and disadvantages of multiple systems,including RAS and flow-through. I observed all portions of the life cycle fromspawning, larval rearing, weaning and broodstock. In all life stages, diseaseis a constant factor. It is able to infiltrate any system and must be addressedaccordingly. I did my thesis on Vibriosis and how they transmitted by livefeeds prior to feed larval rearing where huge mortalities occurred.

I testedtwo antibiotics namely Tobramycin and Minocycline on vibrio species. Sadly,different strains of the bacteria have the potential to break down theantibiotics and gained resistance. At this point, I realized the importance ofusing molecular techniques and using recombinant plasmids for bacteria andrecombinant vaccines for viruses. Those experiences behind as I enjoyed my time during undergraduateand graduate studies has motivated me to apply at University of MarylandBaltimore County (UMBC).

I know first-hand how good the staff and facilitiesare and the Institute of IMET is one of the most reputable and respectedinstitutes of its kind and it would be an honor to continue on to postgraduatestudy there. I feel that previous experiences have provided me the skillsand abilities necessary for postgraduate study. I am very dedicated andprepared to put time into the research work as well as my project. I amconfident I can express such commitment and time management in this project asI do in everyday life.

 In my previouswork, I have found I can work equally well in both team and individualenvironments. I am also responsible and can work in a leadership role, which Ifeel is advantageous for postgraduate study. I am happy to take initiative andget work done without avoiding my responsibilities. 


I'm Katy!

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