At an early age, I developed myinterest in marine life and decided to be a biology scholar. Over ten years, asa hobby, I have cultured cold-water species, and tropical water species.Through this, I was able to maintain fish under adequate water condition andobserved their behavior under different stress factors. Furthermore, I acquaintmyself with their biology 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, includingRAS and flow-through. I observed all portions of the life cycle from spawning,larval rearing, weaning and broodstock. In all life stages, disease is aconstant 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. The reason I am choosing to continue my studies at theUniversity of Maryland is that I have enjoyed my time during undergraduate andgraduate studies. I know first-hand how good the staff and facilities are, bothin the department and in the university as a whole. I am also aware that theInstitute of IMET is one of the most reputable and respected institutes of itskind and it would be an honor to continue on to postgraduate study there. I feel that past experiences have given me the skills necessaryfor postgraduate study.
I am very dedicated and prepared to put time into thecourse work as well as my project. I am confident I can express such commitmentand time management in this project as I do in everyday life. In my previous work, I have found I can workequally well in both team and individual environments.
I am also responsibleand can work in a leadership role, which I feel is advantageous forpostgraduate study. I am happy to take initiative and get work done withoutavoiding my responsibilities. In terms of my aspirations, I aminterested in developing virology vaccines and would eventually like to work ondiagnosing disease and preventing outbreaks for both wild and captivepopulations. I feel that, in the future, I would most like to work as anacademic doctor for a university.
It is my goal to improve the health ofaquatic animals for both aquaculture and natural systems. It is my hope thatthis program will help me to achieve this goal.