Reptile & Aquatics

The Reptile and Aquatics team provides the Institute’s research staff with the highest quality laboratory animal care and support services for non-mammalian species.

Research Services 

The Reptile & Aquatics facility works with a wide variety of animal species to support the diverse research being conducted at the Institute. A knowledgeable, experienced, and trained staff provide specialized husbandry and technical services for each species. The facility is fully accredited with AAALAC International and all housing, husbandry practices, and veterinary care for the animals are in compliance with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, and the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, as well as all other institutional, state, and local regulations.

Species currently housed include:

  • Whiptail lizards (Aspidoscelis spp.)
  • Veiled Chameleons (Chamaeleo calyptratus)
  • Zebrafish (Danio rerio)
  • Mexican Tetra (Astyanax mexicanus)
  • Starlet Sea Anemones (Nematostella vectensis)
  • Planaria (Schmidtea spp., Dugesia spp., Phagocata spp., Girardia spp.)
  • Apple Snails (Pomacea canaliculata)

Staff offer a wide variety of technical services based on the needs of the research programs supported. These include colony management, animal identification, breeding, embryo harvest, tissue sampling, genotyping, histology preparation, in vitro fertilization, cryopreservation, and the creation of genetically modified lines.


The Reptile & Aquatics Facility uses the following equipment in its work:

  • Pentair Fish Systems - Single and Multi-Rack Housing
  • Custom-built, Species-Specific Recirculating and Flow-through Housing Systems
  • Ocean Optics Spectrometer
  • Leica DM IL Series Inverted Microscopes
  • Leica Stereomicroscopes with Fluorescence and Microscope Cameras
Team Contact 
Featured Publications 
Baumann DP, Ingalls I. Mexican tetra (Astyanax mexicanus): biology, husbandry, and experimental protocols. In: 1st Edition, L D'Angelo, P de Girolamoeds. Elsevier Inc.; 2022:311-347
Kushawah G, Hernandez-Huertas L, Abugattas-Nunez Del Prado J, Martinez-Morales JR, DeVore ML, Hassan H, Moreno-Sanchez I, Tomas-Gallardo L, Diaz-Moscoso A, Monges DE, Guelfo JR, Theune WC, Brannan EO, Wang W, Corbin TJ, Moran AM, Sanchez Alvarado A, Malaga-Trillo E, Takacs CM, Bazzini AA, Moreno-Mateos MA. [published ahead of print August 10 2020]. Dev Cell. 2020
Peuss R, Zakibe Z, Krishnan J, Merryman MS, Baumann DP, Rohner N.  J Vis Exp. 2019. doi: 10.3791/59334.
O'Rourke DP, Cox JD, Baumann DP. Nontraditional Species. In: 2nd Edition, RH Weichbrod, GAH Thompson, and JN Norton, eds. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2018:579-596.
Diaz RE, Jr., Anderson CV, Baumann DP, Kupronis R, Jewell D, Piraquive C, Kupronis J, Winter K, Greek TJ, Trainor PA. Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2015;2015:943-949.
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