The Aquatic Animal Health Laboratory opened in 1999. Dr. Laramore has managed the laboratory since 2002. The laboratory specializes in disease diagnosis of shrimp, fish and bivalves. Routine diagnostic procedures include Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) work for the detection of viruses, microbiology for the detection of bacterial diseases and histology for the detection of parasites and diseases of unknown etiology. The laboratory issues health certificates for shrimp farms and hatcheries and for bivalve hatcheries in Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas and Texas and has worked with shrimp farmers in Mexico, Central and South America and throughout the Caribbean. The laboratory also conducts shrimp feed and shrimp viral challenge studies for various farmers and feed manufacturers.
In addition to diagnostic services, Dr. Laramore works closely with Dr. John Scarpa, also in the Department of Aquaculture and Stock Enhancement, on a number of grant funded projects. The health laboratory is utilized to assess the reproductive potential and disease diagnosis of various species of clams and oysters, as part of the overall goal of these various projects. Currently, Dr. Laramore is working with Dr. Scarpa on the Lake Worth Lagoon Oyster Monitoring Program.