28 June 2012

Farewell to David Vaughan

Two Oceans Aquarium
David Vaughan (left) at the PAAZAB gala dinner in May 2011 with Bernard Harrison himself. Photo courtesy Vee Naidoo/National Zoological Gardens of South Africa

Two Oceans Aquarium Senior Aquarist/Researcher David Vaughan left the Two Oceans Aquarium this month to join Amanzi Biosecurity in Hermanus. David was the Two Oceans Aquarium’s aquatic animal health researcher. He conducted research into various fish parasites and other health issues affecting aquatic animals at the Aquarium. David’s work at the Aquarium will leave a long legacy of scientific excellence. David’s sense of humour will be remembered for a long time, too.

During 2010, the International Year for Biodiversity, David discovered no less than four parasitic species – new to science – right here at Two Oceans Aquarium. Among his discoveries was a tokoloshe!

In May, David received a prestigious accolade from the African Association of Zoos and Aquaria (PAAZAB) – The Bernard Harrison and Friends Award for Best Professional Development – for his work in aquatic parasite research. Prestigious parasites indeed.

David has also contributed many popular posts to our blog. He asked hard-hitting questions in “Plankton in trouble?” and “Are we trading our carbon footprint for a mercury one?”

About David

Two Oceans Aquarium Curator Michael Farquhar wrote this memo to staff about David’s departure.

“Dear all

“It is with regret that I received David Vaughan’s resignation from his position as Senior Aquarist/Researcher in the Curatorial Department.

“David started at the Two Oceans Aquarium in 1997 after Dr Pat [Two Oceans Aquarium Managing Director Dr Patrick Garratt] found him selling sandwiches across the road. He started as a junior aquarist and was finally promoted to Aquarist 2 in charge of Quarantine.  David decided to join uShaka, Durban in 2003 to help with the mammoth task of moving SeaWorld, but luckily for us he decided to return to the fairest Cape in September 2005 as a Senior Aquarist in charge of Aquatic Animal Health at the Two Oceans Aquarium.

“Since then he has completed a BSc Honours degree and then an MSc at the University of the Western Cape and he has produced a string of peer reviewed scientific publications on a variety of fish parasites. He has become one of the South African authorities in the fish parasite field and, not surprisingly, has now been approached to work with Dr Anna Mouton at Amanzi Biosecurity in Hermanus. This company consults widely to the aquaculture industry in South Africa on issues affecting the health of the cultured species.

“We wish him success in his future endeavours and thank him for the commitment that he has shown to the Two Oceans Aquarium during this time.

“David is well liked among the staff and has always kept us entertained with all his jokes and antics and I think I speak for everyone when I say we will miss him.

Regards, Michael Farquhar”

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