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Photo of Howard Krum HOWARD KRUM

Howard is Department Head, Veterinary Services (Animal Care Laboratory/Marine Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation) at the New England Aquarium in Boston. He is also Clinical Assistant Professor at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine in Grafton, Massachusetts. After earning a B.A. in biology and M.S. in physiology, Howard earned a Veterinariae Medicinae Doctoris from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. He was a Veterinary Intern at the National Aquarium in Baltimore.

Howard believes his position is one of the best career options for people who are interested in both aquatic animals and veterinary medicine. Because so little is actually known, the field is wide open. There is much to be done and it takes a pioneering spirit. "Every single day we do something new -- things that have never been attempted before," he explains. "That's exciting and it is also scary. Rarely do you feel the confidence in your abilities and knowledge like your veterinary counterparts in traditional animal medicine (dogs, cats, cows, etc.)."

Usually once or twice a year Howard does do a procedure that he has done before, but the rest of the time it's all new. "Aquatic animal medicine is definitely for people who want to 'blaze their own trail,' he explains, "and it is definitely not for people who like to have a lot of guidance or who like the same routine each day." What he likes best about his career is the opportunity to combine his interest in basic biology (how animals work on the inside) and medical principles while working with really cool species. As Howard says: "Where else could you work on a sand tiger shark, a Kemp's ridley sea turtle, a sea lion, a dolphin, an anaconda, a penguin and a gold fish -- all in the same day!"

See Howard Krum's answers to Ask the Scientists questions.


Scientific American Frontiers
Fall 1990 to Spring 2000
Sponsored by GTE Corporation,
now a part of Verizon Communications Inc.