Ian A. Gardner

Ian A. Gardner

Canada Excellence Research Chair in Aquatic Epidemiology

University of Prince Edward Island

“The CERC in Aquatic Epidemiology builds on established strengths in population and aquatic health at the Atlantic Veterinary College and UPEI. This chair, together with its supporting team and network, responds to the expanding global demand for healthy fish from healthy aquatic ecosystems.”

― Wade MacLauchlan, president
University of Prince Edward Island


Ian A. Gardner holds a PhD and master’s degree in preventive veterinary medicine from the Davis School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California. He earned his bachelor’s degree in veterinary science from the University of Sydney, and worked in his native Australia as a veterinary officer specializing in pig and poultry diseases. He has served in leadership roles in various professional organizations, including the Association of Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, and the Conference of Research Workers in Animal Disease.

Gardner is internationally recognized for developing methods to assess disease risk in terrestrial and aquatic food animals. These methods have been used in global veterinary and public health activities, and have influenced policies at the United States Department of Agriculture and the World Organization for Animal Health.

Gardner is among the most cited researchers in his field, with more than 200 peer‑reviewed scientific publications in leading journals, such as Preventive Veterinary Medicine, American Veterinary Medical Association, and Veterinary Pathology.

Before becoming the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Aquatic Epidemiology, Gardner was professor of medicine and epidemiology at the Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

Sustainable Aquaculture and Aquatic Ecosystems

As global resources of wild fish are threatened by human activities, aquaculture is becoming an increasingly important source of high‑quality protein for a hungry planet. The current global value of aquaculture is estimated at more than $70 billion, with an annual growth rate of 10 per cent, making it the world’s fastest‑growing food production sector. Cultured fish and shellfish sales in Canada alone are valued at $1 billion per year.

Ian A. Gardner, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Aquatic Epidemiology, enhances Canada’s leadership in this industry by studying aquatic ecosystems and managing diseases in populations of sustainably produced aquatic food animals. Gardner is developing cost‑effective testing strategies and surveillance programs for the prevention and control of diseases, and is investigating disease dynamics and health interactions between farmed and wild fish populations.

Gardner’s research will help aquaculture regulators in Canada make science‑based decisions to maintain healthy food production in our marine environments. It is of utmost importance to Canada’s coastal economies, and strengthens the University of Prince Edward Island’s position as a global leader in aquatic and veterinary epidemiology

Gardner anchors an already successful and proven collaborative team at the university’s Atlantic Veterinary College. With Gardner’s expertise, these researchers are defining aquatic epidemiology, developing a new frontier of study, and providing the knowledge needed to help improve nutrition for people around the world.



Release date

October 11, 2011

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So the goal of my research when I come to PEI will be to actually focus activities on the interaction between healthy fish populations and the environment, with a primary goal of producing healthy fish and healthy communities.

I think the career achievements that I am most proud of, actually relate to the graduate students and the postdocs that I’ve trained that have gone on and taken faculty positions and contributed to science. And probably most importantly, actually impacted science in a way that they can convey that into a policy‑making framework which, really is part of our responsibility as scientists.

Atlantic Veterinary College has exceptionally strong programs in veterinary epidemiology and aquatic health sciences. They have a university president who’s engaged in various parts of activities that are directly related, for example, he was in Montreal providing or leading the presentation of the CERC.

And I think probably the critical issue is to make sure the science that we do is policy and stakeholder relevant and also to have a strong outreach educational component, which I think the other part to this. The public needs to be informed, they need to be engaged in the discussion, they need to be informed about evidence, and about how evidence actually goes into policy development.