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Dr. Jerri Bartholomew

524 Nash Hall

John L. Fryer

Salmon Disease Lab

Lab Manager: 

Ruth Milston Clements





HISTORY:  The John L. Fryer Salmon Disease Laboratory (SDL) is a regional fish disease facility dedicated to the study of organisms infectious for salmonids and other species of freshwater fish.  The laboratory is named for Dr. John L. Fryer, who pioneered the fish disease research program at Oregon State University.  The SDL was constructed through a grant from the Bonneville Power Administration with matching funds from OSU.

FACILITY The 9,000 square foot facility is supplied with specific-pathogen free fresh water at an ambient temperature of 12.8 ºC.  The water is UV sterilized to eliminate pathogens, and effluent is treated with chorine to prevent the escape of any pathogens.

Wet Laboratory: 

  • The Stock Area has 49 tanks of various sizes from three to twelve feet in diameter for stock fish and experiments not involving infectious agents.
  • The Experimental Area is a flexible design, and currently has 128 one hundred-liter tanks, 120 twenty-five liter tanks, and 18 thirty gallon aquaria for zebrafish research.  User fees are in effect for the various size tanks.
  • Heated and Chilled Water.  Temperature units can be programmed to deliver heated water from 13-28ºC, making this laboratory positioned for studies on the effect of climate change on aquatic organisms.  Temperature controls can also be programmed to replicate diurnal temperature fluctuations, allowing researchers to closely emulate natural conditions.  The laboratory also has some capacity for chilling water below ambient temperature.
  • Isolation/Quarantine Lab.  Provides an area to work with non-endemic aquatic organisms and pathogens.  The isolation room has over 300 square feet of climate-controlled space for specialized studies, shelves and racks for tubs holding animals, twenty-four 25 liter tanks and a separate necropsy room. 

Dry Laboratory:

Other areas of the SDL include a necropsy room, a multi-user laboratory space (with microscopes, centrifuges, incubators and other basic laboratory equipment), office space and a conference room/library. 




salmon swim upstream





The SDL is supported by the OSU Department of Microbiology and the OSU College of Science.  The facility has recently received funding for an upgrade.  The funds (committed by the OSU Sustainability Office, Research Office, College of Agricultural Sciences, College of Science, Department of Microbiology, and the Department of Veterinary Medicine) will supply heated and chilled water between 5°C and 30°C to all indoor experimental tanks, allowing research on warm-water aquatic species and ecological and climate change questions.  We are in the early planning stages of the upgrade and hope for it to be completed in time for a 25th Anniversary Celebration in Spring 2015!