Mark Fast (2012)

Never a dull moment out on the water!

Mark Fast


Science Atlantic Outstanding Alumnus, 2015

Ancienne étudiante distinguée 2015 de Science Atlantique


Dr. Mark Fast, a former undergraduate science honours student at Dalhousie University, has been inducted into the Science Atlantic Student Hall of Fame for being an exceptional scientist and science communicator.

Mark has attended and/or presented at five Science Atlantic (formerly APICS) Aquaculture and Fisheries and Biology Conferences, first as a student in 2000, 2001, 2002, and since 2010 as a faculty member. In 2000, he received second place for best graduate student presentation as well as the Moore Clark Award. In 2001, he took home third place in the graduate student presentation category.

Attending these conferences helped mark not only academically, but also provided him with great networking opportunities. His favorite memory of the conference as a student was getting to know his supervisors and their colleagues at the APICS social events.

Mark graduated in 1999 from Dalhousie with an honours Co-op degree, majoring in marine biology and minoring in oceanography. In 2001, he earned his MSc in Anatomy and Physiology from the Atlantic Veterinary College at UPEI. He then went back to Dalhousie for his PhD in biology, graduating in 2006.

After achieving his PhD, Mark worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the NRC-IMB (Institute for Marine Biosciences) fish health laboratory. He then became an Assistant Professor in Aquatic Diseases and Immunology in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University in New York, a position he found through an advertisement in a fish health community list-serv.

Dr. Mark Fast performing lab research.

In 2010, Mark returned to Atlantic Canada, and from 2010-2015 held the Novartis Research Chair in Fish Health as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology and Microbiology at the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC). In 2015, he began his current position of Associate Professor and Elanco Research Chair in Fish Health at the AVC. This year, he has been awarded with the Zoetis Award for Research Excellence. The award is presented to a faculty member to foster innovative research which helps to advance their profession, by recognizing outstanding research effort and productivity.

One thing that Mark likes to tell students in university is that it is so important “to get laboratory experience of multiple kinds as early as possible, either through summer jobs or through volunteering during the school semester.” The earlier on you can begin to develop your technical skills, he says, the better. We’re recognizing Mark for his science accomplishments, but he is also proud to say that he was once recognized as an Ontario all-star baseball player when he was in public school.

We are pleased to induct Dr. Mark Fast into our Student Hall of Fame for his outstanding achievements in science, and his committed participation in Science Atlantic Conferences.