Kailash Bohara Appointed as Extension Specialist, Fish Health in Lonoke for UAPB’s Department of Aquaculture/Fisheries

Kailash Bohara Appointed as Extension Specialist, Fish Health in Lonoke for UAPB’s Department of Aquaculture/Fisheries

Debbie Archer | School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences

Kailash Bohara has been appointed as an Extension specialist of fish health for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff’s Department of Aquaculture/Fisheries. He will be headquartered at the university’s Fish Health and Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Lonoke, Arkansas.

In this position, Bohara is responsible for providing vital laboratory and field services to fish producers. He will work to solve problems related to fish health and disease diagnostics, aquatic weeds, water quality, emerging diseases and hatchery operations. He will also provide farm site visits and other outreach services. 

In addition, Bohara will help develop programs utilizing some of the aquaculture ponds at the UAPB Lonoke farm and provide evidence-based recommendations for Arkansas fish producers. He will also assist the lab director in obtaining extramural funding for translational research activities and in disseminating research findings using different platforms.

As part of his Extension work, Bohara plans to develop disease management strategies such as predicting a fish disease using advanced DNA/RNA-based monitoring techniques at the UAPB fish ponds at Lonoke. This method is referred to as environmental DNA or RNA (eDNA/eRNA) monitoring.

“Pathogens release their genetic materials into their microenvironment and pond water that can be captured to identify disease-causing pathogens even before a disease outbreak,” Bohara said. “This method is being discussed by the World Organization for Animal Health to include fish disease diagnostics. Several other labs in the U.S. are using this method although some limitations exist.”

Before coming to UAPB, Bohara served as a graduate research assistant for Washington State University. In that capacity, he used genetic engineering techniques to develop therapeautic tools in the treatment of fish infected with infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV). 

From 2019 to 2021, he was a graduate research assistant for fish health at UAPB. Bohara worked on multiple fronts in the Fish Health and Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Pine Bluff. He became proficient in fish disease diagnostics, water quality analysis, microbial identifications and cutting-edge fish health research at basic and translational levels. 

He has a master’s degree in aquaculture and fisheries from UAPB and a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Tribhuvan University in Nepal. Since his undergraduate days, he has been involved in fish health and aquaculture research and Extension activities. He worked as an instructor for aquaculture in a government school in Nepal, where he taught high school students aquaculture and agriculture Extension. He also served fish farmers in an outreach capacity.

“We are very fortunate to have Mr. Bohara join our program,” Dr. Grace Ramena, assistant professor and director of fish health and diagnostics at UAPB, said. “He is very smart and is a hard-working scientist whose contributions to fish health research have helped obtain extramural funding from multiple sources, allowing us to grow the fish health program in the Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries.

“He has contributed to many Extension and outreach activities like fish health workshops, fish disease dignostics, fish health inspections and biosecurity demonstration models during his time at UAPB,” she said. “I believe having his talent and energy on our team will allow us to make great achievements in fish health and disease diagnostic areas that will help fish producers and sustain the aquaculture industry.”

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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