Alex Primus, Ph.D.

Aquatic Animal Veterinarian

Research Areas

  • Fish Health
  • Integrative & Comparative Biology
  • Sustainable Aquaculture
  • Ecosystem Health


  • B.A., Biology, Carleton College
  • Ph.D., Zoology, University of Texas at Austin
  • D.V.M., Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota

Professional Activities

  • American Fisheries Society – Fish Health Section & Fish Culture Section (member)
  • American Veterinary Medical Association (member)

University Affiliations

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Veterinary Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota

Dr. Alex Primus joined the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute team as an Aquatic Animal Veterinarian in early 2021. He was originally trained as a comparative invertebrate embryologist in which he integrated aspects of cell, molecular, developmental, and evolutionary biology to address questions related to the evolution of invertebrate animal life forms. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship in comparative genomics, he decided to pursue a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine with the hope of using his prior training and experience to contribute to the relatively small but emerging area of veterinary medicine focused on fish health.

After obtaining his veterinary degree, Alex began his career as a fish health professional working for a fish vaccine R&D group in Canada where he wore several hats including that of site veterinarian, study director, and animal welfare representative. He then joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine (U of M, CVM) where he focused on fish health through research, diagnostics, extension, and teaching. His research activities at the U of M were diverse and included projects related to infectious disease, disease prevention, microbial communities of fish and their culture environment, and the impacts of contaminants on wild fish populations.

Selected Publications

Deere J, Moore S, Ferrey M, Jankowski MD, Primus A, Convertino M, Servadio JL, Phelps NBD, Hamilton, MC, Chenaux-Ibrahim Y, Travis DA, Wolf TM. 2020. Contaminants of emerging concern in aquatic ecosystems utilized by Minnesota tribal communities: Characterizing their distribution. Sci Total Environ. 724:1 – 14.

Wolf TM, Miller P, Primus A, Travis DA. 2019. Aquatic disease risk analysis: Applications for the conservation and management of freshwater mollusks. Freshwater Mollusk Biology and Conservation. 22:90–97.

Padhi SK, Tolo I, McEachran M, Primus, A, Mor SK, Phelps NBD. 2019. Koi herpesvirus and carp oedema virus: Infections and coinfections during mortality events of wild common carp in the US. J Fish Dis. 42:1609–1621.

Jimenez DF, Ibarra R, Artacho P, Primus AE, Tello A. 2018. Prolonging Azamethiphos bath increases the effectiveness of field treatments against Caligus rogercresseyi in Atlantic salmon in Chile (Salmo salar). Aquaculture. 493:186-191.

Mor SK, Phelps NBD, Ng TFF, Subramaniam K, Primus A, Armien AG, Mccann R, Puzach C, Waltzek TB, Goyal SM. 2017. Genomic characterization of a novel calicivirus, FHMCV-2012, from baitfish in the USA. Arch Virol. 162(12):3619-3627.

Cornwell ER, Primus A, Wong PT, Anderson GB, Thompson TM, Kurath G, Groocock GH, Bain MB, Bowser PR, Getchell RG. 2014. Round gobies are an important part of VHSV genotype IVb ecology in the St. Lawrence River and eastern Lake Ontario. J Great Lakes Res. 40(4):1002-1009.

Soto E, Primus AE, Pouder DB, George RH, Gerlach TJ, Cassle SE, Johnson T, Boyd S, Handsel T, Yanong RP. 2014. Identification of Francisella noatunensis in novel host species French grunt (Haemulon flavolineatum) and Caesar grunt (Haemulon carbonarium). J Zoo Wildl Med. 45(3):727-31.

Tung J, Primus A, Bouley AJ, Severson TF, Alberts SC, Wray GA. 2009. Evolution of a malarial resistance gene in wild primates. Nature. 460(7253):388-391.

Sodergren E, Weinstock GM, …, Primus A, …, Wright R. 2007. The Genome of the Sea Urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. Science. 314:941-952.

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