Join us all week for National Zookeeper Appreciation Week! We’ll introduce you to a new animal care staff member everyday.
Meet Animal Trainer Vicki Sawyer
Meet Aquarist Sandi Schaefer
Meet Jelly Culturist Rachel Stein
Meet Aquarist Ryan Dumas
Meet Animal Trainer Ellen Riker
Meet Aquarist Evelia Atanacio
Meet Aquarium Supervisor Kerry Dobson
Today, meet aquarist Maxine Montello!
What led you to choose a career working with animals?
Growing up in Maine I have always had a passion for nature. I knew that I would be working with animals in some way or form. While studying biology in undergrad, I became extremely interested in marine biology. I love the true beauty of the ocean and all the little mysteries that come with it.
What is a typical day at the aquarium like?
As an aquarist, we arrive bright and early to check on the animals at the aquarium. Our days are pretty busy between checks, feeds, water quality, cleaning and many other little husbandry tasks. It is our responsibility to ensure that our animals are getting the best care that we can offer.
What’s your favorite exhibit at the aquarium favorite animal?
I love working with the sea turtles and all their tank mates. However, the lorikeet exhibit is awesome way for people to enjoy a hands on experience!!
Do you have a favorite funny/special memory working with an animal or exhibit?
Working at the Aquarium for the past 5 years has really pushed me to increase my knowledge in the field. The minute I began working with our sea turtles I knew that I wanted to continue to work with these magnificent animals. In addition to working at the aquarium I have been obtaining my Master’s degree. My thesis involves observing nesting females on the island of Barbuda (real place, I swear). There is nothing more amazing than experiencing these animals in the wild. I am actually writing this little blog from Barbuda in between sea turtle patrols!!
If you could work with any animal what would it be?
It would be pretty awesome to work with saltwater crocodiles.
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