Spotted Lagoon Jellyfish

Our Experts

National Aquarium Experts

With close to 20,000 animals from more than 700 species, National Aquarium is an amazing and informative journey through the wonders of our aquatic world. It isn’t just animals, though, that make us who we are. Our on-staff experts are key to not only our day-to-day operations, but also to our successes outside our aquarium walls as we work to inspire conservation of the world's aquatic treasures.

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John Racanelli
Chief Executive Officer

A passionate advocate for the ocean, John Racanelli serves as chief executive officer of the National Aquarium, where he immerses himself in pursuing the Aquarium’s nonprofit mission to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures. Learn More

Jennifer Dittmar

Jennifer Dittmar
Manager of National Aquarium Animal Rescue

As a leader on our National Aquarium Animal Rescue team, Jenn has a wide range of job responsibilities! Anything and everything — from traveling up and down the Atlantic coast for stranding events to managing volunteer feeding schedules. Learn More

National Aquarium - Laura Bankey

Laura Bankey
Director of Conservation

As the Director of Conservation, Laura works with our conservation staff to prepare for field events like tree plantings, coastline cleanups and more to restore vital wildlife habitats. Learn More

National Aquarium - Sarah Elfreth

Sarah Elfreth
Government Affairs Director

As the Government Affairs Director, Sarah advocates for the Aquarium’s mission at the local, state and federal government levels. Learn More

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Heather Doggett
Director of Visitor Programs and Staff Training

As the Director of Visitor Programs and Staff Training here at the Aquarium, I get to really delve deeply into shaping a positive and informative experience for our guests. Learn More

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Jack Cover
General Curator

As the general curator, Jack's role is to ensure that our living animal collections are thriving and diverse, to best exhibit the beauty of the wild habitats we represent here at the Aquarium. Learn More

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John Seyjagat
Curator of Australian Exhibits

As curator of the Australian exhibits, John's daily tasks include managing the exhibit staff and making sure all of our animals are healthy and happy! Learn More

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Allison Ginsburg
Acting Curator of Marine Mammals

As the acting curator of marine mammals, Allison oversees the enrichment and health of our colony of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins! Learn More

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Ken Howell
Curator of Rain Forest Exhibits

As the curator of rain forest exhibits, Ken starts his day early with an exhibit walkthrough to make sure everything is running smoothly. Learn More

Leigh Clayton

Leigh Clayton
Director of Animal Health

As the Director of Animal Health, a typical day for me includes overseeing any necessary animal procedures, checking on the animals, and dealing with any emergency cases that arise. Learn More

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Holly Bourbon
Curator of Large-Fish Exhibits/Diving Safety Officer

As the curator of large-fish exhibits, Holly's day-to-day responsibilities include managing our staff of aquarists and making sure that all of the animals under our care are doing well! Learn More

Jennifer Dittmar

Tj Tate
Director of Sustainable Seafood Program

As director of the National Aquarium's sustainable seafood program, Tj Tate is responsible for developing education programs to create awareness around seafood options, working to expand those choices and exploring enhancement opportunities associated with sustainable local aquaculture. Learn More