As the manager of marine mammal training, I oversee the training, enrichment and health of our colony of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins! It’s a privilege to be able to work with such intelligent and amazing creatures every day. From playtime to extensive research projects, no two days with our dolphins are the same! Outside of work, I love to hike and travel with my family and two dogs.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I always wanted to work with animals in some capacity, originally I wanted to be a vet.
What did you study in school?
How did you get started in your field of work?
I was lucky enough to have an internship out of high school at a research facility in Hawaii working with renowned animal behaviorist Dr. Lou Herman. From there I received a BS in psychology. Upon graduation I interned at 2 different facilities and was hired soon after.
At the Aquarium
How long have you been at the Aquarium?
I love what I do because...
I have the opportunity to learn from these amazing animals every day and in turn share this wealth of knowledge I have been privileged to gain with all of our guests. After 17 years in the field, I am always learning things and constantly being surprised and challenged.
Most memorable moment at the Aquarium
Watching the birth of Foster from the underwater viewing windows. I have seen many calves born from the surface but never from an underwater viewing situation such as we are privileged to have here.
Dolphin of course! They are so similar to us in the their sense of community and building of relationships as well as in their understanding of advanced concepts, however they live in a completely different environment then we could ever dream of.
Three things you never leave home without?
- Cell phone
- Pictures of my family
If you could have lunch with anyone (alive or dead), who would it be?
BF Skinner, as he is considered the father of operant conditioning which is the method we use to work with our animals in training.
One lesson you wish you'd learned earlier in life?
It is ok to make mistakes as it is all part of the learning and growing process. We learn by our success as well as our failures.
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