What were you doing before joining Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada?
I had recently graduated from Trent University with an Honours Bachelor of Environmental Science and received a diploma in Ecological Restoration from Fleming College. Before Ripley’s I had been working as a Chemical Technologist summer intern for the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, and currently work there still. I also spent a couple summers doing biological control in the lakes around the Kawarthas, which was very interesting! We were so called “weevil hunters” and bred a type of aquatic insect called a weevil to help mitigate an invasive aquatic plant population!
Favourite aquatic animal in the aquarium?
I love the arctic graylings! They have beautiful colouring, can be found around Canada, but aren’t as popular as other animals in the aquarium. I also enjoy sitting in front of the Living Coral tank and watching this variety of animals live their lives! This tank is also very vibrant in colours and has a lot of different things in it. The best way to really see a lot of the animals here is to watch and learn who pops out of the coral!
Best part about working at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada?
The ability to make long-lasting impressions on all our guests about aquatic environments and conservation – especially with youth! I think it’s very important to be educated about what’s going on with the environment around the world, and what we can do to help! I especially love giving the Rainbow Reef dive shows! It’s my favourite time to tell a lot of guests about the tropical fish, coral reefs and conservation!
Any other fun facts about you?
I’ve spent a lot of time snorkeling in the lakes in Ontario with a biological control program, which were some of the most fun days of my life! Getting to see these underwater forests and the cities of different types of fish and turtles really struck a chord in my heart! I definitely recommend spending as much time as possible exploring our under water habitats.
What made you decide you wanted to pursue a career in Education/Marine biology?
Since I could remember, I’ve always had a passion for wildlife, and I believe it stemmed from my family’s tradition of visiting the Toronto Zoo every boxing day! Much like Ripley’s, these visits fed my curiosity about animals and made me want to pursue a lifestyle to study and educate others about them. Once I started pursuing this dream I was definite that it was right for me! I’ve always been interested in anything to do with environmental research, conservation, aquatic habitats, and all kinds of animals!