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Seaweek 2011: Spotlight on Marine Science

Marine Scientist Profile:

Who am I?
My Name is Amy and I am an Aquarist at Sydney Aquarium. I am a Keeper of marine animals, and provide daily care and maintenance for the tanks and animals at the Aquarium.

I work for and my work / research involves:
I work for Sydney Aquarium, part of the Sydney Attractions Groups.

My work at the Aquarium is different everyday but my basic job is to take care of captive marine animals and their tanks. This involves feeding them, providing enrichment and in some cases training, as well as maintaining a healthy environment. Myself and the other aquarists also dive in our tanks nearly every day to feed the animals and clean the tanks. Our focus is to provide interesting displays so that people can come to visit the Aquarium and meet our beautiful marine life up close and personal.

How does my work relate to marine conservation?
My work helps with marine conservation by creating awareness within the general public about our marine life and their environments. I have always believed that to truly be passionate about helping with conservation a person needs to first appreciate how amazing an animal is.

By providing a place for people to meet marine animals and ‘fall in love’ with them, we can help create thousands of passionate conservationists. We help to educate people on many issues while they are here at the aquarium, so they leave with a greater understanding and appreciation of our marine world. Additionally, I have been lucky enough to be involved in captive breeding and release programs with various animals we keep here at the Aquarium, including seahorses and sharks.

Things I like about my job:
There is so much I love about my job! I believe I am definitely one of the lucky ones to be working with amazing marine creatures every day – there is never a dull moment working with animals! I really enjoy the diving we do here, being underwater with the animals is amazing and hand feeding our grey nurse sharks is definitely one of my favourite parts of the day. By taking care of our animal’s everyday, I get to see and do some amazing things that not many people ever experience.

What inspired you to consider a career in marine science?
I have always been passionate about marine animals and have lived by the beach my whole life. My Dad was probably the biggest inspiration for me in all things marine. He nurtured my love of marine animals and was always taking me to the beach and showing me all the different critters on the rocky shores.

I remember many weekends spent turning over rocks in the rockpools, with Dad pointing out what was what and teaching me all kinds of things about what we found. We also kept a fish tank at home and used to spend hours obsessing over our pet fish!

Do you have a favourite marine creature (if so why)?
The octopus is a clear winner as favourite for me. These little guys, in my eyes, are the most fascinating marine creatures I have ever met. Their intelligence is amazing, and their curious and mischievous natures make them very fun animals to take care of and meet in the ocean. They are so different and unlike any other animal, except of course their relatives the cuttlefish and squid – who I love also. All these guys can change colour and patterns in the most beautiful way and their antics are constantly providing me with funny stories to tell my friends.



Amy with a dugong at the Sydney Aquarium
Image from Sydney Morning Herald

Amy in the field

Amy at Sydney Aquarium



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