Hello there, my name is Jen. I am a Senior Biologist here at Newport Aquarium. Thank you for joining me for this #TakeoverTuesday.
I started out at Newport Aquarium 13 years ago as a diver in the tunnel tanks and as a dive show presenter! Most of our divers are volunteers through the WAVE Foundation.
Divers receive special training on how to safely interact with the fascinating aquatic animals who call this place home. After 4 years of diving I joined the staff as a part time presenter/biologist where I worked all around the aquarium. I eventually took on a full time position as a senior biologist where I now work with the animals in the shore gallery, shark tank and anywhere else I am needed.
As a biologist I have the pleasure of working with our loggerhead sea turtles here at Newport Aquarium.
Denver lives in our 385,000 gallon “Surrounded by Sharks” exhibit. Visitors have the chance to get a glimpse of Denver close up as he swims around. Due to medical reasons, Denver will continue to serve as an ambassador animal for his kind, helping to educate visitors about sea turtles, while giving them the opportunity for such a unique interactive experience.
Frank our younger loggerhead sea turtle is here as a part of the North Carolina Sea Turtle Project.
Frank arrived in October of 2016 and weighed only 96 grams (0.2 pounds)! My job is to make sure Frank grows up healthy and strong as he trains for his release back into the ocean in a few months.
Frank just entered the bigger tank in the Shore Gallery. Turtle Tuesday is the perfect day to celebrate his new home. When Frank is big enough he will be released back into the ocean near the Gulf Stream! Stay tuned for our blog posts when we take Frank back out to the ocean, like we did with Shack last year.
While we’re making an impact with sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation, we’re also making a global impact with our Shark Ray Breeding Program and research here at Newport Aquarium. Our dedicated team of biologists has recently published a chapter on Shark Ray Husbandry.
We attribute part of our success in breeding due to their diet. Our four shark rays, Sweet Pea, Scooter, Sunshine and Spike eat only the finest of seafood – it’s restaurant quality!
The shark rays receive lobsters three days out of the week and bony fish two days of the week. Feeding the shark rays lobster is not common practice among many aquariums. Our high quality diets heavily contribute to the health and happiness of our animals.
Thank you for joining me today for #TakeoverTuesday. I hope I helped to spark an interest in these incredible animals, and how important it is to take care of their environment.