Aquarium Sciences & Animal Care URE

Internship Mentor: Amanda Felix

Fish & Invertebrate Department URE students should have an interest in all aspects of the science of caring for public aquarium exhibits. Interns will gain hands-on experience and knowledge of what the daily routine is of an Aquarium Biologist. As Aquarium Biologists at an AZA-accredited facility, we are constantly improving our animal care and breeding techniques. The Aquarium currently breeds over 10 different species of fish and invertebrates, including jellies, cleaner shrimp, and seahorses. Daily duties for URE students will include cleaning exhibits and behind-the-scenes areas, preparing food and feeding, testing water quality parameters, maintaining life support systems, making exhibit/animal observations and keeping accurate records.This URE will focus on aquarium exhibit maintenance and requires the completion and presentation of an independent research project that will explore questions centered around fish or invertebrate aquaculture techniques, animal enrichment and welfare, or live food culturing procedures. Applicants must be able to lift 40 pounds and be able to tolerate the flora, fauna and humidity of southwest Florida. Applicants should expect to spend the majority of the workday walking, standing, bending, squatting, crouching, and lifting. This internship will involve climbing and working from ladders, as well as working with wet hands, feet, and clothes every day.

This program deals primarily with bony fishes (teleosts), sharks and stingrays, and invertebrates (including corals, jellies, shrimp, octopus, and cuttlefish). The Fish and Invertebrate Department does NOT work with sea turtles or marine mammals.