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Nicole Leier

Senior Aquarist

Nicole Leier is the senior aquarist in charge of exhibits in the Southern California/Baja Gallery at the Aquarium.

She made a groundbreaking achievement in animal care in 2016 when she was able to successfully breed giant sea bass. She spent years researching the species, and after collecting more than 1,000 eggs, she successfully hatched and raised the first juvenile giant sea bass at a public aquarium. She is currently working on training the young fish, which is on exhibit in the Aquarium’s Redondo Canyon exhibit in the SoCal/Baja Gallery.

Her other key areas of expertise include the biology of sharks and rays as well as training and healthcare for these animals. Originally from North Dakota, Leier earned a degree in ecology, evolution, and behavior from the University of Minnesota. She worked at the Omaha Zoo as an aquarist before coming to Aquarium of the Pacific.