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Experts

The Aquarium of the Pacific has a variety of experts available for media interviews on a various topics related to the ocean, marine life, climate, drought, and other environmental issues.

Peter Kareiva portrait

Dr. Peter Kareiva

Dr. Peter Kareiva joined the Aquarium of Pacific in August 2020. He holds a B.A. in zoology, M.S. in environmental biology, and Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology. He is committed to science that engages the public and believes that connecting to nature is the one thing that can overcome the deep political and social divides that plague the nation today.

Nate Jaros 2023 portrait

Nate Jaros

Nate Jaros is the Aquarium’s curator of fishes and invertebrates and leads a team of aquarists who care for all of the fish and invertebrate animals at the Aquarium of the Pacific.

Brett Long portrait

Brett Long

Brett Long is the senior director of birds and mammals at the Aquarium of the Pacific, responsible for the staff who provides care and husbandry of the animals.

Lance Adams portrait with blue background

Dr. Lance Adams

Dr. Lance Adams’ areas of expertise include veterinary care in the zoo and aquarium industry and rehabilitation of various animals, including rescued endangered sea turtles.

Jennie Dean

Jennie Dean

Jennie Dean is serving as the Aquarium’s inaugural vice president of education and conservation. In this role she will amplify and enhance the Aquarium’s work in species conservation and learning for all audiences.

Fahria Qader 2023 portrait

Fahria Qader

Fahria Qader is the director of architecture and is responsible for project management of numerous exhibits, construction, and sustainability projects at the Aquarium of the Pacific.

Emily Yam portrait with blue background bright

Emily Yam

Emily Yam’s key areas of expertise include climate resilience, oceanography, marine science, and data-driven interpretation.

Marilyn Padilla 2023 portrait

Marilyn Padilla

Marilyn Padilla regularly serves as a spokesperson on Aquarium programs and animals for Spanish-language media outlets, including on international, national, and local programs.

Rob Mortensen portrait with blue background

Rob Mortensen

Rob Mortensen’s areas of expertise include marine biology, ocean conservation, horticulture, penguins, sea otters, seals, sea lions, Southern California terrestrial reptiles and birds, and the critically endangered Guam Kingfisher.

Alie LeBeau 2023 portrait

Alie LeBeau

Alie LeBeau is the director of the Aquarium’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Pathway Initiatives, which is a program that seeks to achieve the vision of “STEM for All.”

Jonathan Casey portrait

Johnathan Casey

Johnathan Casey is an assistant curator of fish and invertebrates who manages the Aquarium’s Shark Lagoon and the Southern California Gallery.

Megan Smylie 2023 portrait

Megan Smylie

Megan Smylie is the Aquarium of the Pacific’s sea otter program manager, overseeing both the sea otter habitat and the Aquarium’s partnership in Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sea Otter Surrogacy Program.

Staci Wong portrait with blue background

Staci Wong

Staci Wong is the interpretation manager at the Aquarium of the Pacific. She manages guest experiences at the Aquarium that are facilitated by the education department, including volunteers.

Cassandra Davis 2023 portrait

Cassandra Davis

Cassandra Davis is the manager of volunteer programs at the Aquarium of the Pacific. She works directly with volunteers, scientists, and communities to connect them with ocean science.

Aaron Hovis 2023 portrait

Aaron Hovis

Aaron Hovis is the Aquarium’s manager of quarantine and acquisition, with particular expertise in Southern California fish and invertebrates.

Erin Lundy 2023 portrait

Erin Lundy

Erin Lundy is the conservation coordinator of birds and mammals at the Aquarium of the Pacific.

Alex Bohardt portrait

Alex Bohardt

Alex Bohardt is a senior aquarist focusing on the Aquarium’s tropical Pacific species, including coral reef species and habitats.

Jenifer Burney portrait

Jenifer Burney

Jenifer Burney is a senior aquarist who leads the Aquarium of the Pacific’s cold-water fish and invertebrate culturing program.

Rachel Munson portrait with blue background

Rachel Munson

Rachel Munson is the aquarist in charge of Shark Lagoon at the Aquarium of the Pacific.

Lauren Samarov 2023 portrait

Lauren Samarov

Lauren Samarov is a senior aquarist in the Aquarium’s Southern California Gallery. She specializes in the care and conservation of endangered white abalone.

JJ Soski 2023 portrait

JJ Soski

J.J. Soski is a senior aquarist in the Aquarium’s Northern Pacific Gallery and is the lead for the Aquarium’s bull kelp genetic preservation project.

Josh Wagner 2023 portrait

Josh Wagner

Josh Wagner is a senior aquarist who specializes in sea jelly culture and care.

Alicia Archer portrait

Alicia Archer

Alicia Archer is the education programs manager at the Aquarium of the Pacific and oversees school, teacher, family, and youth programs.

Erin McCombs portrait with blue background

Erin McCombs

Erin McCombs is an education supervisor at the Aquarium with expertise in shark and ray biology and conservation.

Callum Watson 2023 portrait

Callum Watson

Callum Watson is the youth and family volunteer coordinator at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Among the signature programs of his portfolio are the Teen Science Café and Teen Climate Council.

Sara Lesser 2023 portrait

Sara Lesser

Sara Lesser is an education coordinator who manages the Aquarium’s virtual education programming, including virtual field trips and the Online Academy (free online classes).

Jen Runyan 2023 portrait

Jennifer Runyan

Jennifer Runyan is an education supervisor with expertise in plankton, harmful algal blooms, and bioluminescence.

Cristina Hernandez 2023 portrait

Cristina Hernández

Cristina Hernández is a youth volunteer coordinator who works directly with teens to enhance communication and work skills through ocean conservation and as a spokesperson for news interviews, including in Spanish.

To arrange an interview, please contact a member of the PR team:

Director of Public Relations

Marilyn Padilla
(562) 951-1684
mpadilla@lbaop.org

Public Relations Manager

Nicole Sarmiento
(562) 951-3197
nsarmiento@lbaop.org

Communications Manager

Andreas Miguel
(562) 951-1678
amiguel@lbaop.org

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