Meet Shawn Fauth, Aquarist, Australia: Wild Extremes
How long have you been at the Aquarium?
I have been employed at the National Aquarium for five years, first as a husbandry aide in Fishes, and then in Jellies, followed by a horticulture aid in Australia and finally my current position as an Aquarist in Australia.
What interested you in pursuing your current career path?
I have always had an interest in fish. I wasn’t sure exactly what direction I wanted to go with that interest until I got an internship here at our Animal Care Center. I decided that I loved the job and wanted to make it a career, so I stuck around as a volunteer until I was hired as an Aide.
Briefly describe your day-to-day:
My day-to-day routine revolves around taking care of the fish collection in the Australia exhibit. I prepare fish diets, feed, monitor water quality and fish health, and ensure that the fish have the proper environment to thrive. Most of my day consists of cleaning tanks and scrubbing algae.
What’s your favorite Aquarium memory?
My favorite Aquarium memory is when I successfully raised my first clutch of mouth almighty, a fish that incubates its eggs in its mouth. I later gave a presentation on my experience raising this species at the regional AAZK conference at National Zoo.
Tell us about the next big project you’re working on.
My next big project will be training the lungfish to come to a target and eventually into a stretcher for medical purposes.
What’s your favorite animal?
I really like all of my animals, but if I had to choose a favorite, it would be a tie between the lungfish, barramundi, and Rocky, our freshwater whipray.
Check back tomorrow to meet another member of our animal care team!