The National Aquarium and its Animal Care and Rescue Center are temporarily closed in response to COVID-19. Help support us while we are closed by Donating Today.

Keeper Week: Amanda Gensemer

The Aquarium is home to an astonishing array of plants and animals. In celebration of National Zookeeper Appreciation Week, we’re introducing you to some of the talented team that keeps our living collection healthy and thriving!

Published July 18, 2016


Meet Amanda Gensemer, Herpetologist, Upland Tropical Rain Forest

How long have you been at the Aquarium?

I've been at the Aquarium for five years.

What interested you to pursue your current career path?

I’ve always loved animals, but especially amphibians and reptiles. After doing an internship here when I was in college, I knew that I wanted to be a zookeeper and ended up back here a few years later.

Briefly describe your day-to-day.

The mornings are the busiest time of our day. Typically, I mist, trim the plants and feed the Hidden Life gallery. I also feed the tortoises in the rain forest before we open. I take care of the amphibians who are used for education programs and the cricket colony that feeds our poison dart frogs.

What’s your favorite Aquarium memory?

Finding a hatchling turtle in the Amazon River Forest exhibit.

What’s your favorite animal?

That’s a hard question, because I have many favorites, but if I had to choose my favorite animal that I work with it would be the yellow-footed tortoise.

What's the best part of your day?

I really enjoy working in the Hidden Life gallery, taking care of the plants and animals that live in them, especially looking for the frogs every morning.

What advice do you have for someone hoping to pursue a career similar to yours?

The best advice I could give is to volunteer or apply for internships with a zoo or aquarium. It will give you experience and help you decide if it’s the right career for you.

Stay tuned as we highlight more staff for National Zookeeper Appreciation Week! 

Previous Post

Featured Stories

Vampire squid Rollin' In The Deep

For generations, humankind has referred to outer space as the final frontier. But what about the unknown depths of our own planet?

Read the full story

octo header No Hands? No Problem: Tool Use Among Aquatic Animals

Aquatic animals are resourceful—just like humans, when they can’t solve a problem, they can look to the world around them ... and fashion tools!  

Read the full story

Related Stories

Keeper Week: Annie Miller

Published July 22, 2016

Keeper Week: Rebekah Miller

Published July 21, 2016