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!