New England Aquarium
  • Fishes
  • Boston, MA, USA
  • Hourly
  • Full Time Regular

The primary responsibility of the Freshwater Gallery Aquarist will include the daily care and upkeep of the Freshwater Gallery in addition to providing support and coverage throughout the Permanent Galleries. The Freshwater Gallery consists of exhibits focused on both local New England aquatic habitats and the Amazon river ecosystem. The diverse array of live planted, multi-taxa exhibits include fish, amphibians, and reptiles (snakes and turtles).

The Aquarist provides the highest standard of animal care and prioritizes the welfare of the animals in our collection. The responsibilities of this position include maintaining all assigned exhibits and support areas (including off-site facilities) and providing proper husbandry for the animal collection. Animals under the Aquarist's care include fish, invertebrates, reptiles, and amphibians and deep knowledge of the biology of these animals is required. The Aquarist will also have a foundational knowledge of aquarium water chemistry and knowledge of the mechanical components of aquarium life support systems. The Aquarist may assist in specimen acquisition, the design and construction of new exhibits and holding systems, quarantines, supporting the activities of Aquarists, Interns, and Volunteers, and performing other related curatorial duties as necessary. The level of the position will be determined based on skills and experience.

New England Aquarium has implemented comprehensive safety protocols for employees and visitors to minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposure. As a member of our team, you will be provided with the training and resources needed to ensure a safe and rewarding experience. In addition, the Aquarium requires all staff to be vaccinated and boosted (when eligible) against COVID-19 unless a reasonable medical or religious accommodation is requested and approved.


This is a full-time regular position offering a comprehensive benefits package. The weekly schedule will be Tuesday through Saturday.


  1. Primarily responsible for the daily care of assigned exhibits, holding systems, support spaces, and life support systems according to the standards set forth by NEAQ as well as AZA.  May help to develop new protocols as appropriate and apply knowledge of aquatic ecosystems and animal biology to advance husbandry techniques as appropriate. 
  2. Makes daily observations of animals for health assessment according to established norms of animals' behavior and appearance.  In conjunction with the Animal Health Department, identifies common diseases for the animals within the collection, establishes appropriate dietary regime, administers medications/supplements, and conducts quarantines. 
  3. Maintains written and electronic records and submits entries via NEAQ's specimen database system TRACKS©.  Typical entries include accessions, dispositions, moves, behaviors, mortalities, and LSS maintenance in accordance with proper husbandry practices and institutional policy. Supports junior staff in proper record keeping and adherence to institutional policy.
  4. Performs routine Animal Welfare assessments and helps to develop appropriate action responses to assure the highest standards of animal care are met.
  5. In conjunction with the Environmental Quality Department, manages water quality and environmental parameters in assigned exhibits and holding tanks.
  6. Applies responsible population management practices in assisting with making recommendations during the annual collection planning exercise, in addition to helping facilitate the acquisition and disposition of animals.
  7. Develops, executes, and adjusts strategies to effectively meet the behavioral needs of assigned animals including enrichment and operant conditioning.
  8. Manages life support systems and participates in the design, upgrade, and installation of such systems.
  9. May need to demonstrate competency as a SCUBA diver, collector, and transport driver.
  10. Provides alternate coverage for other aquarists and is available for cross-training as assigned.
  11. Depending on assignment, may be routinely expected to engage with the public through in-person or virtual presentations.


Minimum Training and Experience

  • Bachelor's degree with a concentration in science preferred.
  • 2 or more years of previous experience (Aquarist II level or higher) maintaining freshwater systems and multi-taxa exhibits.
  • Background knowledge of amphibian and reptile husbandry (and in particular experience with green anacondas), familiarity with Amazonian / South American freshwater fish species, and previous work with live planted exhibits (aquatic and/or terrestrial) are preferred.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Possession of or willingness to acquire an internationally recognized SCUBA diving certification.
  • Ability to obtain Medical Examiner's authorization to SCUBA dive in accordance with NEAQ Diving Program.
  • Valid Driver's License and the willingness to drive a 24' Box Truck.
  • Ability to obtain Medical Examiner's Certificate in accordance with Motor Carrier Safety Regulation (49 CFR 391.41-391.49).
  • Demonstrates general knowledge of natural histories, taxonomic nomenclature of organisms in assigned areas and understands the biological and chemical processes that occur in water filtration systems.
  • Demonstrates broad knowledge of the Aquarium field, including animal husbandry, mechanical systems, collecting techniques, and exhibit design.
  • Demonstrates technical competency in the areas for which they are responsible.
  • Demonstrates ability to work independently, as well as collaboratively.
  • Demonstrates good judgment and strong organizational and problem-solving skills.
  • Demonstrates excellent written and verbal communication and strong interpersonal relationships with colleagues. May be asked to represent their team in various working groups.
  • Demonstrates strong leadership skills and serves as mentor and resource for Assistant Aquarists, Aquarist 1s as well as Aquarium volunteers and interns.
  • May be required to work typical weekend days, some holidays, some nights, and respond to emergencies at all hours.

For more information and to apply online please visit:

New England Aquarium is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and is an Equal Opportunity Employer as defined by the EEOC

New England Aquarium
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