National Shell Museum Welcomes New Assistant Aquarist

provided to The Santiva Chronicle

The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum recently welcomed Alex Marino to the Animal Care Team as Assistant Aquarist.

Marino graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology from the University of South Florida in 2021. She then worked locally as a naturalist after completing the Florida Master Naturalist Program – Coastal Systems. While working for Tarpon Bay Explorers, she gained valuable experience caring for mollusks and other local animals in their Touch Tank. She also enjoyed teaching visitors about the importance of mangrove and beach ecology during kayak and cruise tours.

As a Lee County native, Marino took a strong interest in marine life at a young age after spending countless hours boating with her parents and collecting shells along the beaches of Southwest Florida. She enjoys writing, reading, SCUBA diving, identifying shells and Florida flora, and incorporating her love of marine life and shells into art. Her favorite role at the museum is feeding the animals, and her favorite animal in the aquariums is the Flamboyant Cuttlefish.

Visit to learn more about volunteer, career, and internship opportunities.

About the Museum: The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum is a Natural History Museum, and the only museum in the United States devoted solely to shells and mollusks. Its mission is to use exceptional collections, aquariums, programs, experiences, and science to be the nation’s leading museum in the conservation, preservation, interpretation, and celebration of shells, the mollusks that create them, and their ecosystems. Permanent exhibitions on view include the Great Hall of Shells which displays highlights of the Museum’s collection of some 550,000 shells, as well as the Beyond Shells living gallery of aquariums and over 50 species of marine life. For more information on the Museum, please visit or call (239) 395-2233.

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