Staff Profiles - Research Biologist
"Go for it! But get as much experience as you can. If you want to go into the research part of it, study your math, your chemistry and your physics. Learn how to SCUBA dive, learn how to drive a boat. Do as much as you can."
Meet Sue Lisin
Sue's marine research takes her beyond books and even beyond the Monterey Bay Aquarium. She goes SCUBA diving, spends nights at sea on research vessels collecting specimens, works with remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and submersibles and also deals with live animals in the lab and behind the scenes of the aquarium.
Recently, Sue's been researching worldwide fishery stocks and fisheries practices. She's trying to find out which seafood populations are healthy and what types of fishing methods are done in a way that doesn't hurt the environment. The aquarium uses this information to decide what kinds of seafood to buy for our restaurant.
How'd you land a job here?
When Sue was young, her family spent a lot of time outdoors camping and exploring the beach. Sue's love for the outdoors inspired her to follow a career in biology.
Sue graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. Her course of study included classes like Biology, Plant Physiology, Invertebrate Zoology, Oceanography and Kelp Forest Ecology.
"I like having the opportunity to do something that nobody else has ever done before, like working on the Mysteries of the Deep exhibit. You can influence so many people and get so many people excited about what's going on in the world's oceans. I think that's probably the most exciting part about working here."
"In the course of my research on fisheries status, I've learned about so many fisheries around the world that are in decline and it's depressing. But, of course, the good outweighs the bad."
These staff profiles were developed by Samantha Kelley who volunteered at the aquarium while attending high school. Not all the people featured still work here, but the profiles provide a good overview of aquarium careers.