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At Shedd Aquarium, animals connect you to the living world, inspiring you to make a difference.

Smuggled iguanas tell larger tale of animal trafficking

The two Northern Bahamian Rock Iguanas (Cyclura cychlura) that arrived recently to Shedd Aquarium are familiar faces to me. I’ve dedicated more than 20 years of my life studying the three types (i.e. subspecies) of this species in The Bahamas. During this time, I have been fortunate to work with dedicated individuals and organizations, such…

From Mussels to Crayfish and Gobies: Have the Great Lakes Experienced an “Invasional Meltdown?”

Guest post by Eric Larson, postdoctoral research associate, Shedd Aquarium Not many people have likely heard of Beaver Island, a large, isolated island located far off shore at the northern end of Lake Michigan. Home to roughly 600 permanent residents and accessible only by ferry or small plane, Beaver Island is a well-kept secret of…

A Remote Trip in Search of Bahamian Queen Conch

Guest post by Dr. Andy Kough, research associate, Shedd Aquarium Queen conch, Lobatus gigas, is an iconic but threatened Caribbean species. The Bahamas are one of the last strongholds where conchs are still fished, but populations are in decline. The first step for protecting a species and replenishing its numbers is describing where healthy populations still…

Zebra Sharks: Gentle, Sweet and Disappearing

Guest post by Lise Watson, Wild Reef collections manager, Shedd Aquarium I’ve been passionate about sharks ever since I started working with them in the mid-80s at the beginning of my career. During this time, I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to work with a variety of species of sharks, both in public accredited…

A life-changing experience studying iguanas in the Bahamas

Guest post by Shannan Yates, a student at The College of the Bahamas, who recently attended one of Shedd Aquarium’s field research trips to Andros Island in The Bahamas. In the spring of 2014, I had the opportunity of a lifetime that changed me both professionally and personally. At a conference on Bahamian natural history,…

Arapaima Research Taking New Heights: Aerial Tracking

Guest post by Dr. Lesley de Souza, postdoctoral research associate, Shedd Aquarium For the past two years I have been studying Arapaima movements in the Rewa River drainage and tracking 29 individual Arapaima with Shedd Aquarium. A pattern has emerged highlighting that the majority of these tagged individuals are returning to the same place where they…

Shedd partners to keep species SAFE

Shedd Aquarium has been a safe haven for endangered species for more than 40 years. From the earliest days of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, Shedd – along with local partners the Chicago Zoological Society’s Brookfield Zoo and Lincoln Park Zoo — have made a commitment to conserve threatened and endangered species within our…

Shedd Aquarium Participates in Pioneering Research on Caribbean Coral

Thanks to the pioneering research of Shedd Aquarium’s Dr. Tse-Lynn Loh, we now know that Caribbean coral reefs need an angel(fish). While the dangers to Caribbean reefs are widely known, Dr. Loh’s research, led by Dr. Joseph Pawlik of UNC Wilmington, focused on a largely ignored threat to coral populations: sponges. By studying heavily fished…

Tracking a Group of Groupers

Guest post by Kristine Stump, postdoctoral research associate, Shedd Aquarium The beautiful and iconic Nassau Grouper was once one of the most important fishery species in the wider Caribbean, but due to heavy over exploitation is now scarce in many coral reef ecosystems throughout its native region. As mesopredators, groupers play a vital role in maintaining…

Gar Spotted in the Windy City: First Occurrence of the Primitive Fish

Guest post by Solomon David, postdoctoral research associate, Shedd Aquarium Last week, when colleague Phil Willink showed me photos sent to him by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) I was excited by what I saw; an elongate fish with a toothy snout, like an alligator with fins instead of legs, the tell-tale traits…

Turning Divers into Citizen Scientists

Lindsay Aylesworth is a PhD Candidate with Project Seahorse at the University of British Columbia, Canada. In Thailand, she collaborates with Dr. Tse-Lynn Loh, postdoctoral research associate at the John G. Shedd Aquarium, to investigate how seahorse catch and trade affect their wild populations, which helps to inform seahorse conservation and management. Recently, Lindsay co-authored…

Updates From the North Woods

Guest post by Eric Larson, postdoctoral research associate, Shedd Aquarium Where Am I? I’m working predominantly in Vilas County, Wisconsin out of the University of Notre Dame’s Environmental Research Center (UNDERC), as well as doing some research at the University of Wisconsin’s Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site on Trout Lake. Off the football field,…

Chicago-area college students set sail for hands-on experience in The Bahamas

Guest post by Dr. Kristine Stump, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Shedd Aquarium This spring, I had the pleasure of working with my colleague Rebecca Gericke, Manager of Conservation and Research Programs at the Shedd Aquarium, to engage with college-level students looking to immerse themselves in the wonders of subtropical marine and terrestrial ecosystems. The course, called…

Arapaima Conservation—It’s Happening at the Local Level in Guyana

Guest post by Lesley de Souza, postdoctoral research associate, Shedd Aquarium   The blazing sun of the tropics beats down on my sensitive Chicago winter skin as I motor down the Rupununi River. Arriving at the landing in Rewa Village, I am met with the smiles of familiar faces. I have been doing arapaima research…

Building Capacity for Seahorse Monitoring in Vietnam

Guest post by Nguyen Huu Thien, research assistant Research Institute for Marine Fisheries, Department of Marine Biodiversity and Conservation Haiphong, Vietnam   From February to April this year, I joined Dr. Tse-Lynn Loh, a postdoctoral research associate at Shedd Aquarium, as a field assistant in Vietnam – a major exporter of seahorses – to study…