Vice President, Collection Planning
With more than 35 years of experience, Tim Binder supervises the Fishes division and registrar’s office as Vice President of Collection Planning at Shedd Aquarium. Binder's unique expertise in both fishes and marine mammal husbandry makes him a trusted resource for counsel on animal transports, acquisitions, strandings and rehabilitations. In 2012, Binder was part of a team of marine mammal husbandry experts from leading U.S. aquariums that provided around-the-clock intensive care to a newborn beluga whale calf stranded in Bristol Bay, Alaska. This was only the second time such a rescue had been attempted at a North American zoological facility.
Before joining Shedd in 2009, Binder was Director of Husbandry at the Georgia Aquarium, where he supervised the fishes, marine mammals, birds and animal health divisions. He helped assemble the team that successfully opened the new aquarium with a fully stocked collection in more than 8 million gallons of exhibit space. To accomplish this significant task, Binder drew upon his expertise to move several never-before-transported animals to Atlanta, including whale sharks and the aquarium’s first manta ray, Nandi.
Binder previously served as the Vice President of Zoological Operations at Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut, where he supervised the departments of fishes, marine mammals, birds, laboratory, facilities and stranded-animal rescue and rehabilitation. He also oversaw the animal side of a $53 million expansion and renovation of the aquarium. Before that he was a co-owner of Marine Life Aquarium in Rapid City, South Dakota. Binder also has assisted zoo and aquarium facilities in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa with animal transports and developing staff training and husbandry advancements for their collections.
A veteran of countless rescue and rehabilitation efforts, Binder is a valued resource for aquatic animals in need. He has been featured in several documentaries, including the 2000 documentary Whale Rescue: Stranded Friends, which tied for Best Independent Film in the 2001 International Wildlife Film Festival awards for its portrayal of the successful rescue, rehabilitation and return to the wild of two juvenile pilot whales.
Binder is a professional fellow in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, where he serves on the annual conference committee. He is an active member of the International Marine Animals Trainer's Association, the International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine and the Society for Marine Mammology.