Cheryl Mell

Senior Vice President, Global Field Expeditions/Conservation Ambassador

Cheryl Mell is the senior vice president of global field expeditions/conservation ambassador for the John G. Shedd Aquarium. She leads the aquarium’s initiative to provide mission-based travel opportunities, both domestic and foreign, to serve educators, government officials and other supporters as well as Shedd’s trustees, donors and members. As the conservation ambassador connecting the animals in our care with their counterparts in the wild, she works closely with Shedd’s expert staff to identify meaningful opportunities both locally and around the globe.

Mell received her Bachelor of Science degree in biology and marine science in 1989 and a Master of Science in education, biology and secondary education in 1991 from the University of Miami, Florida. She has more than 18 years of experience in museums, science and education. She started working for Shedd Aquarium in 1991. Since then she has started Shedd’s teen programs, community efforts and teacher programs, and helped grow Shedd's conservation awareness and sustainability efforts. Mell has also conducted numerous student, staff and professional development seminars, and many hands-on workshops to help Shedd connect people to the living world. She serves on the board of a regional NGO and has presented and is an active committee member for local, state and national organizations.

Mell has a keen interest in aquatic conservation, specifically the role that zoos and aquariums can play not only in fieldwork and research, but ultimately in public awareness. She believes strongly that these organizations will play an increasingly important role by reaching people with messages of conservation, and inspiring greater stewardship of the natural world. Mell has been to all seven continents and loves scuba diving, kayaking and being outdoors.


Cheryl Mell, SVP of Global Field ExperiencesMy favorite animals are the garden eels in Wild Reef. As a diver, I can tell you that seeing them in the wild can be tricky: They duck down into the sand very fast. At Shedd, you have the opportunity to see them fully and at eye level. Garden eels are very cool.

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