Senior Staff Veterinarian
Dr. Matt O’Connor oversees the care of 32,000 animals at the aquarium, from mammals to fishes.
In addition to his animal care responsibilities, Dr. O’Connor is a leader in veterinary education, overseeing the aquarium’s teaching partnership with the Illinois Zoo and Aquatic Animal Residency program among Brookfield Zoo, the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and Shedd.
The Chicago-area native has also contributed to a wide spectrum of research and field work. Just before joining Shedd, he was called upon for his expertise on a critically endangered turtle species, hundreds of which were found on the island of Palawan in the Philippines in deplorable conditions by smugglers. His knowledge led to a successful recovery and release effort.
Dr. O’Connor has four years of experience in private practice treating exotic animals, and hespent three years overseeing the care of the 700 species at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium as a resident veterinarian. He holds a Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine Degree from the University of California, Davis. He earned his pre-veterinary and veterinary medicine doctorate degrees from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.