Kris Nesbitt

Director, Exhibits

Kris Nesbitt oversees the development and execution of exhibits at the world’s aquarium. Through eye-catching and thought-provoking storytelling, Nesbitt furthers Shedd’s mission of sparking compassion, curiosity and conservation for the aquatic animal world through her expertise in exhibit development.

Nesbitt began her career with Shedd in 1997 as an exhibit developer, combining her passion for creativity, storytelling and culture. In this position she helped create the aquarium’s beloved Amazon Rising exhibit and was instrumental in the reimagination of Shedd’s Abbott Oceanarium, including aiding in the creation of the kid-centric Polar Play Zone. She also contributed to the creation of Jellies, Shedd’s wildly popular special exhibit, and conceptualized the organic garden displays and interpretation that surround the building.

In her current role as director of exhibits, she has helped in the creation of the At Home on the Great Lakes gallery and in the refresh of the Amazon Risingexhibit. During her time at the Shedd Aquarium, Nesbitt also received two American Alliance of Museums Excellence in Label Writing awards for her work in the Polar Play Zone and Jellies exhibits.

Nesbitt has worked as a consultant and contractor with a variety of museums and cultural institutions, including the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Chicago History Museum and Morton Arboretum. She has authored two children’s books: Sokita Celebrates the New Year, winner of the National Association for Multicultural Education, and My Amazon River Day, an Independent Publisher award finalist. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Haverford College in Pennsylvania, as well as a Masters of Arts in Folklore from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Nesbitt also taught writing at the Middle East Technical University in Turkey for a year as a Fulbright Fellow. During her free time, Nesbitt enjoys travel, visiting museums, zoos and aquariums, and sewing.


I love seeing guests — especially kids — light up when they are wowed by an animal at Shedd.

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