Open 9 am - 5 pm
Dr. Caryn Poll smiles for a camera in Shedd's Animal Hospital.

Dr. Caryn Poll

Senior Staff Veterinarian

Dr. Caryn Poll is an expert in the healthcare needs of Shedd’s invertebrates, fishes, birds and marine mammals.


D.V.M., Cornell University
B.S., biology, Cornell University

“I love learning something new every day I'm here. That keeps what I do fresh and exciting. I learn something new not only about medicine, but also about the fascinating life histories of the cool critters I have the pleasure of working with.”

Dr. Caryn Poll provides on-site and on-call preventive, urgent and emergent care to more than 1,500 species, communicating diagnostic plans and results with the animal care and curatorial staff. She also conducts and advises on a variety of research projects on exotic animal medicine and biology at Shedd and elsewhere. She oversees Shedd’s veterinary preceptorship program, training veterinary students from the United States and abroad in aquatic animal medicine. She enjoys working with the resident veterinarians in the Illinois Zoological and Aquatic Animal Residency and is also is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Illinois. In addition to her work at the aquarium, Dr. Poll is a subject matter expert and peer reviewer for many academic journals. She was a founding member of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquarium's Veterinary Advisory Committee. She enjoys sharing her knowledge through presentations and publications that have covered topics including amphibian wound care, electric eel medicine and sea star radiography.

Dr. Poll received her Bachelor of Science degree in biology at Cornell University with a concentration in neurobiology and behavior. She did graduate work in biology at Long Island University, researching visual acuity in Pacific walruses at the New York Aquarium. She completed her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree and postdoctoral internship in small animal surgery and medicine from Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Poll also completed a second postdoctoral internship in aquatic animal medicine at the National Aquarium in Baltimore.