Open 9 am - 6 pm
Staff member Erica Hornbrook stands in front of Shedd's historic bronze doors, her long straight brown hair falling neatly down to her shoulders.

Erica Hornbrook

Senior Director of Animal Care and Sustainability

Erica Hornbrook manages the daily operations of the aquarium galleries, Amazon Rising, Wild Reef and the registrar’s office.


B.S., biology and geology, University of Iowa
Post-graduate work, geology, Bowling Green State University



“I love the tiger stingrays. I think they are so beautiful, and they are also a challenge. Most other freshwater stingray species we know how to breed and what works best for their husbandry. This species we still haven't worked everything out for yet, and I like a challenge and the opportunity to keep learning and growing.”

Erica Hornbrook is an expert in animals from the Amazon region, especially freshwater stingrays and caiman lizards. Hornbrook is an active member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, where she is the program leader for freshwater rays and the studbook keeper and SSP coordinator for caiman lizards, bigtooth river stingrays and tiger river stingrays. She also serves on the AZA steering committee for the Freshwater Fish Taxon Advisory Group. She coauthored a chapter in the second edition of the Elasmobranch Husbandry Manual on “The Husbandry of Freshwater Stingrays.” At home, Hornbrook enjoys gardening.