Open 9 am - 5 pm
Headshot of Lise Watson in front of Wild Reef

Lise Watson

Senior Curator, Wild Reef

Lise Watson oversees Shedd’s Wild Reef exhibit, managing care for animals ranging from delicate seahorses to 14-foot-long green sawfish Ginsu.

“I find sharks and rays to be some of the most fascinating animals. Seeing the excitement and curiosity of our guests and being able to connect them to these amazing, yet misunderstood, animals is a very gratifying part of my job.”

Lise Watson oversees the care of the animals and exhibits in the Wild Reef, from delicate corals to the muscular sharks and other elasmobranchs that are her special area of expertise

A focus for Watson has been the breeding and rearing of shark and ray species. Successful reproduction and husbandry of zebra sharks at Shedd led her to coauthor a chapter on the subject that was published in the Elasmobranch Husbandry Manual II. In 2008, she became an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Studbook Keeper and Species Survival Plan Manager for zebra sharks and is now serving as an advisor to this important conservation program.

Watson also served as an AZA course administrator and instructor for the Aquarium Husbandry, Design and Leadership course, taught at Shedd Aquarium.

She began her career at Sea World of Orlando where she gained experience with a variety of fish, invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians and birds before venturing out to establish her own aquarium businesses in Winter Park and Orlando, FL. In 1994, she sold her businesses and moved to Chicago to work with Shedd