Assistant Director of Animal Operations and Habitats
With an emphasis on conservation for sharks and rays, Lise Watson provides support to help ensure best practices for animal care and welfare throughout the fishes department.
“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.”
With over 30 years of shark husbandry experience, a focus for Lise Watson has been the breeding and rearing of shark and ray species. For a decade, she served as an Association of Zoos and Aquariums Studbook Keeper and Species Survival Plan (SSP) Coordinator for zebra sharks. In December 2022, she was elected back into the SSP Coordinator role once again.
Further, Watson is involved in helping with efforts to increase the endangered zebra shark population in the wild through the StAR Project led by ReShark with over 60 global partners. This conservation effort leverages the proven success of accredited aquariums like Shedd with the long-term intent of releasing pups hatched from aquarium-bred eggs and reared in human care into a marine protected area off the shores of Raja Ampat in Indonesia to ultimately create self-sustaining populations.