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Steve Aibel stands next to whale harbor in Shedd's Oceanarium.

Steven Aibel

Senior Director of Animal Behavior and Training

Steven Aibel’s expertise with marine mammals includes training, husbandry, health care, exhibit development and advocacy through public education.

Education

B.S., psychology, University of Delaware.

“Shedd’s animals have an enormous impact on our guests. A spark is ignited in a child who watches a beluga whale swim or a dolphin jump. It is this special personal moment that drives me daily to provide the best care possible for each animal in our collection.”

With more than three decades of experience with whales, dolphins, sea lions, walruses and other species, Steven Aibel strengthens Shedd Aquarium’s established animal welfare and conservation experience. Aibel oversees the training, husbandry and enrichment efforts by Shedd’s animal care team, using the principles of positive reinforcement methodology.

Before joining Shedd’s animal team, Aibel was the assistant curator at SeaWorld San Antonio, where he led animal training projects by overseeing more than 30 trainers; worked alongside veterinary staff for maintenance of animal health; and created and analyzed team goals. In addition, he was a key content creator for many public and educational presentations as well as a developer for a new dolphin exhibit and interaction program.

Aibel is well versed in animal care and safety to ensure the best possible conditions for all animals in his care. He has spoken on the subjects of animal conditioning and welfare at the International Marine Animal Trainers’ Association (IMATA), University of North Texas, the Animal Behavior Management Alliance (ABMA), as well as at the Texas Travel Industry Association.

Aibel holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Delaware.