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Staff member Lee Pinnell stands before Shedd's historic bronze doors.

Lee Pinnell

Postdoctoral scientist

Lee Pinnell is part of an interdisciplinary research group examining the role of the environmental microbiome in the health and welfare of aquatic animals in human care.


Ph.D., marine biology, Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi
M.S., microbial ecology, University of Waterloo

“I’m most excited for the unique platform provided at Shedd to not only conduct meaningful research, but also to communicate that research to others and advocate change based on scientific results. ”

Lee Pinnell works primarily in Shedd Aquarium’s on-site molecular and microbial ecology laboratory, supporting ongoing research investigations driven by the aquarium and collaborative studies with external partners, peers and conservation organizations. He uses his experience and understanding of microbial ecology to analyze and interpret the impact microbes have on animals and the environment. In addition, he is responsible for developing, refining and implementing a computational approach to data analysis and preparing results for dissemination.

Before coming to Shedd, Pinnell was a research assistant with the marine biology program at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi, where he researched the impacts of plastic debris on marine microbial communities. Before that he was a research technician at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, where he investigated the role of microbes in gut health.

Pinnell has coauthored several peer-reviewed articles in various microbiology and medical journals and publications. He completed his Ph.D. research in marine biology at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi. He received an M.S. in microbial ecology and a B.S. in biology from the University of Waterloo, Ontario.