Expert Biographies


Julie Packard, Executive Director

Julie Packard is executive director of the acclaimed Monterey Bay Aquarium, which she helped found in the late 1970s as the nation’s first major public aquarium dedicated to interpreting marine life of a single region.

Cynthia Vernon, Chief Operating Officer

Areas of Expertise: Science and conservation education, guest experience, visitor research

Margaret Spring, Vice President of Conservation & Science and Chief Conservation Officer

Margaret Spring directs the aquarium’s conservation and science efforts involving sea otters, great white sharks abd Pacific bluefin tuna, as well as its respected Seafood Watch program and ocean policy initiatives.

Science Programs

Kyle Van Houtan, Director of Science

Kyle S. Van Houtan oversees the Aquarium’s science and conservation research programs, including those devoted to bluefin tuna, white sharks, sea otters and other species.

Karl Mayer, Sea Otter Program Field Response Coordinator

Karl Mayer manages stranding response, animal care, release and post-release monitoring of all live-stranded southern sea otters in California for the aquarium’s Sea Otter Program.

Michelle Staedler, Sea Otter Program Manager

Since 1986 Michelle Staedler has devoted her research career at the aquarium to sea otters and the recovery of this threatened species. She works as a sea otter field biologist and sea otter research coordinator, notably in a variety of sea otter behavioral studies.

Salvador Jorgensen, Senior Research Scientist

Sal Jorgensen is a research scientist for the aquarium’s Project White Shark. He oversees basic research on migratory patterns, feeding ecology and habitat use of adult great white sharks at the Farallon Islands, Point Reyes and Ano Nuevo Island.

Animal Care

Jon Hoech, Vice President of Husbandry

Areas of expertise: Aquarium living exhibits procedures and protocols

Paul Clarkson, Director of Husbandry Operations

Areas of Expertise: Exhibit and care of aquatic animals and invertebrates, quarantine procedures and management, project management

Dr. Mike Murray, Director of Veterinary Services

Dr. Mike Murray cares for the aquarium's living collection, is a key figure in sea otter recovery efforts from California to the Russian far east, and is also engaged in the aquarium's Project White shark field research.

Chris DeAngelo, Curator of Marine Mammals and Registrar

Chris DeAngelo manages the aquarium's exhibit Sea Otter Program, responsible for the five southern sea otters that rotate between the exhibit, and the rehabilitation program.

Ocean Policy

Aimee David, Director of Ocean Policy Strategies

Aimee David directs the ocean conservation policy strategies at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Josh Madeira, Federal Policy Manager

Federal Policy Manager Josh Madeira is part of Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Ocean Conservation Policy team.

Seafood Watch

Jennifer Dianto Kemmerly, Director of Global Fisheries and Aquaculture

Jennifer Dianto Kemmerly leads Monterey Bay Aquarium’s respected Seafood Watch program, which engages and empowers North American consumers and businesses to support ocean-friendly fisheries.

Sheila Bowman, Manager of Culinary and Strategic Initiatives

Sheila Bowman is the Manager of Culinary and Strategic Initiatives for the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program.

Matthew Beaudin, Executive Chef

As Executive Chef at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Matthew Beaudin is responsible for supervising and directing much of its culinary operations – from sourcing to menus to catering for private events.

Education Programs

Rita Bell, Vice President of Education

Areas of Expertise: Marine conservation education programs for youth, teens and teachers