New England Aquarium announces new Vice President of Animal Care

CREDIT: Vanessa Kahn/New England Aquarium

BOSTON, MASS. (Aug. 8, 2023) – The New England Aquarium is pleased to announce Barbara Bailey as its new Vice President of Animal Care.

Bailey has been a steadfast part of the New England Aquarium for nearly 38 years and a pioneer in the field, leading other institutions in sustainable breeding programs. She has served as the Aquarium’s Curator of Husbandry and Sustainability for the past eight years and overseen the Fishes department of 33 employees. In her new role, she will lead the Animal Care team across two facilities: The Aquarium in Boston, home to 10,000 animals, and the Animal Care Center in Quincy, MA, which houses the Aquarium’s larval fishes breeding program and Sea Turtle Hospital, and provides support for Animal Care research and development efforts.

“We are fortunate to have Barbara’s four decades of institutional knowledge and expertise to help guide the New England Aquarium’s mission and vision as an ocean conservation organization. She is not only an invaluable and highly respected part of our team but also the prestigious Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) community,” said the Aquarium’s President and CEO Vikki N. Spruill.

Among her many achievements, Bailey has been instrumental in advancing an innovative aquaculture program to raise fish more sustainably by collecting eggs and rearing species inhouse. This approach has created opportunities and served as a model for many zoos and aquariums in the U.S.

Bailey currently leads the Aquatic Collections Sustainability Larval Programs Committee for the AZA. In that capacity, she has assisted in the creation of a larval fish production and distribution program with the ultimate goal of developing a consortium of institutions that will advance larval fish culturing, reduce impacts on wild populations for high priority species, and expand accessibility to aqua cultured fish species within the AZA community.

“In this new role, I am deeply honored to represent such an amazing animal care team and very excited to contribute to the advancement of the New England Aquarium’s mission as an ocean conservation organization,” Bailey said. “I hope that my influence will have a positive and lasting impact on our teams, our work and our contributions to the Aquarium industry.”

Bailey holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is a certified PADI SCUBA instructor and enjoys diving and teaching.


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