Emily Olson


Native American (Ojibwe)

Current position: 

Animal Keeper

Current facility:

Minnesota Zoo

Year zoo career began:


Emily is an animal keeper at the Minnesota Zoo where she works in the Zoo’s Tropics and Minnesota Trails. She is currently working with native Minnesotan mammals and Tropical mammals but has a background working with birds, fish, terrestrial invertebrates, and reptiles/amphibians. Emily is also a double minority as she identifies with the LGBTQ+ community as a bisexual woman.

Emily graduated from Saint Cloud State University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2015 and a Master of Science in Ecology and Natural Resources in 2017. Her thesis research focused on evolutionary trends in deep-sea fishes. More specifically, understanding the evolution of fangs among deep-sea fish.

Emily started her career as an intern at the Minnesota Zoo between 2014 and 2015. Emily was also hired as a temporary keeper for the Minnesota Zoo in 2017 and 2018. Her first permanent, full-time position was at the Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium, where she worked as an Animal Husbandry Assistant, Aquarist I, and Aquarist II. Emily’s favorite animal is the African penguin. When she was an intern, she bonded with a penguin chick who she watched grow up during her internships and keeper positions. Emily says her favorite part of being a keeper is tied between getting to know each animal’s unique personality and getting to dive in tanks.