Year zoo career began:
Jessica Nishimoto is a senior zoologist at the Dallas Zoo where she helps care for various animals in the collection including tropical fish, sharks, rays, and even reptiles! Jessica performs daily maintenance on the life support systems of the exhibits, executes water quality testing, facilitates husbandry training and enrichment, and provides food and records the nutritional needs of the animals. She also helps to manage the aquarium’s quarantine systems and communicates regularly with veterinary staff about the treatment needs of certain individuals.
Jessica grew up near the beach in Southern California where her passion for marine life began! During high school, she regularly volunteered at the Aquarium of the Pacific where she realized she wanted to become an aquarist. After graduating, Jessica earned a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology from California State University of Long Beach. She has had many internship and volunteer positions at various facilities, including working at The Seas with Nemo and Friends in Epcot in Disney World. Her last position was at the Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park.
Jessica’s favorite part of her job is working with different marine species that have unique needs that are challenging and fun to fulfill. Her favorite marine animal is the Mola mola oceanic sunfish. They are quirky, unique, and mysterious and they can grow to massive sizes! Her advice to aspiring aquarists is to work hard and never give up, and that any experience working with animals is invaluable to building your career. It’s especially important to earn a SCUBA certification as well, and many universities offer SCUBA training programs that are more affordable and worth looking into.