Virginia Living Museum
Year zoo career began:
Taylor currently works as a Herpetologist at the Virginia Living Museum where she works with local reptile and amphibian species as well as some non-native species. Her daily tasks include cleaning and feeding, monitoring their health, and checking for any abnormal disposition. Part of her time is spent researching local species to better understand their physiology and improve their care.
Taylor attended Hampton High School where she took IB and AP classes in chemistry and mathematics. She attended Virginia Tech where she studied wildlife conservation. While in college, worked as a field tech collecting salamanders for research. After graduation, she interned with the US Fish and Wildlife through the Student Conservation Association completing environmental education on Presquile National Wildlife Refuge in 2018. Taylor also volunteered with the Virginia Living Museum and in 2019, Taylor was hired in the Volunteer Services department of the Virginia Living Museum but was forced to resign due to covid. She spent a brief period of time volunteering for the Virginia Zoo before she had to leave because of covid as well. Taylor was hired in 2019 as a Ranger Technician I for the Newport News Parks where she is currently still employed in their wildlife rehabilitation facility.
Taylor’s favorite part of her job is learning about the preferences and personalities of different animals. It’s difficult as many reptiles and amphibians do not show emotions, but when someone works closely with them, they can learn a lot about them and what they are thinking. Taylor’s advice to aspiring herpetologists is to volunteer and gain as much experience as you can. Talk to people as well- Taylor is a bit introverted but loves to talk to people about her interests. If you love animals, there are plenty of people that want to listen.