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Behind the scenes

Merlin Career Spotlight: Aquarist Team Leader

Imagine swimming with sharks for a living!

We caught up with Lorna Scott, our fabulous Aquarist Team Leader based at Alton Towers Resort in the Shark Bait Reef to find out more about what it takes to do her unusual job.

What exactly does an Aquarist do?

From motivating the team, to swimming with sharks and sorting the tank plumbing, the job of an Aquarist Team Leader is versatile to say the least; each day offers me a new adventure!

A key part of our role is checking our animals’ health and make sure tank integrity (life support systems such as filtration and heating) is functioning within the correct parameters.

Throughout the day we will perform all types of tasks; ranging from feeds for our sea horses and sharks, to tank cleaning, tank diving, plumbing, and even administering medication to our animals who are a little under the weather.

We pride ourselves on the cleanliness of displays and health of our animals, as well as the exciting, interactive talks offered to our visitors; so if you’re visiting the Resort you’ll mostly see us within the tanks – the less glamorous side to the role, but I wouldn’t change a thing!

Every evening one of us (1 of 3) is on call for our wonderful creatures – everything is alarmed so if anything happens, we’ll be there in a flash to rectify anything; even at 3am or on Christmas day, the animals are our top priority.

What do you think you enjoy most about being an Aquarist?

The fact that each day offers new experiences provides a set of skills I feel you might not be exposed to in an office only role. My problem solving skills and emotional intelligence have improved so vastly because of the networking potential, and the closeness within the team provides a new perspective on what makes everyone (fish included) tick!

And what’s the biggest challenge of your role?

The biggest challenge is that the role can be quite demanding - mostly since these animals don’t have a clock to work to and you can get quite emotionally attached to the creatures in your care. You have to be innately passionate for this role and have a strong desire for people development too, especially since we look after a team of Animal Information Hosts and we strive to be their role models – they are the next generation of Aquarists potentially!

Can you imagine a job where you swim with sharks everyday?! Think you’ve got the sofishtication to be an Aquarist? Apply today on the Merlin Careers website!

Working for Merlin Entertainments no day, or role, is ever the same.

July 2019

Alton Towers Aquarist Job
Merlin careers
Merlin Entertainment