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Pamela Schaller, Sr. Aquatic Biologist

Marin Science Seminar Presentation: "Challenges of an Aquatic Biologist"  (March 9, 2011) Download the flyer here.

As an aquatic biologist at the California Academy of Sciences’ Steinhart Aquarium, Pamela Schaller is part of a team which cares for more than 38,000 live animals.  Schaller serves as the primary biologist for the Academy’s charismatic colony of endangered African penguins. She is also responsible for the husbandry of an array of species, including blacktip and whitetip reef sharks, alligator gars, and dog-faced fruit bats. 

Schaller’s contributions go beyond the animals’ daily care, and have a positive impact on public awareness, and research and conservation of these species in the wild. Through daily public African penguin feedings, she introduces hundreds of museum visitors each week to the species’ life history.   In addition, she has published papers on reef shark care and reproduction, raising African wild dogs, and other topics, sharing valuable knowledge with peer institutions. 

In monitoring the animals’ health and levels of engagement, sometimes creative solutions are required.  In 2008, Schaller designed and implemented the first-ever penguin wetsuit, which helped a balding bird re-grow his feathers and stay warm.  A children’s book entitled “Pierre the Penguin” was written about Pam and Pierre and was published in 2010.

Leading up to the opening of the Academy’s new facility in 2008, Schaller helped design new live animal exhibits, and execute the monumental move of thousands of fish, sharks, turtles, birds and other animals into temporary quarters, and later to their new homes.

Prior to joining the Academy, Schaller worked with exotic animals including reticulated giraffes and zebras at the Honolulu Zoo, and as an educator at several science centers.


Pamela Schaller with a penguin egg
Ms. Schaller with a penguin egg

Pamela Schaller with penguins
Pamela Schaller with penguins

Ms. Schaller at CA Academy of Sciences

Pamela Schaller, Senior Biologist for Steinhart Aquarium

African Penguins welcomed to new S.F. home (SF Chronicle)

Ms. Schaller at World Science Festival