Our Experts

Kristen McMahon

Kristen McMahon

Curator of Pinnipeds and Penguins
Animal Care, New England Aquarium


MA, Leadership and Management, Webster University

BA, Biology and Environmental Science, Colby College


As the curator of pinnipeds and penguins for the Animal Care team at the New England Aquarium, Kristen McMahon oversees teams that care for over 50 animals, including five Atlantic harbor seals, five California sea lions, 40 African penguins, and 14 southern rockhopper penguins. She leads the teams in providing the highest level of animal welfare for the pinnipeds and penguins through proactive behavior management, state-of-the-art enrichment practices, and a comprehensive animal husbandry program. 

Kristen has been working as a leader in the aquarium and zoological industry for over 30 years. She specializes in the training, care, and welfare of cetaceans, pinnipeds, and a variety of species of birds. Her focuses include working closely with scientists to obtain research data on animals in human care to gain knowledge for species conservation and establishing experiences to educate guests about the animals in her care.

She has co-chaired animal welfare and animal enrichment committees at several organizations to advocate for the highest living standards for animals in aquarium and zoological settings. Currently, Kristen is becoming an inspector for the Associations of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to continue to be a catalyst in advancing standards for animals in human care and to provide opportunities for guests to connect with animals up-close.



Behind the Scenes with Our Animal Care Team

At the Aquarium and in our Animal Care Center in Quincy, our team provides exceptional day-to-day support for the animals in our care, managing their diet, providing enrichment sessions, and much more.