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Georgia Aquarium Blog

Georgia Aquarium provides an entertaining, engaging and educational experience inspiring stewardship in conservation, research and the appreciation for the animal world. Visit us at

Georgia Aquarium
Atlanta, GA

Marineland Dolphin Adventure
St. Augustine, FL

Conservation Field Station
St. Augustine, FL

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Maris Pregnancy Update April 2015

April 24, 2015

Beluga Pregnancy Update:

Fans, we are happy to update you on resident beluga whale Maris' pregnancy! Hear from our Director of Zoological Operations, Mammals and Birds, Eric Gaglione, on this exciting time:

Maris is now full term. Our team is anxiously waiting for her to go into labor, which could happen at any time. She continues to be healthy, bright, alert and responsive, and she has gained several hundred pounds over the course of her pregnancy. The calf is expected to weigh approximately 120-150 pounds! While the entire Georgia Aquarium team is excited and can't wait for the day Maris gives birth, we remain cautiously optimistic given that this is just her second pregnancy. The odds for survival increase with each of the mother’s consecutive pregnancies.

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Volunteer Appreciation Week at Georgia Aquarium

April 13, 2015

Volunteer Appreciation Week at Georgia Aquarium

Written by: Jahmar Hannans, Director of Interpretive Programs

Superhero: an individual possessing extraordinary talents, selfless determination, and dedication for helping others; by this definition Georgia Aquarium has many superheroes, we call them Volunteers! Our Volunteer Team fills a myriad of roles at Georgia Aquarium – from greeter, hospitality host and tour guide to diver, commissary specialist, or lab technician, our Volunteers do it all. They choose to share their time, passion and talents with us, and without them, our organization would not be able to offer a world class experience. 

This coming week signifies National Volunteer Appreciation week and is Georgia Aquarium’s 9th opportunity to recognize our superheroes and show how much we really appreciate them. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, and to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” Our Volunteers give their own free will seeking no reward or compensation; the kind of deed we all admire! By sharing their talents at the Aquarium they make a difference every day in the lives of our animals and the experiences of our guests. If you have ever visited Georgia Aquarium, you saw the work of this dedicated force of Superheroes! 


If you are interested in joining our team of superheroes, please find information about our Volunteer Program here!

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with hashtag #NVW15 to see all the amazing works of our volunteers and interns!


Georgia Aquarium and Emory University Team Up on Landmark Genome Project!

April 7, 2015

Georgia Aquarium and Emory University Team Up on Landmark Genome Project!

Written by: Kerry Gladish, Research Administration Assistant and Alistair Dove, Director of Research and Conservation

Researchers from Georgia Aquarium and Emory University recently released the first fully-sequenced shark genome, which was based entirely on material from whale sharks in the collection at Georgia Aquarium. This landmark study will provide an amazing reference library for studies as broad as conservation, biochemistry and even human immunology, and we’re fairly sure it’s the first time an aquarium has been part of a whole genome project. Now THAT is pretty cool!

What is genome sequencing anyway? Let’s start with a little genetics refresher, shall we? Every cell inside an organism’s body contains all the information needed to build another of the same organism. The information is encoded in DNA, the famous helical ladder-shaped molecule, where each of the rungs is one of only four types: A, C, T or G. These letter sequences make up genes (the recipes for proteins) and these are further organized into chromosomes. All the chromosomes together make up the genome. To sequence a genome, then, you cut up the DNA into manageable bits and feed the bits into a sequencing machine, and then you ask a supercomputer to put all the bits back together for you. There’s a bit of Hogwarts-style wizardy in there that we are glossing over, but that’s the gist of it.

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