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Our Crew And Volunteers

The Marine Mammal Rescue team includes our staff veterinarian (as well as several consulting veterinarians), animal health technicians, animal care and rehabilitation specialists, and many dedicated volunteers. All members of the team are highly trained to provide qualified and experienced veterinary care to our animal patients.

Interested in joining us at the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre? Check out our Volunteer and Careers sections frequently.

Volunteer Making Food

Dr Martin Haulena

Staff Veterinarian

Dr. Martin Haulena, DVM, MSc, Dipl. ACZM, graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1993 and completed a Master's degree in pathobiology from the University of Guelph in 1999. Dr. Haulena was the Staff Veterinarian at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, CA for nine years and is currently Staff Veterinarian at the Vancouver Aquarium. His special interests are in the medical management of aquatic animals—particularly marine mammals—with emphasis on innovative diagnostic methods such as MRI's, endoscopy and sonography, developing safe anesthetic protocols and improving surgical techniques.

Rescue Centre Manager

Lindsaye Akhurst is the Manager of the Vancouver Aquarium's Marine Mammal Rescue Centre and has been working at the centre since 2006. Lindsaye is a registered Veterinary Technologist, Board member of the Oiled Wildlife Society of B.C. and a member of the Wildlife Rehabilitators network of British Columbia. Lindsaye possesses finely tuned rehabilitation skills specifically when working with seals, sea lions, porpoises, sea turtles, and sea otters.

Lindsaye Akhurst
Shanie Fradette

Veterinary Technician

Shanie Fradette has been a Registered Animal Health Technologist since 2007 and joined the Marine Mammal Rescue Team in June 2008. She is originally from Quebec and speaks French and English fluently. She came to the Vancouver Aquarium's Marine Mammal Rescue Centre with experience working with dolphins and turtles from an internship at a Rehabilitation Hospital in Florida.

Veterinary Technician

Jenelle Hebert, Registered Veterinary Technologist, graduated from Thompson Rivers University in 2013. After completing an internship at VAMMRC in 2012, she fell in love with the marine mammal field and was then hired on as staff after graduation. She has worked with harbour seals, sea otters, harbour porpoises,a false killer whale, and more!  She also works with domestic animals at an emergency clinic in the lower mainland.

Emily and Chester

Locum Veterinary Technician

Emily Johnson is originally from Brantford, Ontario.  She graduated from the Veterinary Technician program at University of Guelph, Ridgetown College in 1999.  She worked in many different areas of veterinary medicine before her first summer at the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre (MMRC) in 2010. Falling in love with Vancouver and with the MMRC, she moved across country and has called the west coast home since 2011. In 2015 she held the year long Assistant Manager position. Emily lives with her husband and daughter in North Vancouver.   

Rehabilitations Specialist Adviser

Amelia MacRae has completed a BA in English Literature from UVIC, a BSc in Global Resource Systems from UBC and in 2009, completed an MSc from UBC’s Animal Welfare Program. Her thesis examined the effect of diet and the provision of supplementary heat on pups’ growth and survival. Amelia's previous work has included Enrichment Coordinator at the Calgary Zoo where she worked with a wide variety of species including grizzly bears, black bears, cougars, wolves, moose and whooping cranes, and as a Marine Mammal Trainer at the Vancouver Aquarium. Amelia has just started her PhD in Animal Welfare at UBC.


Locum Veterinary Technician

Andrew Celmainis is a local, born and raised in North Vancouver.  He graduated from TRU with a diploma in Veterinary Technology in 2014 and did a summer internship at MMRC before his final year.  Andrew has been an RVT on staff since the 2014 season.  He spends his free time kayaking and enjoying the outdoors.

Veterinary Technician

Belinda To graduated from UBC with a BSc. In Applied Animal Biology in 2013, and then went on to Douglas College and completed the Veterinary Technician program in 2015.  She started volunteering at the Vancouver Aquarium during her studies and worked for the Visitor Experience department for 3 years.  After completing a Veterinary Technician Externship at the Vancouver Aquarium, she started at the Marine Mammal Rescue Center in 2015.


Rehabilitation Specialist

Talia Smith graduated from Simon Fraser University with a BSc. in Biological Sciences in 2012. She began volunteering with the Vancouver Aquarium after graduation, and has previously worked in the Visitor Experience department. She was hired on as staff at the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre in 2015 after having completed a practicum placement during the previous year. ​

Coordinator of Volunteers

Neil Tracey has been with the Vancouver Aquarium since January 2007, first as a volunteer and since 2012 as a member of staff. He joined the Marine Mammal Rescue team as Coordinator of Volunteers in 2015 and provides support to ensure that the Centre’s volunteers are supported and able to help the marine mammals in our care.

Volunteer Cleaning


Dedicated volunteers are essential to the success of the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre. Volunteers clean facilities and animal care spaces; prepare food and assist in feeding animals; assist with the preparation and administration of medications and treatments; accompany staff on rescues and releases; and help to ensure that every animal gets the care that it needs. If you are interested in joining the volunteer team, please contact Rescue.Volunteers@vanaqua.org.


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Did You Know?

Did You Know?

Sea otters hold hands to rest in groups called “rafts”.
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