Meet Jan-Alexis Barry on the Coral World Aquarist Staff
Meet the Coral World Team
What is your name and where are you from?
Jan-Alexis Barry, St. Thomas USVI. I went to Charlotte Amalie High School and am currently a Masters student at UVI.
How did you end up working at Coral World?
My previous job was a biology tutor at the University as well as a research consultant for Dr. Paul Sikkel’s lab at Arkansas State University. I got my job while working on a summer long fish capture and pararsite screening project. Coral World recently lost a scorpion fish in the Marine Gardens exhibit and I caught one. My boss at the time Amber Mc’Cammon worked on a project with parasitized tangs in the CRE and knew that they were in need of a scorpion fish. She brought me to Coral World with the fish, I met Matt, told him I always wanted a job at Coral World as it had been my favorite place on St. Thomas since I was 3 years old, and voila.
What is your favorite job to do at work?
My favorite job is definitely collecting specimens for exhibits as well as the husbandry aspect such as seeing the animals display their natural behaviors such as molting, feeding, and courting practices.
What is the grossest thing you’ve had to do?
The grossest thing I’ve had to do at work was probably walk around in the duck pond with all the mud, dead leaves, tortoise, iguana, frog, and duck feces bare foot. Was pretty disgusting.
5.What/Who is your favorite animal at the park?
My favorite animal is definitely Chelonia the Sea turtle
What would you tell someone who wants to work in the field?
I would tell an aspiring aquarist to really put themselves out there and most of all be patient as well as be willing to try and learn new things. The field is incredibly rewarding when you stick to it, you do your research, and work hard. It’s one thing to see a documentary on tv and another to experience it in real life.
If you could meet any superhero in real life, who would it be and why?
If I could meet a superhero in real life, it’d probably Virgil Hawkins A.K.A Static. He’s mad cool, brilliant, and his powers over electricity and lightning are one of my top favorites of all time.