The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum & Aquarium recently welcomed two new Marine Biology Education interns. The interns will have the opportunity to work with experienced Marine Biologists and educators to learn about mollusk biology, ecology, biodiversity, and teaching methods, and will gain valuable job experience helpful for a career in museums and aquariums and natural history, ecology, and conservation education.


AJ Townsend is a rising senior at Florida Gulf Coast University, where he is pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Environmental Education and a minor in Climate Change. Throughout his studies, AJ has developed strong laboratory skills, but this is his first time having a hands-on focus on marine life. He is passionate about environmental science and excited to share his academic knowledge with Museum visitors. He hopes to inspire others to appreciate and protect our planet’s incredible biodiversity.


Alexis Tardif is a senior at Nova Southeastern University majoring in Marine Biology and a minor in Scientific Diving and Pre-Health. Part of Alexis’s responsibilities this summer will be to staff our warm and cold water touch pools, educate visitors in our Living Gallery of Aquariums, and assist the education team with various on- and off-site programs. Alexis is most looking forward to working alongside the staff at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum & Aquarium and putting together her own educational program.


Learn more about current career and internship opportunities at


About the Museum: The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum & Aquarium is a natural history museum and aquarium, and the only museum in the United States devoted primarily to shells and mollusks. Its mission is to use exceptional collections, aquariums, programs, experiences, and science to be the nation’s leading museum in the conservation, preservation, interpretation, and celebration of shells, the mollusks that create them, and their ecosystems. For more information, please visit or call (239) 395-2233.