The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum is proud to welcome two new staff members: Jessie Macaluso, Educator, and Claire D’Agostino, Ambassador Animal Aquarist.


Born and raised in Illinois, Jessie Macaluso graduated from the University of Iowa with degrees in Biology and Anthropology and moved to California shortly after. It was there that she discovered her favorite mollusk in the tide pools of San Pedro – the California Sea Hare. Jessie is returning to the National Shell Museum following part-time positions in 2022 as an educator and visitor services associate. She spent the summer of 2023 as a shorebird monitoring intern for the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation.


Originally from Chicago, Claire D’Agostino is a graduate of the University of Tampa and received a B.S. in Environmental Science with a minor in Sustainability, as well as a scuba certification. Before joining the National Shell Museum, Claire worked at The Florida Aquarium in Tampa, Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, and SeaWorld in Orlando as both an aquarist and maintenance diver. In her new role at the National Shell Museum, Claire will educate the public about the animals on exhibit in addition to caring for them and maintaining the aquarium systems.


The National Shell Museum is currently closed for reconstruction following the impacts of Hurricane Ian. Its re-opening will be phased, beginning in early 2024 with the Living Gallery of aquariums, lobby, and Museum Store. Visit for updates.


About the Museum: The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum is a natural history museum, 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. In 2023 the Museum is under reconstruction following the impacts of Hurricane Ian. For more information, please visit or call (239) 395-2233.