Kristyn Plancarte is a marine biologist and animal behavior expert with more than a decade of experience. She has worked with marine mammals like sea otters, sea lions, walruses, false killer whales, African penguins, and beluga whales. She ensures their health and welfare; trains them to perform specific actions like doing eye drops, giving a blood sample, or spraying the audience with water; and educates in person and on social media.
When I was a kid, I always knew I wanted to work with animals.
They’re very smart animals, and because they don’t have to hunt for food every waking hour, they need something else to do with their time.Kristyn Plancarte
Kristyn is a Senior Trainer at Mystic Aquarium, which is, at its foundation, a research, conservation, and education institution. They conduct critical research to advance our knowledge about marine life. They engage with experts from leading organizations and institutions from around the world to establish science-based marine conservation efforts.
She is from Littleton, Colorado, and studied at Colorado State University where she graduated as a marine biologist. Marine biology is the scientific study of the biology of marine life, and organisms in the sea. Given that in biology many phyla, families, and genera have some species that live in the sea and others that live on land, marine biology classifies species based on the environment rather than on taxonomy.
Kristyn was previously a Zookeeper at the Denver Zoo in 2011, a Marine Mammal Trainer at Ocean Wise in Vancouver in 2020, and an Assistant Marine Mammal Trainer at the Vancouver Aquarium from 2011 until 2021.
She uses multiple platforms (TikTok, YouTube, Twitch, and Instagram) to educate, engage, and inspire people to care about the animals in our ocean. She became a content creator during the pandemic so she could share what she and her colleagues do and see at the aquarium because so many facilities and resources were closed. Along with her community, she has raised almost $50,000 for conservation!
She works with the aquarium residents like training Hardy the sea otter to open and close doors. The sea otter can be seen sliding out of a pool filled with other otters and using its nose to close the door behind it. Kristyn trained the 5-year-old otter with positive reinforcement, like some fishy treats. Kristyn lives in Mystic, Connecticut, and married Chris Blum on July 17, 2015.
I saw her on a “Histories Greatest Mysteries” episode. She was on the History Channel to debunk the myths surrounding the Loch Ness Monster!