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Staff at the Magnetic Hill Zoo

The Magnetic Hill Zoo is staffed with twelve full-time personnel on a year round basis, as well as, an abundance of seasonal employees during the Zoo’s high tourist season from May - September every year. We are also fortunate to have a very active group of volunteers, the Friends of the Zoo, to host our many annual fundraising events to support the continuing improvement and expansion of our animal habitats and our growing educational initiatives.

The Magnetic Hill Zoo owes its success to the hard work and dedication of these individuals. Their continuous efforts to ensure that the Zoo maintains its CAZA-AZAC (Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) accredited status and exceptional reputation for high standards involving the care of our indigenous and exotic species.


Bernie Gallant

Zoo Coordinator

Bernie is responsible for the Animal Care and Maintenance divisions of the Magnetic Hill Zoo. All full time, casual, and student Animal Care and Maintenance staff report directly to Bernie in regards to personnel issues, such as scheduling and training. His responsibilities include the daily operation of the zoo, management of current projects, and planning of future zoo projects. He also assists the manager in any of the zoo issues including safety and staff training.

Bernie received his Bachelor of Agriculture degree with a major in Animal Science from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in Truro, NS. He also received his MBA from the University of Moncton. Bernie worked as a Zookeeper for 20 years at the Magnetic Hill Zoo, caring for the reptiles, large carnivores, large hoovestock, and invertebrate collections. During his Zookeeper years, he became well known in the community for his live animal presentations. Bernie was named CAZA-AZAC’s Animal Care Professional of the year in 2009.

Jamie Carson

Zoo Animal Care Foreman/Curator

Jamie is responsible for the management of the animal collection of the Magnetic Hill Zoo. This includes overseeing all aspects of animal care, including- nutrition, health, breeding programs, acquiring & surplusing animals, overseeing animal presentations, and assisting the Senior Zookeepers to manage their individual sections.

Jamie first started working as a student Zookeeper in 1994 and gained full time status in 1998. Jamie received his Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College/Dalhousie University. His undergraduate thesis was based on a study of the Behaviour of Zoo-Housed primates. Jamie is a licensed Avian Judge with the APA, ABA & CPFA; and is one of only two Canadians to be licensed with all three of these organizations. He has completed several courses and training programs which include, bovine artificial insemination, avian flock management, and training and handling of Birds of Prey for free flying demonstrations from the African Lion Safari. Jamie was named CAZA-AZAC’s Animal Care Professional of the year in 2011.

Cathy Simon

Visitor & Education Programs Coordinator

Cathy has been working in the Magnetic Hill Zoo’s Education Department since 1999. She started as a day camp counsellor for 3 summers and is now the Visitor & Education Programs Coordinator on a fulltime basis. Her responsibilities at the Zoo include: the six major fundraisers; zoo tours; animal signage; and on & off-site live animal presentations; and managing the Adopt a Friend, Birthday Party, Day Camp, and Volunteer Programs. Reporting directly to her is a team of seasonal summer students.

Cathy graduated from the University of New Brunswick with a Bachelor of Kinesiology and Bachelor of Elementary Education degrees. She also has her New Brunswick Teacher’s license. Cathy was named CAZA-AZAC’s Zoo Professional of the year in 2014.

Doug Kearns

Zoo Maintenance Foreman

Doug is responsible for the Maintenance division of the Magnetic Hill Zoo. All maintenance labour staff report to him including Carpenters, Horticulturists, casual & student Labourers, and Janitors.  The maintenance department is responsible for all new construction and repairs of zoo property, overseeing contracted construction work, park cleanliness, grounds maintenance, and snow removal. 

Arlene Speranza

Guest, Retail, & Administrative Services Coordinator

Arlene provides ongoing administrative support to the General Manager of the Magnetic Hill Zoo.   Arlene is responsible for the management of the Admissions Box Office, Wild Things Gift Boutique, Food Service, and the Zoo Administration Office.  Reporting directly to her are the Admissions Supervisor, Gift Shop Supervisor, and a team of seasonal summer students.

Tiffany Bateman

Senior Zookeeper of North-American, South-American, and Asian species

Tiffany is responsible for the care of all North-American, South-American, and Asian species at the Magnetic Hill Zoo. Tiffany first came to the Zoo as day camper in the Zoo’s Animal Care Apprentice camp. She later completed her high school co-op program in the Zoo’s Animal Care division and was hired as a summer student Zookeeper in 1998. Tiffany worked several years in Animal Care as a student, then casual Zookeeper; and was the interim Senior Zookeeper of Reptiles, Insects, and Large Mammals for part of 2007-2008 before coming back to the same position on a fulltime capacity from mid 2009 to 2013. Now in 2014, Tiffany is the senior zookeeper for the North and South-American as well as the Asian species.

Tiffany graduated from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College/Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with a in Major Animal Science. She also has a certificate in falconry.

Jennifer Blair

Senior Zookeeper of Domestic Animals and Pavilions

Jennifer was first hired as a casual worker in 1996. For many years, she was a key relief keeper. She mostly worked with the birds and primates. In 2010, she became a fulltime Utility VI Zookeeper and in charge of a group of animals. She is responsible for the health and well-being of all the domestic species, various small mammals including Coatimundi, raccoons and river otters as well as the animals in the pavilions.  Jennifer has played an important role in many of the zoo’s fundraisers but mostly our annual Boo at the Zoo. 

Jennifer received her Bachelor degree from McGill University in Montreal. Jennifer also ran a pig farm for numerous years along with other domestic species.

Melanie Prince

Senior Zookeeper of African species

Melanie is responsible for the care of all the zoo’s African animals. She started working at the zoo in 2007 as a casual. She grew up on a small hobby farm and spent the summers of 2003 and 2004 doing deer habitat evaluation and population surveys of an endangered butterfly for the department of natural resources in Bathurst NB. In the summer of 2005, she worked in a butterfly exhibit outside of Montreal QC. She became senior zookeeper at the Magnetic Hill Zoo in 2013.

Melanie received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from the University of Moncton in 2006. 

Tom Curry

Commissary Attendant

Tom has been operating the Commissary at the Magnetic Hill Zoo since 1997. He oversees the preparation of all animal diets, deworming, vitamin supplements, and the stocking and ordering of all dietary requirements for animals at the Magnetic Hill Zoo.


Sharon Moss

Interim Senior Zookeeper/Casual

Sharon is currently responsible for the care of the North-American, South American, and Asian species on an interim basis. She started working at the zoo in 2007 as a casual. She also was the interim senior keeper of birds and primates in May 2013-2014. 

Sharon spent her college summers working on a large dairy and poultry farm in St. Stephens, NB and, upon graduation, worked for more than ten years at a large dairy farm in Cornhill, NB. Sharon is a current member of the East Coast Avian Association. She enjoys working and training dogs and parrots. She received her Animal Science Technician degree from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College/Dalhousie University.

John Bastarache
Horticulture & Maintenance Supervisor

John is responsible for the Horticulture and snow removal divisions of the Maintenance department. John has his Landscape-Horticulturist certification and first came to the Zoo in 2003.

Nathan Steeves


Nathan has received his New Brunswick Journeyman/Carpenter's License. He is responsible for the construction, improvement, and expansion of all animal habitats, and building structures throughout the Zoo. Nathan first came to the Zoo in 2013.