Since joining the New England Aquarium in 2014 as President and CEO, Dr. Nigella Hillgarth has been working to raise the profile of the Aquarium’s global conservation and research work.

Born in rural Ireland and educated at Oxford University, Nigella arrived at the Aquarium after serving 12 years as Executive Director of the Birch Aquarium at UC San Diego – part of the world renowned Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Prior to her work at the Birch Aquarium, she served as Executive Director of the Tracy Aviary in Salt Lake City, the largest bird park in the country, where she collaborated on research programs on penguins in South America, as well as conservation efforts for marine birds in the Galapagos, Peru and Argentina.

A distinguished biologist, Nigella has conducted research expeditions all over the world including Britain, India, Thailand, Antarctica, and the Amazon.