Mr. Mcgee Mereb and Ms. Laura Del Rio are part of the new team of Aquarists that are implementing a new management plan to improve the tank displays at the Palau Aquarium.
Mr.Mereb started working at PICRC on December 29, 2017. Originally hired as part of the maintenance team, Mr. Mereb was transferred to the Aquarium Department, as an Aquarist, a little over a year thereafter.
With a varied background and wide set of skills, Mr. Merebis passionate about marine conservation. As a tour guide with 5-years of experience, Mr. Mereb is widely familiar with Palauan marine ecosystems.
As an Aquarist at PICRC, he seeks to learn more about the ocean hoping to use that knowledge to help his country move forward in marine conservation.
At the same time, Ms. Laura Del Rio was welcomed to the PICRC on May 25, 2019 as the new Aquarium Supervisor. Originally from Barcelona, Spain, Ms. Del Rio has a B.S. in Marine Science and a Masters of Research in Management and Restoration of Natural Environment. Passionate about coral reef rehabilitation, Ms. Del Rio spent three years in Hawaii as the Coral Restoration Nursery Operations Supervisor at the Department of Land and Natural Resources under the Aquatic Resources Division.
Together, Mr. Mereb and Ms Del Rio, along with other staff working at the Palau Aquarium, have managed to repair and improve the piping in the display tanks making daily routines more effective.
Likewise, keeping the comfort and wellness of the organisms at the Aquarium as a priority, the team has built structures within the tanks to make them feel more like in their natural habitat.
The team has also found ways to improve the feeding of the fish through a new cost-efficient method that harvests shrimp in a reduced amount of time, and the feeding of the corals by using Algae Culture; a technique that involves the mixing of different types of algae grown in the laboratory. Likewise, Ms. Del Rio is using her background in coral fragmentation to grow corals in a nursery at PICRC to later be exhibited in the Palau Aquarium tanks.
The PICRC is proud to have committed staff with a passion for conservation. Mr. Mereb and Ms. Del Rio’s innovative ideas, teamwork and passion are shown in the care that they have for the living organisms displayed at the Aquarium. Likewise, their enthusiasm and ability to communicate PICRC’s efforts in marine conservation, enhances the Center’s mission to educate the general public. (PR)