Conservation Conversations

WAVE Foundation, in partnership with Thomas More University and Newport Aquarium, announces the return of the former Lecture Series, rebranded as Conservation Conversations!

Join us on Thursday, April 18th from 5-7:30 p.m. in the Riverside Room at Newport Aquarium to learn about Bowmouth Guitarfish, also known as shark rays, from two of Newport Aquarium’s top biologists.  Heavy hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will be available. Socialize with like minded folks, learn about WAVE Foundation, and meet one of WAVE’s Aquatic Animal Ambassadors. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Proceeds from this event support WAVE Foundation conservation education and the charity of the Speakers’ choice.

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Jen Hazeres is a senior biologist at the Newport Aquarium.  Jen manages the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit at the aquarium which houses 1.2 Bowmouth guitarfish as well as several other species of elasmobranchs.  Since being introduced to bowmouth in 2005, Jen has been passionate about this species and the potential aquariums have in aiding in conservation efforts of this critically endangered animal.  She is the AZA program leader for Rhina ancylostoma and helped publish the first edition of their AZA Regional Studbook in 2019 as well as the first Breeding and Transfer Plan in 2020.



Jolene Hanna is the Animal Health and Quarantine Manager for the Newport Aquarium.  This job includes management of the Aquarium’s Veterinary Hospital which she has been dedicated to for 20 years.  She came to the aquarium industry as an intern completing her Veterinary Technicians course work and has been a resource to the Newport Aquarium Animal Care Team ever since.  She began working towards this career as a Marine Biology major at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.  The combination of her science and medical background has been a true advantage for adapting to the world of animal care in the zoological setting.