Sarab is a Horticulturist at the Steinhart Aquarium.
Briefly describe your job and your area of expertise. As a horticulturist I take care of the plants in the rainforest, mangrove and California soft coast, maintaining the health and design of the exhibits. I work with the butterflies in the rainforest, and the leafcutter ants are also under my care. I provide them with leaf browse for their foraging and maintain a healthy environment in their ant mound.
What got you interested in working at an aquarium? I’ve always been fascinated by plants of all sorts. From my first garden to my days as a volunteer, the more I discovered about plants, the more they became a natural part of my day to day.
What college did you go to and what degree did you receive? I attended Virginia Commonwealth University and received a degree in communication arts and design. I worked in the design field for a while but realized that what I really wanted to do is work with plants. So I went back to school, combining my love for design and plants and studied landscape horticulture.
What influenced your job choice and when? Art was an easy choice for me, but at the time I hadn’t realized that I could integrate both plants and art. After volunteering for a few years with local plant nurseries and parks, horticultural design became a natural choice.
Do you have pets at home? What and how many? I have a variety of plants!
More about Sarab
Sarab’s Suggested Reading:
“The Superorganism: The Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies” by Bert Hölldobler and Edward O. Wilson, 2009 (W. W. Norton & Co. Ltd.).