Gail Weller, Development Manager
Gail was born and raised in St. Louis and has always been drawn to animals and the water. River Otters are one of her favorite animals and she is excited to now have several as “co-workers”! Gail has over a decade of professional experience in nonprofit development, working for various organizations serving youth and the elderly. In her free time, she enjoys reading, fitness, exploring new restaurants, spending time with family and friends, and vacations at the beach. Being a part of the mission of the St. Louis Aquarium Foundation and a vital city attraction is a dream come true!
Quienton Townsend, Education Manager
Quienton was born and raised in St. Louis, graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Development and Family Studies with an emphasis in Child Life, and a Master’s in Management and Leadership. He proudly served 12 years as a Certified Child Life Specialist at a local children’s hospital where he helped reduce pediatric patients’ anxiety and normalize the patients’ hospitalization through education, support, preparation and distraction during medical procedures. Following this role, Quienton continued on a path of educating children as the Camps Manager at the Saint Louis Science Center. He joined the team at the St. Louis Aquarium in December 2021 and is excited to share his love of animals and environmental wellness with others.
Hannah graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Missouri - St. Louis in 2020. Born and raised in St. Louis, Hannah grew up going to the zoo where she found her passion for wildlife. This passion grew into a desire to be involved in marine biology, rescue/rehabilitation and conservation, which has now become her lifelong dream. In college, she interned at the Saint Louis Zoo teaching the public about conservation and wildlife and assisting with children’s programs. During her internship, she also worked alongside the aquatics keepers providing nutrition, enrichment, and overall care for the stingrays and sharks. Hannah is very excited for this opportunity to work with the St. Louis Aquarium Foundation and to do her part in sharing with the public the wonders of the oceans and the ways we can all help to protect them.
Abby Lewis, Development & Marketing Coordinator
Abby Lewis was born and raised in St. Louis and graduated from Lindenwood University with a Bachelor’s degree in Nonprofit Administration and Stage Management. Before joining the Aquarium she was the manager of The Bridge Coffee House, a nonprofit coffee shop in St. Charles, Missouri. In her free time she enjoys hiking, exploring local coffee shops and restaurants, and playing board games. Abby is very excited about this opportunity to work with the St. Louis Aquarium Foundation and combine her passions for animals, education, and conservation!
Jenna Dietl, AmeriCorps Member Water Stewardship Coordinator
Jenna has joined the Aquarium Foundation team for one year as an AmeriCorps Member. As a full-time volunteer, she will help build our organization’s capacity and connect under-resourced youth to nature through water education programs. Jenna was born and raised in Washington, MO, and recently graduated from Webster University earning a Bachelor’s degree in International Human Rights and a Certificate in Japanese language. Jenna is passionate about serving her community and everyone in it. After traveling to Costa Rica and Ecuador in 2019 and 2022, Jenna learned through Indigenous teachings how-to live-in connection with nature. The two trips expanded her passion to work cleaning up her local watershed.
Andrea Yochum, Educator
Andrea (or Panda) is an animal enthusiast when it comes to animals and conservation. She was adopted from South Korea at birth and has been in St. Louis ever since. She has earned her B.A with emphasis in Biology and Management through Webster University in 2018. Her love and passion for animals and conservation started at the Saint Louis Zoo Education Department in 2008-2020. Not only is she passionate about nature but also cooking and traveling. She has traveled all over the states and out of the country, including her home country of South Korea and even climbed up Mount Fuji in Japan. When she is not traveling, she will be at home baking and cooking new recipes. She is very excited to be teaching all guests (young and old) about the wonders of water conservation both at home and in the wild. Did we mention her favorite animal is the Hellbender?
Kayla Burgess, Educator
Kayla was born and raised in the St. Louis area and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from Northwest Missouri State University in 2020. Kayla’s passion for the ocean and marine life started at a young age, after many visits to the zoo and trips to Florida. After college, she spent three months in Juno Beach, Florida for a conservation internship that focused on solutions to man-made threats against sea turtles. It was here that Kayla realized she wanted to work in the conservation field and help educate the public on ways to conserve the environment. Kayla is excited to be back in her hometown and working for the St. Louis Aquarium Foundation.