About Us

Our team includes a staff veterinarian (as well as several consulting veterinarians), registered veterinary technologists, animal care and rehabilitation specialists and many dedicated volunteers. All members of the team are highly trained to provide qualified and experienced veterinary care to our animal patients. Our volunteers are essential to our success.


Team Bios

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Staff Veterinarian
Dr. Martin Haulena, DVM, MSc, Dipl. ACZM

Dr. Martin Haulena graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1993 and completed a Master's degree in pathobiology from the University of Guelph in 1999. Dr. Haulena was the Staff Veterinarian at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, CA for nine years and is currently Staff Veterinarian at the Vancouver Aquarium. His special interests are in the medical management of aquatic animals—particularly marine mammals—with emphasis on innovative diagnostic methods such as MRIs, endoscopy and sonography, developing safe anesthetic protocols and improving surgical techniques.


Rescue Centre Manager
Lindsaye Akhurst

Lindsaye Akhurst is the Manager of the Vancouver Aquarium's Marine Mammal Rescue Centre and has been working at the Rescue Centre since 2006. Lindsaye is a registered Veterinary Technologist, Board member of the Oiled Wildlife Society of B.C. and a member of the Wildlife Rehabilitators network of British Columbia. Lindsaye possesses finely tuned rehabilitation skills specifically when working with seals, sea lions, porpoises, sea turtles, and sea otters.


Rescue Centre Assistant Manager
Emily Johnson

Emily Johnson is originally from Brantford, Ontario. She graduated from the Veterinary Technologist program at the University of Guelph, Ridgetown College in 1999.  She worked in many different areas of veterinary medicine before her first summer at the Rescue Centre in 2010. Falling in love with Vancouver and with the Rescue Centre, she moved across the country and has called BC home since 2011.


Veterinary Technician
Shanie Fradette

Shanie Fradette has been a Registered Animal Health Technologist since 2007 and joined the Marine Mammal Rescue Team in June 2008. She is originally from Quebec and speaks French and English fluently. She came to the Rescue Centre with experience working with dolphins and turtles from an internship at a Rehabilitation Hospital in Florida.

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Rehabilitation Specialist Adviser
Amelia MacRae

Amelia MacRae has completed a BA in English Literature from UVIC, a BSc in Global Resource Systems from UBC and in 2009, completed an MSc from UBC’s Animal Welfare Program. Her thesis examined the effect of diet and the provision of supplementary heat on pups’ growth and survival. Amelia's previous work has included Enrichment Coordinator at the Calgary Zoo where she worked with a wide variety of species including grizzly bears, black bears, cougars, wolves, moose and whooping cranes, and as a Marine Mammal Trainer at the Vancouver Aquarium. Amelia has just started her PhD in Animal Welfare at UBC.


Locum Veterinary Technician
Andrew Celmainis

Andrew Celmainis is a local, born and raised in North Vancouver. He graduated from TRU with a diploma in Veterinary Technology in 2014 and did a summer internship at MMRC before his final year. Andrew has been an RVT on staff since the 2014 season. He spends his free time kayaking and enjoying the outdoors.


Rehabilitation Specialist
Talia Smith

Talia Smith graduated from Simon Fraser University with a BSc. in Biological Sciences in 2012. She began volunteering with the Vancouver Aquarium after graduation, and has previously worked in the Visitor Experience department. She was hired on as staff at the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre in 2015 after having completed a practicum placement during the previous year.


Too many to name!

Dedicated volunteers are essential to the success of the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre. Volunteers clean facilities and animal care spaces; prepare food and assist in feeding animals; assist with the preparation and administration of medications and treatments; accompany staff on rescues and releases; and help to ensure that every animal gets the care that it needs. If you are interested in joining the volunteer team, view our volunteer