Meet our 2024 Seasonal Staff

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Every spring, the Field Conservation Department welcomes aboard our seasonal staff. These dedicated naturalist help our team accomplish all of the work that our conservation programs demand during our busiest time of year. We want to give you all the chance to get to know these rising stars of conservation, so here are some brief introductions from each of them in their own words:

Jonathan Last, Wood Turtle Technician

I’m Jonathon, and I am very excited to be a wood turtle field technician with Zoo New England! I graduated from the University of New England with a degree in Animal Behavior and have had the opportunity to work with many different animals. I have monitored piping plovers, identified various animals on game cameras, rehabilitated small mammals, and helped amphibians cross roads. The native reptiles and amphibians of New England have always been my passion, but I try to assist all of our native species however I can. When I am not out in the field, I like to spend my time hiking, playing video games, and working on art. I look forward to working with this amazing team, growing my skillsets, and learning everything I can!

Anna Sorgie, Box Turtle Technician

Hi! My name is Anna Sorgie and I am the new field biologist heading Zoo New England’s box turtle and habitat enhancement projects. I graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a degree in Wildlife Conservation Biology and have since enjoyed a variety of field technician positions from which my love of conservation – and especially plants! – has grown. Past projects I have worked on include shorebird monitoring, horseshoe crab sampling, cottontail camera trapping, and investigating the habitat use and nesting ecology of several early successional bird species. I’m excited to learn about turtles and continue to develop my experience conserving New England’s fascinating plants and wildlife. Some of my hobbies include upcycling clothes, bouldering, and hanging out with my dog Churro! 

Maxim Elmaleh, Blanding’s Turtle Technician

Hi! I’m Maxim, a recent Biology graduate from UMass Amherst. My favorite group of animal is salamanders and my dream wildlife destination is the Kimberly of NW Australia!

Maxim is focusing on our Blanding’s turtle population surveys, and will be helping us do research on the turtle’s diet to better understand what kinds of aquatic invertebrates make up their diet.

Ryan Horsik, Conservation Educator

I’m Ryan Horsik, and I am working as a conservation Educator for Zoo New England! I am currently studying Environmental Engineering with a minor in criminal justice at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Two summers ago I helped out with the Blanding’s turtles and I loved It so much it made me realize that I needed to switch my major to an Environmental focused field. Growing up I always loved to be outside whether that was hiking or camping, I always had an appreciation for the outdoors and I cannot wait to share it with others!

Emma Keene-Reinhard, Diamondback Terrapin Technician


I’m Emma and I am working as a seasonal field technician for the Diamondback Terrapins in Buzzards Bay. I am from Massachusetts and grew up going to Cape Cod in the summer. I have always had a love and curiosity about the environment and wildlife around me. I graduated from Stonehill College in 2023 and studied Environmental Studies and Political Science. Previously, I had the opportunity to work with Diamondback Terrapins and specifically nesting females and hatchlings. I am so excited to continue working with this species through an awesome Conservation Department at Zoo New England and expand the field I am researching in. Conservation efforts are important for all species and I am grateful to be working with local wildlife here in Massachusetts. 

Kristen Liles, Box Turtle Technician

Hello, my name is Kristen Liles, and I am a seasonal technician for the box turtle project! I graduated from North Carolina State University with my Masters integrative biology with a concentration in herpetology. My thesis utilized radio tracking of box turtles to determine the weekly optimal tracking to estimate home ranges. I have also worked with a variety of other turtle species, from spotted turtles to snapping turtles, and all turtles in between. When I’m not out in the field I love to explore new places, go kayaking, or spend time in the garden. 

Marike Louw-Voysey , Spotted Turtle Technician

Hi there! I am a wildlife biologist hailing from South Africa, and I am thrilled to be part of the Conservation Department at Zoo New England. How exciting it is to be focusing on the conservation of spotted turtles (Clemmys guttata)! A life-long and ardent love for animals and nature has led me to conservation projects, studies and observations of various creatures in a variety of settings: from minute endemic frogs in mossy mountain ranges, bulky elephant seals in their wild sub-Antarctic home, to elusive leopards and grumpy hippos in semi-arid savannas. Conservation can be a tricky arena but it’s worth it!  I shared the joys of getting to know Blanding turtles with hundreds of turtle-appreciating school pupils in Massachusetts through an amazing conservation program of the Conservation Department of ZNE – a privilege which I cherish. I look forward to spending time in the wetlands with spotted turtles as well.