March Guest Speaker
Art Parola’s interest in wildlife was sparked at an early age. At less than a year old, while accompanying his father on sabbatical in Australia, he attempted to swim out of a bottomless boat to explore the Great Barrier Reef below. He spent his childhood tromping through the streams, woods, and fields of Kentucky and Pennsylvania, attempted to catch anything that slithered, crawled, or swam. At age 8, he got his first tropical aquarium after a small science experiment involving brine shrimp went array. A little less than a year later a rogue dwarf pufferfish started the proliferation of aquariums in his parents’ basement that never really ended until he left for college. Art worked for 4 years for a local independent pet shop and now works for an aquarium products manufacturer. He has been active in his local aquarium society for over 7 years and currently serves on the boards of trustees for the Louisville Tropical Fish Fanciers and the American Cichlid Association. Currently his main interests are looking for cichlids in the wild, observing the structure and dynamics of the pet industry and hobby (especially reptiles and aquatics), and encouraging young people to get involved in the aquatic sciences.