About Us

We are focused, professional and experienced.

Aquamoon is a diverse team of over 20 individuals.  We are artists, engineers, life support specialists and animal care experts, we draw upon our eclectic backgrounds and expertise to create and maintain beautiful, balanced aquatic environments.  Our company operates with an extremely high level of integrity, excellence and purpose.

In 2006, a group of zoo and aquarium professionals created Aquamoon, a full service aquatics firm that specializes in the ongoing care of highly designed aquariums in commercial, institutional, educational and residential settings.

With a pedigree in the public zoo and aquarium field, we have developed a team of highly trained aquarists that deliver the highest quality of service and customer care.  We currently operate in six different states nationwide and are trusted by large commercial retailers, museums, private clients, and many others.

We are passionate about our work – natural art and aquatic life.  We love that aquariums operate at the intersection of art and science.  They are beautiful and technically involved compositions that are truly magical if created and maintained correctly.  At Aquamoon, we specialize in delivering this magic.

Focused

By focusing on what we believe we are the best at, namely aquarium service, we have built a company like no other.  Retail doesn’t drive our economic engine, service does.  We have spent the last decade perfecting our service program with focused discipline

Professional

Our laboratory is a space dedicated to the study or animal care practices, water quality, water filtration systems, environmental enrichment, disease prevention, animal health, and aquarium design.  Aquamoon’s team members use the laboratory space each and every day in to provide the best possible environments for the exhibits we maintain.

Experienced

We are professionals with decades of experience in the hobby and commercial zoo and aquarium industry.  By continuously pushing to improve our service program we have built momentum on the flywheel and are now a nationwide service company trusted by home owners and national businesses.

Principals & Directors

jim

James Torelli

Principal

jtorelli@aquamoon.com

Jim is a well-known leader in the field of aquatic plumbing and life support systems.  As a licensed plumber who also holds State of Illinois RPZ Backflow Prevention License, and is a PADI Rescue Certified Diver, Jim has over 20 years of experience in life support and facilities maintenance in commercial, industrial and residential sectors.

His specialization has led to him being sought ought to work with numerous specialized projects.  For example, he has worked  with AIDG (Animal Interaction Design Group) and Living Exhibits as a design and installation consultant, and currently works on staff with the John G. Shedd Aquarium’s Life Support and Facilities Department.  In this role he assists with designing, building and maintaining exhibits.  He has continued his education with course work at the Building Owners and Management Association.

His recent restoration of a 1800’s mansion on Chicago’s South Side shows Jim’s comprehensive skill in all aspects of construction and design, from plumbing to electrical systems to historically sensitive design.

Jim has a great understanding of the systems in nature, and an exceptional appreciation and commitment to the outdoors.  His “naturalist” philosophy steers his life support design, as he looks to ecology for answers and inspirations.  You can find Jim on Lake Michigan utilizing his portable kayak during his daily commute.


robert

Robert Van Valkenburg

Principal

rvanvalkenburg@aquamoon.com

Add more stuff about work at Aquamoon. Since 2006.

Bob is a talented and well-respected husbandry expert with over 20 years of experience in living systems and animal care environments.  He has brought this understanding and appreciation of natural systems to the creation of man-made spaces that echo the balance of beauty and necessity found in nature. Additionally, Bob has a proven track record of leading teams of animal keepers, veterinarians, doctors, facilitiy operators and designers to achieve successful exhibitions and experiences – all with a business acumen that keeps projects on time and on budget.

After completing a degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Illinois, Bob has focused on commercial, residential and institutional projects.  Each project demonstrates his standard of excellence and commitment to the balance of air, water and light within structures of the built environment. His work strives to improve the relationship between the users – whether resident, worker, patient, traveler, or consumer – and the spaces they inhabit

For more than 17 years, Bob worked at the world renowned John G. Shedd Aquarium, most recently as the Director of Animal Health. During his tenure, Bob was charged with creating and implementing an animal information management system (AIMS) to manage the care of 32,500 animals.  He also designed preventative care systems and oversaw the staff, equipment and operations of the 5,600 square foot animal hospital.

As a complement to his passion for living systems, Bob has trained in techniques of Japanese bonsai; the purposes of which are primarily contemplation for the viewer, and the pleasant exercise of effort and ingenuity for the grower.  His exploration of the aesthetics of nature through bonsai has informed his study of the effects of the built environment on health, wellness and productivity.


Brian Gauger

Director of Animal Care

bgauger@aquamoon.com

With a passion for scientific thought and environmental conservation, Brian Gauger has dedicated his career to understanding and applying biological processes.  Brian’s diverse experiences in the field, laboratory, and classroom have contributed to his recognized expertise in animal care.  Meticulous attention to detail, balance, and a holistic approach to re-created environments are all critical in Brian’s eyes.

After earning a BS in Environmental Science from the University of Illinois, Brian completed internships with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Sanctuaries division of NOAA.  He furthered his education at the University of San Diego, earning a Master of Science degree with a focus on marine aquaculture.  Brian continued his work as a research assistant with Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute in San Diego.  At HSWRI, Brian helped establish novel culture techniques on commercially significant fish species, explored the use of alternative proteins in broodstock diets, and co-authored pier reviewed scientific literature.

Brian joined Aquamoon in 2011 as part of the animal care division. As Director of Animal Care, he currently oversees several terrestrial exhibits and over 150, 000 gallons of aquatic habitat across the country.  Brian is also charged with creating and maintaining Aquamoon’s world class professional standards by implementing a thorough training program and nurturing an atmosphere of continuing education and support for our animal caregivers.

In his downtime, Brian enjoys escaping the city to explore, photograph, and enjoy nature.

Territory Managers

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John Smith

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John Smith

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John Smith

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John Smith

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John Smith

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John Smith

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John Smith

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John Smith

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