Bios – Combined experiences of over 100 years
Rick Oellers attended the University of Southern Maine and formed New England Aquarium Services , Inc in 1985, which specializes in the design, installation and maintenance of aquariums. He founded the Maine State Aquarist Society in 1991 and opened a premier aquarium store that same year, with the intention of teaching hobbyist responsible aquarium husbandry. He later began work as the chief aquarist at the Science & Nature center in Seabrook, New Hampshire, a position he still holds today. Rick was a founder of the American Marinelife Dealers Association (AMDA), serving as president from 1997 to 2001. He taught aquarium husbandry at the University of New England where he became an adjunct scientist in 2008 and is currently an advisor to the ornamental marine fish and breeding project in the Marine Science department. He is an experienced diver and has worked recently surveying and studying lionfish behavior in the Caribbean.
Deborah Cheney began fishkeeping thirty years ago. In 1986, her passion for tropical fish led to an aquarist position with New England Aquarium Services. In 1989 Deborah became Vice President, a position she holds today. Deborah has attended Southern Maine Vocational Tech, majoring in fishery science and general biology. In addition to servicing aquariums, she was a major player in the operation of Aquatic Concepts, a premier aquarium store, owned by New England Aquarium Services. Deborah specializes in African Cichlids and general aquarium fish health. Deborah served as Secretary of the Maine State Aquarist Society from 1992-1999. Deborah manages the fresh water breeding program for North East Aquatic Technologies, working with students from the University of New England. Other than tropical fish keeping Debbie’s favorite past time is boating and snorkeling in both lakes, the Gulf of Maine, Florida Keys and Mexico.
Shane Deuben has been keeping fish since he was 4, and has been a full-time employee of NEAS since January 2007. Shane enjoys working alongside truly dedicated, knowledgeable, and talented co-workers that continually push him to strive further and further with his underwater skills. He is NEAS’s Chief Marine Aquarist and the Director of Services and is heavily involved with the marketing and social networking of the company. Shane graduated from the Maine College of Art in 2003 with a sculpture major. Although living reef systems are his concentration, he has a soft spot for brackish water fish, especially puffers!
Keith started working part time with the company back in September 2011. He then became a full time employee in January 2012. Keith has kept aquariums ever since he could remember and has a strong passion for salt water reef tanks. Keith has his own 150gal saltwater reef tank at his home. He loves working with aquariums and making them look like underwater worlds for people to explore, all the while educating and getting people involved and aware of his hobby and this industry.
Eric recently graduated from Thornton Academy and is currently working for his dad until He finishes his welding degree. Eric has been servicing with his dad all of his life. His favorite aspects of being an aquarist is installing and redoing systems.
Nate has been a hobbyist for a few years in high school and started working for NEAS during that time. Since then, He has attended the University of Maine and recently moved back down to Southern Maine to complete his Aquaculture undergrad. Nate is back at it and looking forward to new opportunities.