Dave Bernier, M.N.A.

Animal Care
Animal Management
General Curator
  • M.N.A – Business, Non-profit Administration, North Park University
  • B.S. – Biology, Pre-veterinary Studies, North Park College

Areas of Expertise

  • Zoo safety
  • Species planning
  • Exhibit design
  • Sichuan takin population management
  • Southern three-banded armadillo management


As Lincoln Park Zoo’s general curator, Dave oversees the entire Animal Care staff and works closely with the curators, nutritionist, and behavioral and husbandry manager. He has worked in various positions at the zoo since 1989, serving as an animal keeper; lead animal keeper for small mammals and reptiles; lead animal keeper for great apes; zoological manager of the bird department; and curator of large mammals, carnivores, hoofstock, and Farm-in-the-Zoo.

Dave also co-chairs the zoo’s Safety Committee, is responsible for conducting zoo-wide safety drills, assists in USDA and Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) inspection readiness, and co-chairs the Integrated Animal Welfare Committee. He was part of the design team for several innovative construction projects—including Regenstein Macaque Forest, Robert and Mayari Pritzker Penguin Cove, and Walter Family Arctic Tundra—and is currently on the design team for the lion house renovation project.

He is also the coordinator for two Species Survival Plan programs through the AZA, helping to manage the southern three-banded armadillo and Sichuan takin.

Empty Playlist