Tammy Hine, Research Associate: She’s Got a Head for Numbers and a Big Heart for Exotic Animals

Wakefield Research Associate Tammy Hine truly loves to work with numbers all day. Her job involves questionnaire design, fielding and analysis. “People think numbers are boring, but they can tell you a lot,” she explains. “They make it easier to anticipate an outcome.”

It’s a different story when Tammy goes home at the end of the day to her very own menagerie: an Olde English Bulldogge, three rats, nine snakes and seven aquariums filled with fish and shrimp.  It’s fair to say her pets are a lot less precise or predictable than market research data. “I get a lot of ‘no’ at home from my pets.”

Wakefield is fortunate because Tammy has recently been able to use both her interest in statistics and animals while doing market research on U.S. pet ownership trends. “I have pet projects at work and at home.”

Actually, to say Tammy is interested in animals doesn’t do her justice.  Along with her partner, Jeff Frederick, she recently won Best in Show Judged, Best Judged Medium Tank, and Popular Vote Medium Tank in the Capital Cichlid Association competition.  Competing for the first time against other aquarium hobbyists, they designed and built an unusual lagoon-like fish tank. “We wanted it to be different, so we made our aquarium half open with plants and rocks.” It’s that combination of creativity and skill that makes Tammy such a valuable member of the Wakefield team.  And did we mention she once brought a Four-foot long python named Caramac into the office for show and tell?

So Tammy, why do you have such unusual pets? “You have to find the pets that are right for you; every pet has something special to offer. I love how snakes want to explore, and I love being able to educate people about what gorgeous animals they are. I love how smart my rats are and how quickly they can solve puzzles. I love how friendly, lovable and crazy my dog is, and our fish are elegant and beautiful but they also have personality.”