Erin Gallagher - Performer & Artist

A mermaid by trade, but more importantly a mermaid by heart.  From a young age, growing up Florida's beautiful beaches, Erin has always believed in the magic of mermaids. This upbringing sculpted her passions and laid the groundwork that would eventually lead her cofound MerNation, Inc. A former competitive swimmer, artist and self proclaimed science nerd, Erin studied Biology at The University of South Florida and worked as a Dive Master at The Florida Aquarium in Tampa where she was lucky enough to develop their mermaid program and perform for eager crowds.  Today, she has the opportunity to both perform with MerNation in venues around the world and create one-of-a-kind mermaid tails for clients, merging her passion for art and entertaining.  Erin is eager and excited to share her love for the ocean, mermaids and art with you.   

Certifications and Credentials 

  • NAUI Dive Master since 2005
  • DAN O2 and AED Certified
  • First Aid Certified
  • Free Diving Instructors International - Level 1
  • Handicapped Scuba Association Buddy Certified  

Michael Sistrunk - Artist

Growing up in a small town in Mississippi, Michael developed an unparalleled work ethic, desire for adventure and love of art.  After spending many years in the corporate world, successfully growing a variety of businesses, he decided a change of scenery was needed and moved to Florida.  Becoming a PADI Dive Instructor and Master Captain, Michael was able to share his passion for the marine world with others.  Now, as a co-owner of MerNation, Michael combines his eclectic background in business ownership, art and diving to ensure your experience is the best it can be. 

Certifications and Credentials

  • NAUI and PADI Dive Instructor since 2003 
  • First Aid, CPR, O2 Administrator and AED Certified
  • Master Captain Credentials 
  • Tech 1 and TriMix Certified Diver 
  • MOCC Instructor Certification 
  • Handicapped Scuba Association Instructor Certified 



Lauren Freeman - Performer and Artist 

Lauren brings inspiration from her upbringing in the beautiful Colorado countryside and combines it with her experience working as a diver and performer in Tampa, Florida.  Studying Marine Biology at the University of Tampa, she began her transition into a professional mermaid by becoming a NAUI Dive Instructor and introducing hundreds of students to the joy of being underwater.  While performing as a mermaid at The Florida Aquarium in Tampa, lauren joined the MerNation team and now is able to bring the magic of mermaids directly to you!   

Certifications and Credentials 

  • NAUI and PADI Dive Instructor since 2003
  • Tech 1 and Tri-Mix Dive Certified 
  • MOCC Certified  
  • Free Diving Instructors International - Level 1 
  • DAN O2 and AED Certified
  • First Aid Certified 
  • Handicapped Scuba Association Instructor Certification