Cool! I made quick friends with several biology profs and grad students when I arrived on campus with a monitor and tegu that I couldn't keep in my dorm. They gave me space for my lizard cage in one of the Bio-Sci lab areas, in exchange for helping care for some other research animals, which i loved doing anyway. They were glad to see a new Biology undergrad who was ecology-oriented, not just another Pre-Med student (the bulk of Bio majors). That was 40 years ago. I hope you find others there who share your passion.
The professor said I could use any of the 40+ tanks or one of the 5 green plastic 4' tanks if I clean them up and notify him!