Valeria Ruoppolo, is a veterinarian with a Masters degree in Animal Pathology. She has been a member of the Emergency Relief Team of the International Fund for Animal Welfare since 2000. She has participated as part of the management team in several oiled wildlife rescue efforts around the world including the Treasure (South Africa, 2000), Jessica (Galapagos, 2001), Prestige (Spain, 2002), Rocknes (Norway, 2004), Coatzacoalcos (México, 2005). Other responses of interest in South America include the Berge Nice in Chile, Vicuña in Brazil and Caleta Córdova, Argentina. She has managed several mystery spill responses in Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina for IFAW.
As one of the founding members of the NGO Projeto BioPesca - dedicated to monitoring cetaceans and sea turtles by-catch, in São Paulo, Brazil, Valeria has participated and coordinated several research projects in collaboration with the University of São Paulo.
Working with marine animal husbandry, disease and rehabilitation since 1995, she has dedicated lots of her time to penguins and seals, having spent two summers in Antarctica as part of the Brazilian Antarctic Program. She also participated in the US Antarctic Program as part of the Adélie penguin project (www.penguinscience.com).