Episode 9 with Dr. Gabriela Blanco and Dr. Richard Sherley

Separated by >4,000 miles (7,000 kilometers) of South Atlantic waters, the Magellanic and African Penguins are two of the most closely related penguin species on the planet—sister species, one might say. But despite their similar appearance, diets, nesting habits, and preference for more temperate climes, these sister species have faced different threats to their respective populations. The two projects that Earthwatch supports for each species also differ in their focal research questions, associated methods, and volunteer field work. Watch Dr. Gabriela Blanco, who runs the Trailing Penguins in Patagonia project in Argentina, and Dr. Richard Sherley, lead scientist for the South African Penguins project on Robben Island, South Africa, share what they have learned about these amazing flightless birds, and what the future might hold for each of their species.



Dr. Gabriela Blanco

Gabriela Blanco, Ph.D,
Assistant Researcher, Centro Nacional Patagónico

Dr. Gabriela Blanco is an Assistant Researcher at Instituto de Biologia de Organismos Marinos, CENPAT-CONICET. She finished her undergraduate studies at Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia SJB. Gabriela finished her PhD. at Drexel University in Philadelphia, specialized in ecology and conservation of sea turtles. She works at CONICET focusing on different aspects of seabirds ecology from Patagonia.

Dr. Richard Sherley

Richard Sherley, Ph.D.
Lecturer in Marine Vertebrate Ecology, Centre for Ecology and Conservation, University of Exeter

Dr. Richard Sherley is a Pew marine fellow at the University of Exeter, U.K. His doctoral degree from the University of Bristol, U.K. focused on the ecology and conservation of two endangered seabirds on Robben Island and he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Cape Town (UCT) from 2011 to 2014. He is involved in a series of seabird conservation projects, many based on Robben Island.

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Feature Article

A Comeback Story in the Making - Photo

A Comeback Story in the Making

The Long Road to Saving the African Penguin

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South African Penguins


South African Penguins

Join Earthwatch in South Africa to help protect a colony of African penguins on Robben Island.

Africa: Robben Island, Cape Town, South Africa, Africa
Lead Scientist: Richard Sherley, Ph.D.
Duration: 12+ days (avg. $270 a day)

Trailing Penguins in Patagonia


Trailing Penguins in Patagonia

How exactly do penguins find food at sea, and how does it impact their young? Be among the first to investigate.

South America: Chubut, Patagonia, Argentina
Lead Scientist: Flavio Quintana, Ph.D.
Duration: 7 days (avg. $399 a day)




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