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Dyan deNapoli


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I ONLY ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT PENGUINS. As a recognized penguin expert, I can authoritatively answer any questions about penguins - from biology, behavior, conservation, habitat or the impacts of global warming, to working in an aquarium setting and husbandry management etc. AGAIN, I ANSWER PENGUIN QUESTIONS ONLY - IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT OTHER ANIMALS, PLEASE ASK A DIFFERENT EXPERT. Thank you!

Experience in the area

I was a Senior Penguin Aquarist at the New England Aquarium in Boston for nine years, where I co-managed a colony of seventy penguins. I have extensive experience hand-rearing penguin chicks, managing colony health, understanding penguin behavior, and educating the public about penguins. I've been the guest penguin expert on numerous television and radio shows in the US and abroad, have been the content reviewer for three books about penguins, and have spoken at national and international conferences. I have spoken at four TEDx conferences - my TEDx talk about the Treasure oil spill rescue is featured on the main TED website. It can been viewed at https://www.ted.com/talks/dyan_denapoli_the_great_penguin_rescue. In the summer of 2000, I worked as a rehabilitation manager during the rescue of 40,000 African penguins from an oil spill. I wrote an award-winning book about this event, THE GREAT PENGUIN RESCUE, which Simon & Schuster published in October of 2010. In 2006, I founded an educational company called THE PENGUIN LADY, which is devoted to raising awareness and funding to help protect threatened and endangered penguin species. I provide on-site programs about penguins for children and adults, and donate a portion of the proceeds from every appearance to penguin rescue groups.


National Marine Educators Association (NMEA), Massachusetts Marine Educators Association (MMEA), Association of Zoos & Aquariums, International Zoo Educators Association, Author's Guild, International Women's Writing Guild, North Shore Women in Business (NSWIB), North Shore Business Forum, Mount Ida Veterinary Technology Accreditation Committee, Mensa International


On October 26, 2010, Simon & Schuster's Free Press imprint published THE GREAT PENGUIN RESCUE, a book that I wrote about the remarkable rescue of 40,000 penguins from the Treasure oil spill in South Africa. I worked as a rehabilitation supervisor during this historic event. More than 12,500 volunteers labored for three grueling months, after which 95% of the penguins were successfully released back into the wild. THE GREAT PENGUIN RESCUE has won several literary awards, and is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other stores and online retailers. I authored the Penguin chapter for Scholastic Publishing's New Book of Knowledge Encyclopedia (NBK) in 2008, which is also available online at Grolier. (Most libraries have free access to this database.) I wrote the feature cover story (about the Treasure oil spill rescue) for the January 2011 The Mensa Bulletin. A link to that article, title Rescued Treasure, is here: http://www.us.mensa.org/AML/assets/Publications/Bulletin/Samples/rescuedtreasure/index.html I've had several articles published online, as well as in Mused Literary Magazine. A paper that I wrote about the New England Aquarium's penguin outreach program was published in the AZA conference proceedings journal in 1998.


BS in Animal Science from Mount Ida College in 1996, AZA Conservation Education School - NC State University 1999, PADI Scuba certified in 1995

Awards and Honors

Distinguished Alumni Award from Mount Ida College in 2002 for outstanding contributions in the sciences - award given in recognition of work done as a rehabilitation manager during the rescue of 20,000 penguins from an oil spill in South Africa. Graduated Summa Cum Laude from Mount Ida College in 1996 - awarded for Exceptional Achievement in the Sciences at graduation ceremonies

Past/Present Clients

Numerous schools, colleges, libraries, museums, cruise ships, assisted living facilities, rotary clubs and more. I've been the onboard penguin expert/guest lecturer on nature cruises to the Galapagos Islands and Antarctica. I've also been the guest on numerous TV and radio programs, including CNN, BBC, CBC Radio-Canada, ABC Radio Australia. and Sierra Club Radio. If you wish to obtain specific names or locations, please contact me via e-mail or through my website at www.thepenguinlady.com

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

My mission is to raise awareness and funding to protect penguins. To that end, I donate 20% of the proceeds from my book and from every appearance to penguin rescue groups. Penguins have suffered greatly due to human disturbance, and global warming is taking its toll on all 18 species. If current environmental trends continue, several species could become extinct within a decade.

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

Penguins are an indicator species. 15 of the 18 penguin species are now listed as Threatened or Endangered. When you see the population of an indicator species declining, it's a signal that something is wrong with the ecosystem the species lives in. Penguins are the proverbial 'canary in the coal mine', warning us that we need to take better care of the environment if they are to survive.

Something controversial or provocative about this subject

In the spring of 2010, two major changes took place in the world of penguin conservation. The African penguin's status was changed to Endangered - their population has halved in the last 10 years to just 80,000 birds. And two of the three sub-species of Rockhopper penguins have been found to be two separate species, so there are now 18 penguin species (and the Northern Rockhopper is Endangered).

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
Prashant S Akerkar 03/20/17101010 
Prashant S Akerkar03/13/17101010Dear Dyan Thanks. Prashant
Prashant S Akerkar03/06/17101010Dear Dyan Thanks. Prashant
Prashant S Akerkar02/09/17101010Dear Dyan Thanks. Prashant
Prashant S Akerkar 02/08/17101010Dear Dyan Thanks. Prashant

Recent Answers from Dyan deNapoli

2017-03-19 Birds which cannot fly database.:

Hello Prashant,    Aside from penguins, there are about 60 other species of birds that cannot fly. There are various reasons why some birds have evolved over time to lose the ability to fly - and various

2017-03-13 Species seeing in the dark.:

Hi Prashant,    Are you talking about penguin species, or all animal species? If you're asking about penguins, they can all see well in the dark - in fact their eyes are adapted to seeing in low light

2017-03-05 Memory power research in Animals.:

Hello Prashant,    I'm strictly a penguin expert, so I really can't answer this question properly for you. I would recommend asking this question to someone who's more of an animal generalist here on AllExperts

2017-02-09 Longest life span in Animals.:

Hi again Prahsant,    Do you mean of ALL animals? Or just with penguins? I'm not a generalist (penguins are my specific area of expertise), so you might want to ask this question of a different animal

2016-11-19 Penguins and abnormal behaviours:

Hello Michael,    Thank you for your question about penguins. I worked with 3 different species of penguins for 9 years at the New England Aquarium in Boston. We had 69 birds at the time, and I never saw


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