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Dyan deNapoli        

Penguin Expert, TED Speaker & Award-Winning Author of "The Great Penguin Rescue"

Dyan deNapoli is a penguin expert, a TED and Nat Geo speaker, and the award-winning author of "The Great Penguin Rescue: 40,000 Penguins, A Devastating Oil Spill, and the Inspiring Story of the World’s Largest Animal Rescue." DeNapoli’s first book about penguins for children was released to rave reviews in December of 2020. Already a best-selling book, "All About Penguins: Discover Life on Land and in the Sea" has been endorsed by several renowned penguin experts.

After working as a Penguin Aquarist at Boston’s prestigious New England Aquarium for 9 years, deNapoli began traveling the world as The Penguin Lady, teaching children and adults of all ages about penguin biology, behavior, and conservation. Over the last 23 years, she has captivated hundreds of thousands of audience members with stories of her various experiences with penguins, and with her deep passion and extensive knowledge about them. She donates 20% of the proceeds from her book and from every appearance to penguin rescue, research, and conservation groups.

DeNapoli is a frequent guest on national and international radio, podcasts, and TV – and a go-to expert whenever penguins hit the news, including repeat appearances on the BBC, CNN, CBC Canada, and Sierra Club Radio. She has been the penguin expert and guest lecturer on several nature cruises to Antarctica and the Galapagos Islands, and is thrilled to be a regular guest speaker for Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic. In 2016, deNapoli was one of 76 female scientists from around the globe selected for the inaugural voyage of Homeward Bound; a 10-year leadership initiative for women in STEM carried out in Antarctica.

DeNapoli has spoken at four TEDx conferences, and wrote and narrated a video about penguin conservation for TED–Ed; the educational branch of TED. Her 2011 TEDxBoston talk about the remarkable rescue of 40,000 penguins from the Treasure oil spill is featured on the main TED website. Her TED, TEDx, and TED-Ed videos have now been viewed nearly one million times.


The Great Penguin Rescue
Homeward Bound…To Antarctica
Meet the Woman Saving the World’s Threatened Penguins
Jackass Penguin Rescue
Boston Globe - To The Rescue, by Joel Brown
When 19,000 penguins faced death, The Penguin Lady flew from Georgetown to help. Now she tells the tale. "You really wouldn’t want a penguin as a pet", Dyan deNapoli said, laughing as if to add, you have no idea. “They smell to high heaven, and they bite, and they’re not happy if they’re alone. They need to be with lots of other penguins,’’ she said. But deNapoli loves those little birds, despite bearing scars from their razor-sharp beaks. And the adventure of her life came in 2000, when she joined in delivering hands-on care to 19,000 oil-soaked African penguins. Then working at the New England Aquarium, deNapoli was one of the experts who led thousands of volunteers in a desperate rush to save the birds after an oil spill off Cape Town, South Africa, steering the species back from the brink of disaster.
Review of The Great Penguin Rescue in The Birder's Library
Review of The Great Penguin Rescue in The Birder's Library by Grant McCreary. You may have seen the news recently of an oil spill in Tristan da Cunha threatening the endangered Northern Rockhopper Penguin. And I’m sure you heard of a little spill in the Gulf of Mexico not too long ago. But are you aware of an oil spill in South Africa a decade ago that threatened to wipe out an entire penguin species? Not to worry if you aren’t, I wasn’t either until I read The Great Penguin Rescue.
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The New York Review of Books - Save a Penguin If You Can
Review of Dyan deNapoli's book, The Great Penguin Rescue, by award-winning environmental author Tim Flannery. When oil gushes into the ocean, the consequences can be indelible. Individuals, ecosystems, even entire communities can be devastated, never to return to what they were before. Yet there are people who rush into the danger zone, for no other reason than to assist the wild creatures caught up in the slick. Dyan deNapoli’s book The Great Penguin Rescue tells the story of the largest wildlife rescue ever mounted.
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