Our Staff

Juan Martín Cuevas
Sharks and Ray Conservation Coordinator
Juan Martín Cuevas joined WCS Argentina in late 2015, to develop and implement a program of work on sharks and rays in the Patagonian Sea. Juan Martín received his Licentiate in Biological Sciences from Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata (UNdMP) in Argentina, his MSc in Zoology from Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz (UESC) in Brazil and completed his PhD in Natural Sciences from Universidad Nacional de La Plata (UNLP) in Argentina, with his Thesis titled Conservation tools for chondrichthyans in the Argentine Sea. In addition to his own field research, Juan Martín's priorities for the new program are networking with regional experts and assessing the current state of knowledge of species and fisheries, identifying data gaps, and developing a set of priorities for a five-year program of work, including research priorities.
Lara Heidel
Land Conservation Coordinator and Spatial Planning Analyst
Lara Heidel is writing her doctoral thesis on the impacts of climate change on human activities and the viability of guanaco and Andean cat populations in northern Patagonia. She also leads WCS’ research and conservation work on Andean condors, the subject of her undergraduate thesis. Lara was chosen to participate in the 2009-2010 class of Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders, sponsored by the Gilman Foundation, Defenders of Wildlife, USFWS, IFAW, and the Wildlife Conservation Network. She is a founding member and past president of a local NGO, Conservación Patagónica, based in San Martín de los Andes.
Martin Funes
Protected Areas Manager
Martín Funes is currently the Terrestrial Protected Areas Manager for WCS Argentina. Martín has dedicated more than 30 years to wildlife conservation, management, and research in Patagonia. He completed a Licenciate degree in biology at the University of La Plata and a Masters in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida. He has worked on carnivores, raptors, guanacos and lesser rheas and management plans. Within WCS, prior to his current role, he served as Conservation Director of the Argentine Program, Coordinator of the 5-year Cooperative agreement between WCS and the US Fish and Wildlife Service for the conservation of Argentinean and Chilean Patagonia, and Landscape Director of the Patagonian Steppe Program.
Santiago Francisco Krapovickas
Program Manager
Santiago Krapovickas graduated with a degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Buenos Aires and obtained a diploma as a specialist in management of non-profit organizations from the University of San Andrés. He has worked, mainly as a consultant, for various organizations, both governmental and non-governmental: Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina, Administration of National Parks, Wildlife Conservation Society, Fundación Patagonia Natural and Tompkins Conservation. He was Director of Conservation at Aves Argentinas / AOP (1996-2005) and Coordinator of the Forum for the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea (2011-2016). He participated as a consultant and team member in several programs that achieved the creation of new terrestrial and marine reserves. He is a graduate professor in project management at the University of Buenos Aires.
Solange Clara Fermepin
Marine Conservation Analyst
Graduate in Physical Sciences (UBA) and PhD in Environmental Sciences with orientation in Climatology (UPMC-Paris VI). During her PhD, she learned about the impacts of climate change, and in particular, about the loss of biodiversity at a global level. Determined to reorient her career towards conservation, upon her return to Argentina she completed a Master's in Biodiversity Conservation at UBA. Currently, she works in the Coastal-Marine Conservation Program, where she is mainly dedicated to the use and analysis of spatial data to inform conservation actions and management of coastal and marine ecosystems, based on scientific research and expert knowledge.
Victoria Zavattieri
Graphic Design Producer and Content Creator
Biologist from the University of Rio Cuarto, Argentina. During her early career, she worked in projects on the ecology and behavior of reptiles and amphibians. She also taught Ecology and Zoology of Invertebrates. In the late 1990s, she moved to coastal Patagonia, where she conducted research on the reproductive biology of marine invertebrates, especially sea stars. She also participated in research projects on southern elephant seals, collaborating with the field work and data analysis. Victoria has developed skills in scientific illustration and graphic design, which contributed to numerous publications, presentations and websites. She has illustrated the Patagonia’s singular wildlife with a distinctive style that incorporates humor to engage and educate people on scientific and conservation principles.

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Associate Researchers


Phd. Adrian Schiavini - Land Mammals in Tierra del Fuego
PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Buenos Aires. He currently works as Principal Researcher at CONICET and Professor at the National University of Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica and the South Atlantic Islands. For 30 years he has been studying the ecology of birds and mammals in Tierra del Fuego, generating applied knowledge to resolve conflicts with human activities and the creation of protected areas. In the last 15 years his career has focused on studies applied to invasive species in Tierra del Fuego, such as beavers and feral dogs.
Phd. Alejandro Gatto - Exotic Invasive Species 
PhD in Biological Sciences (University of Buenos Aires). He is currently a CONICET researcher at the Center for the Study of Marine Systems, Puerto Madryn. He has participated in projects related to the ecology and conservation of Patagonian seabirds associated with the Wildlife Conservation Society since 1999. He has participated in more than thirty research, conservation and environmental education projects in various natural areas of the country covering several different environments and species. These experiences involved working together with local leaders, local authorities, researchers, park rangers, environmental educators, members of NGOs, and local communities. His academic work is mainly focused on the ecology of communities and the trophic ecology of Patagonian birds, studying for more than twenty years the structure of bird assemblages associated with marine and continental wetlands as well as those associated with terrestrial environments in Patagonia and diverse aspects of the trophic ecology of seabirds.

Phd. Andrea Raya Rey - Seabirds in Tierra del Fuego  
Biologist and PhD in Marine Ecology, of the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Andrea lives and works as a researcher at CADIC- Argentine National Research Council.  She has been studying seabird ecology and conservation, during the last 20 years mainly in Tierra del Fuego, Beagle Channel and Staten Island, but also in other places in Patagonia, Antarctic Peninsula and the extended Patagonian Shelf. Her research has been funded by national and international agencies, including Wildlife Conservation Society as a field staff. Andrea has been carrying on a long-term monitoring on breeding, feeding and spatial ecology of seabirds in the region. Her research helps to identify hot spots and main threats in the marine ecosystem for seabirds breeding and foraging in the Southwest Atlantic Ocean and Beagle Channel. This in turn allows promoting Marine Protected Areas and guidelines for better practices for seabird and ocean conservation.

Phd. Esteban Frere - Seabirds in Santa Cruz
Biologist and PhD in Marine Ecology, of the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina. Most of his postgraduate curses were done at the University of Washington, USA. He has been studying seabird ecology and conservation, as field staff of WCS, during the last 30 years at the Patagonian Coast. He was working, particularly, on penguins, cormorants, albatross and petrels. His studies were focused on coastal Patagonia closely related to management of protected areas, assessing on the design and management of protected areas at state government. He has been working not only in the Southwestern Atlantic but also in the Pacific Ocean at Chile and Peru during the last years. He is professor of the Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia Austral, Santa Cruz province and researcher of the CONICET (National Scientific Agency). During the last two years, he was coordinating the Global Seabird Programme of BirdLife International in South America.

Phd. Luciana Musmeci - Seabirds 
PhD in Biology. Assistant Researcher – Institute of Austral Diversity and Evolution (CONICET) since 2016, Puerto Madryn. Her main research topics are in migratory, population and trophic ecology of migratory shorebirds in Patagonia, conservation of the sites they use; and the monitoring of southern flamingos in Chubut, their reproductive ecology and management for the conservation sites.

Phd. Natalia Dellabianca - Marine Mammals in Tierra del Fuego  
Phd. in Natural Sciences, graduated from the Universidad Nacional de La Plata. She arrived Tierra del Fuego in 2004 to do an internship at the Acatushún Museum with Dr. Goodall. Two years later she settled permanently in Ushuaia and since then she has been working in the Laboratory of Ecology and Wildlife Conservation of the Austral Center for Scientific Research (CADIC-CONICET) and is part of the research group of the IMMA Project. Her research is related to the life history and spatial ecology of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic marine mammals, with special interest in climate variability on them.

Phd. Pablo Yorio - Seabirds in Chubut
Phd. in Biological Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires. He works as a researcher at the Centro para el Estudio de Sistemas Marinos-CONICET in Puerto Madryn and is Professor of the Seabird Ecology and Conservation course at the Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia. Since 1984, he has been associated to WCS conducting research on the ecology and conservation of Patagonian seabirds, including penguins, gulls, terns and cormorants. Research topics have included distribution and abundance of breeding populations, breeding biology, habitat selection, feeding ecology, interactions with human activities, and conservation strategies. He has worked closely with conservation and fisheries government departments and the National Parks Administration providing advice in seabird conservation and planning of coastal environments. He has also acted as consultant on topics related to coastal and marine conservation for several national and international organizations. He is member of the Penguin Specialist Group of IUCN.

Phd. Ricardo Baldi - Coexistence & Conservation in Chubut
Ricardo’s PhD research at the University of London demonstrated that competition with introduced sheep was a primary force behind the dramatic decline of the guanaco population in the region. Currently he is a researcher of the Argentine National Research Council (CONICET), he now leads WCS Argentina’s regional conservation planning for guanacos. He is a member of the South America Camelid Specialists’ Group of the IUCN, and led the process of evaluation of the status of the South American camelids for the IUCN Redlist. He has served frequently as a consultant on issues related to guanacos, maras, and Darwin’s rheas for provincial and federal government agencies, and was the lead author of the national management plan for the guanaco in 2006. Based in the coastal Patagonia city of Puerto Madryn, he also works with a group of ranchers in the Peninsula Valdés World Heritage Site to help them meet Wildlife Friendly™ standards of production on their sheep farms.



Extended Team 


  • Lucas Albornoz -  Rays & Sharks 
  • Milagros Antun - Vegetation & Grazing Monitoring Coordination / Regenerative Project
  • Marlene Bar Lamas - Vegetation & Grazing Monitoring Assistant / Regenerative Project
  • Leonel Buffa - Peninsula de Valdes Coordination & Field Assistant / Regenerative Project
  • Julieta Campagna - Marine Elephants
  • Ana Casalini - Vegetation & Soil Monitoring Assistant / Regenerative Project
  • Damasia Ezcurra - Communications 
  • Pablo Filippo - Public Policy 
  • Tomás Funes - Field Assistant / Regenerative Project
  • Laila López Goudard - Wildlife Trafficking Specialist    
  • Jairo Gonzalez - Field Assistant / Regenerative Project
  • Jimena Gonzalez - Finance & Administration 
  • Ezequiel Infantino - Certification & Value Chains Coordinator / Regenerative Project
  • Cecilia Palacios - Geospatial Analyst
  • Susan Walker - Planning & Development of Financing Proposals / Land Project