Technical team

Caroline Leuchtenberger – Biologist.
Coordinator of the Giant Otter Project and professor at the Federal Farroupilha Institute. Since 2006 she has been conducting researches with the species that was the focal species for her master’s and doctorate. In 2013 she became the species coordinator of the IUCN of the otter expert group. Carol is also part of the Technical Advisory Group of the National Action Plan for the Conservation of Giant Otters coordinated by the Brazilian Environmental Agency (ICMBio) and she participates of the giant otters reintroduction program coordinated by the Rewilding Argentina Fundation held in Iberá, Argentina.

Abigail Martin – American zoologist. In 2015 Abbie created the Jaguar Identification Project to instigate value to the world’s largest floodplain, the Pantanal. The Jaguar ID Project uses citizen science and camera traps to monitor the ecology and behavior of the jaguar population in the Encontro das Águas State Park and Porto Jofre region in the Northern Pantanal. Over the years watching jaguars along the region’s rivers, Abbie also follows the giant otter groups, contributing with information about the species and monitoring the groups that are focused by the project. Together her experience with the local community and the identification of jaguars has been contributing to the actions of the Giant Otter Project.

Grazielle Soresini – Veterinary. Grazielle specilizes in Medical and Surgical Wildlife Clinic and MSc in Animal Science. Since 2015, she has been working in field activities and monitoring giant otter groups in the Pantanal. She concluded her PhD in 2019 on genetics and health of giant otters. She has been performing veterinary clinical and surgical care of birds, reptiles and wild mammals in various institutions. Partner of the Free Life Clinic – Wildlife Medicine (Curitiba / PR), Brazil’s first veterinary clinic specializing in wildlife. She has been a volunteer member of the Otter Specialist Group (IUCN) since 2016.

Nathalie Foerster – Biologist and currently a PhD student at the Graduate Program in Ecology and Conservation at the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul. Nathalie has been developing her PhD thesis on behavioral and bioacoustic ecology of giant otters in the Miranda region of the Pantanal of Mato Grosso do Sul.

Samara Almeida – Biologist and MSc in Biological Sciences. Samara has been working for the past 6 years with giant otters in the state of Tocantins, acting with conservation, monitoring, environmental education, communication and animal behavior. Currently Samara coordinates a research on acoustic communication of giant otters in the Cantão State Park, Tocantins, which is part of her PhD thesis.

Lívia Rodrigues de Almeida – Biologist and Environmental Analyst at the National Center for Research and Conservation of Carnivorous Mammals of ICMBio (ICMBio / CENAP). She began working with the ecology of otters in the state of Rio de Janeiro in 2002. Since 2011, Lívia has been working on the elaboration of conservation strategies for the endangered Brazilian fauna and since 2015 she has coordinated the Giant Otter National Conservation Action Plan and the evaluation process of Brazilian carnivores extinction risk. She is also a member of the IUCN Otter Specialist Group.


Nicole Duplaix – PhD in Ecology from the University of Paris, France. Nicole has studied otters for 45 years and is now focused on otter research and conservation in Asia and South America. She is the founder and co-chair of the IUCN-SSC otter expert group – the global otter conservation authority. She teaches Conservation Biology and Species Recovery Planning courses at Oregon State University.

Fernando Rodrigo Tortato – PhD in Ecology and Biodiversity Conservation. Fernando is associate researcher at the Panthera Foundation NGO and has been working for over 10 years on projects aimed at jaguar conservation. In his doctorate, he assessed how tourism can represent a tool for jaguar conservation in the Pantanal. In his field activities in the Pantanal the observation of giant otters is very frequent. Fernando is interested in understanding how tourism can affect the behavior and survival of this incredible mustelid. Fernando plays the role of collaborator of the Giant Otter Project, assisting in contacting with local leaders, logistical support and the dissemination of the actions developed by the project.

Letícia Graciano – is illustrator and art educator, graduated in Visual Arts from the State University of Campinas. She researches childhood culture and she has worked in some NGOs in the state of São Paulo, providing artistic experiences for children and teenagers. Currently she is living with rural populations, and she has been engage with conservation projects in Brazil for a while.

George Leandro – Biologist, Sanitarist. George has lived and worked professionally in some states in Brazil. He has experience with Conservation Parks management and with conservation of endangered species. He lived and worked with traditional populations in isolated areas, and he has participated with social projects and has worked in urban and rural areas.