Alumni Profile: Adele Santelli

Adele Santelli is an environmental journalist based in São Paulo who specialises in Environmental, Sustainability and Global Policies. She is also a Masters candidate in Environmental Science at the University of São Paulo and has worked in some of Brazil’s biggest newsrooms for the past 14 years. In 2021 she took part in the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism fellowship. She currently works as a reporter at TV Cultura and National Geographic Brasil, writing mainly on climate change and biodiversity loss.

Adele Santelli At Green Templeton College EntranceAdele writes:

As a fellow at the Reuters Institute in 2021 I was affiliated to Green Templeton College and it was such a pleasant surprise. The cosy atmosphere, the helpful and friendly people and the excellent structure, not to mention the beauty of the gardens and other facilities made me feel comfortable and very welcome.

I am an environmental journalist based in São Paulo, working in some of Brazil’s biggest newsrooms for the past 14 years. In addition, I work as a reporter at TV Cultura, Brazil’s most prominent public service broadcast television channel, as well as for National Geographic Brasil writing in-depth, long-form reporting on topics ranging from wildlife trafficking, plastic pollution, carbon markets, genetic diversity of endangered species, wildlife contaminated by pesticides and controversial infrastructure development projects in the Amazon.

From my time at Green Templeton, I remember going to the library to work on my paper almost every day by bike and having picnics in the fantastic garden of GTC, which helped to face the lockdown and strengthen the bonds of friendship with other fellows and students.

Living in Oxford, and being part of the university is a unique chance in a lifetime. The city’s exuberance, the parks, the amazing libraries and colleges and the diversity of people and backgrounds make it the perfect place to learn and enjoy new experiences. The different seminars and events promoted by the GTC staff allowed us to become part of the college and get to know more about what is going on in other fields of knowledge.

I also had the chance to meet some students working on a project on Climate Change, and it was super interesting. I would definitely advise students to come to GTC!

At the Reuters Institute, I researched how to better tell environmental stories to help journalists report on some of the biggest crises of our time and, therefore, raise awareness of these problems. The support of the University of Oxford was essential to develop my career and achieve a level of excellence in my profession.

When I think about my learning journey in Oxford, I remember the kindness and encouragement of Green Templeton Associate Fellow Meera Selva, Deputy Director of the Reuters Institute and the relevant debates on journalism led by Green Templeton Senior Research Fellow and Director Rasmus Nielsen during the seminars. It was a real turning point for me as a journalist.

Adele Santelli in coat and scarf with Glacier behind

Adele in El Calafate, Argentina January 2019

I have a postgraduate degree in Environmental, Sustainability, and Global Policies from Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado (FAAP). I also specialise in Scientific Dissemination and I am currently researching the best practices to report ocean plastic pollution as part of a master’s degree program in Environmental Science at the University of São Paulo. In the past, I have focused my work on environmental issues and hopefully accumulated a fair bit of knowledge in this field.

I am especially interested in working with stories on climate change, deforestation, and biodiversity loss. Brazil is home to 60% of the Amazon, the largest rainforest globally. The country also holds almost 20% of all species, many still unknown by scientists. Still, there is a lack of stories on wildlife in the Brazilian media. Hence, my aim is to contribute to changing this reality and call attention to the mass extinction of species that is being caused by human actions.

In 2020 I received the CNT award, one of the most relevant prizes in the country, for reporting on the threat of roadkills to the Brazilian fauna and how transportation can lead some species towards extinction.

When I was a child, my parents used to teach me about the importance of every little aspect of nature and how everything is connected. So, for as long as I can remember, I have been passionate about animals, plants, ecosystems and all living beings. I also remember enjoying writing very much. As I grew up, I focused on deepening my learning of the environment and other subjects surrounding this topic.

Reporting on the environment makes me professionally accomplished. I feel I may be helping other people have the same opportunity that I had to fall in love with nature and, therefore, protect it. I believe in the right to life of every living being, and I focus my work on stories that can touch people and inspire them to fight for a better world.

Besides work, I enjoy going for long walks with my dog, movies and photography. I am passionate about travelling, especially to places surrounded by nature. I hope to work on investigative stories on wildlife crimes in Brazil shortly and start my own journalistic project as well.

There is a lot yet to come, and I am looking forward to new challenges!