Valerio Giovanni Russo
Are you interested in reading Valerio’s publications? Visit his ResearchGate profile.
Valerio is the CEO of K’ Nature and the main creator of this project.
Zoologist, with a specialization in Herpetology at the Vrijie Universiteit Brussel, has always had a boundless love, not only for Amphibians and Reptiles, but for all vertebrates.
Always deeply fascinated by fauna, he began his university career by attending the Faculty of Natural Sciences at the Federico II University of Naples. During this period, thanks to the Erasmus project, he moved to Granada for a year and it is during this occasion that he remains bewitched by Andalusia, a land with which he is deeply in love. Also during the three-year degree he spent a semester, in this case thanks to the Erasmus Mundus project, in Peru and specifically in Iquitos, a town on the Amazon River, crowning, very young, the dream of exploring the Amazon forest.
During this period he collected field data for the three-year thesis project “Check-list of Amphibians in two areas of the Amazonian rainforest near Iquitos (Peru) with different anthropogenic impact” with which he graduated in 2011.
Before embarking on specialist studies, he spent a period of 5 months in Australia where he undertook short but intense work experiences such as, for example, the one that led him to work in one of the largest reptile houses in the country.
He continued his university studies in Brussels where he obtained a Master degree in Herpetology with the thesis “Philogeography of the genus Stefania (Anura: Hemiphractidae)“, at the VUB (Vrije Universiteit Brussel).
This degree course allows him to get in touch with valid herpetologists from all corners of the world and to participate in experiences such as the scientific expedition in the Guyana rainforest. During the Belgian period he carried out a training internship at the important scientific institution Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences and, above all, he began to collaborate as assistant to the team of professors of the “Ecology fieldtrip” course of the VUB Biology department, an activity that, since 2014, he joins every spring. During these expeditions, as tour leader, he is responsible the teaching of Zoology. During the aforementioned fieldtrips, he explored numerous natural areas in southern Europe (northeastern Greece, Crete, Pyrenees, Tenerife, etc.).
It is precisely in the context of these scientific journeys that the idea of K ’Nature begins to mature!
Valerio continues his experience at VUB after graduation, collaborating for a semester as a researcher.
He therefore decides to put academic life aside for the moment (too little field activity!) and, once the experience in Belgium is over, he returns to Italy to collaborate with various local realities such as Città della Scienza, the WWF and the Zoological Museum of Naples (with whom he still collaborates) and finally, with the precious collaboration of his brother Luca Russo and his longtime colleague and friend Andrea Senese, he concretizes the “K’ Nature” project ,with the ambition to continue working on scientific research and consultancy, but with a major focus on ecotourism, thus combining its two greatest passions: travelling and nature.
As previously said Valerio is equally fascinated by all vertebrate taxa and during his training and work experiences he has had the opportunity to constantly deepen the science of Ornithology. In addition to having participated in numerous specialist courses on birdlife, for over 12 years he has collaborated in monitoring and scientific research projects with Ispra, the Ministry of the Environment, Ardea Onlus, etc. In 2019 he obtained the title of IWC surveyor (International Waterbird Census).
Over the years he has also had the opportunity to focus on Mammalogy with in-depth experiences on various species of mammals such as, for example, the Italian Wolf and Italian Roe Deer.
Valerio has also grown his passion for nature photography for many years (here you can find some of his most beautiful photos) with the desire to share the emotions he experiences during the observation of the fauna with a largre audience, deeply convinced that photography can be a powerful way to connect people with nature.
Valerio has co-authored several scientific articles and is currently active in the development of new research projects mainly focused on the ecology and conservation of Reptiles, Amphibians and Birds.