Teresa Manera de Bianco

2004 Laureate, Cultural Heritage
Argentina, Born 1944


Project Goal

Save a unique collection of prehistoric footprints

Location: Argentina

Teresa Manera de Bianco is racing against time to preserve prehistoric animal tracks before rising sea levels put them permanently beyond reach.

Teresa Manera de Bianco, born in 1944, was walking along the beach with her mother in her native Pehuen Co, Argentina, when they found fossil fragments of a prehistoric, armadillo-like creature. From that moment, the 11-year-old resolved to become a scientist.

This led to a career as a palaeontologist and geologist, and to the discovery, in 1986, of 12,000-year-old animal footprints on the Atlantic coastline. Her project to protect and preserve these ancient imprints earned Manera a Rolex Award in 2004.

Since then, Manera, a teacher at the National University of the South in Bahia Blanca and an honorary director of the Charles Darwin Municipal Natural Science Museum, has made great strides. A collection of mammal- and bird-footprint casts is housed in the museum and she has received government support, including legislation to create a palaeontological reserve at the site and funding.

Manera’s current focus is getting the area designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Other 2004 Laureates