Saturday, January 15, 2011

Internships required for bottlenose dolphin research project in Sardinia Island, Italy

Hi everyone,

on behalf of the Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute BDRI, I am pleased to announce that our centre is currently accepting internships applications for the Summer-Fall term (a minimum of 60 days of participation between June - November 2011) in Sardinia Island, Italy.

BDRI's researchers are engaged in the conduction of a long term study about the ecology and behaviour of wild unrestrained bottlenose dolphins and the potential effects of human activities (fisheries, aquaculture and tourism) in their distribution and behaviour. An internship period with the BDRI offers an invaluable exposure to boat based field work,marine mammals research, intensive training and mentoring in marine biology.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students could present their BDRI's personal research project as their Thesis if requested with the application. Internships can be used for academic or vocational purposes, but students are solely responsible for making all arrangements for receiving relevant credit(s) as a result of completing the internship.
Interns can expect to participate in and learn a variety of facets of marine mammal research as research assistants in four diverse research projects:

1. Bottlenose dolphin's repertorie and communication use: Knowledge of how individuals within a population communicate and what they are communicating can generate information ranging from measures of habitat use, social relevance, geographical variation, cultural transmission to genetic fitness that can be applied to conservation.

2. Mediterranean bottlenose dolphins societies: We will take and analyse identification photos, study group structure and composition to refine details of dolphin societies and responses to human activities at sea. Volunteers assist with data collection onboard helping to locate, photograph and keep track of bottlenose dolphin groups. Back at the lab volunteers restock field supplies, analyse photos and transcribe data collected.

3. "Large whales & Dolphins off Sardinia Island" Data are collected from multiple platforms including shore and research vessel based platforms. The behaviour and distribution of large cetaceans (fin whales and sperm whales) observed off Sardinia is still unknown. While some animals could be in migration between the Ligurian and Thyrrenian Sea others could be mainly engaged in foraging activities in specific period of the year in this area.

There is no compensation for these internship positions and successful applicants will be responsible for their own transportation expenses to and from the research camp (Sardinia, Italy). As a number of students are unemployed people are unable to meet our program and travel costs, BDRI has developed a financial resource to support some of them.

There is no deadline to apply. However, approved applications are accepted on a first-come, first serve basis. Apply early! Start and end dates are flexible. Positions are open until filled. Successful candidates will be ready and willing to learn, self-motivated, and flexible. Prior field research experience is recommended but not required.

Please download the internships general information at:

and the application from:

Send cover letter or inquiries by email to the Research Chief, Mr. Bruno Diaz Lopez, at Please indicate in your cover letter the dates you are available.
Selected scientific publications by BDRI:

1. Díaz López B., in press. Whistle characteristics in free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Mediterranean Sea: influence of behaviour. Mammalian Biology DOI: 10.1016/j.mambio.2010.06.006

2. Díaz López B. & Shirai, J.A.B., 2009. Mediterranean common bottlenose dolphin's repertoire and communication use. In: Dolphins: Anatomy, Behavior, and Threats, A.G: Pierce & L. Correa (Eds.), Nova Science Publishers, New York.

3. Diaz Lopez B., 2009. The bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus foraging around a fish farm: Effects of prey abundance on dolphins' behaviour. Current Zoology (Acta Zoologica Sinica) 55(4):243-248.

4. Diaz Lopez B., Bunke, M. and Shirai, J.A., 2008. Marine aquaculture off Sardinia Island (Italy): ecosystem effects evaluated through a trophic mass-balance model. Ecological Modelling 212: 292-303.

5. Diaz Lopez, B., Shirai, J.A.; Bilbao Prieto, A. & M?ndez Fern?ndez, P., 2008. Diving activity of a solitary wild free ranging bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Journal of Marine Biological Association U.K. 88(6): 1153-1157.

6. Diaz Lopez B. and Shirai, J.A., 2008. Marine aquaculture and bottlenose dolphins social structure. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology 62(6): 887-894.

7. Diaz Lopez B. and Shirai, J.A., 2007. "Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) presence and incidental capture in a marine fish farm on the noth-eastern coast of Sardinia (Italy)" Journal of Marine Biological Association U.K, 87, 113-117.

8. Diaz Lopez, B., 2006. "Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) Predation on a Marine Fin Fish Farm: Some Underwater Observations". Aquatic Mammals 32(3): 305- 310 pp.

9. Diaz Lopez, B., 2006. Interactions between Mediterranean bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and gillnets off Sardinia. ICES Journal of Marine Science
63:944-951 pp.

10. Diaz Lopez, B., Marini, L., Polo, F., 2005. The impact of a fish farm on a bottlenose dolphin population in the Mediterranean Sea. Thalassas 2005, 21(2):53-58.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Delfines, pesca y ciencia: una difícil relación

Sea Kayaking & Dolphins Research in Sardinia, Italy


The Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute BDRI (, a marine science and education centre, is happy to announce the new and original volunteering program entlited: “Sea Kayaking & Dolphins Research”.

This is a fully guided 7 day program along the north-eastern coast of Sardinia (Emerald Coast, Italy) focusing on sea kayaking with dolphins to study their communication and social lives. Seeing dolphins from sea kayaks is our opinion the best way view these wonderful mammals. Sea kayaking through this area off Sardinia Island is in itself rewarding, but when we see and study the society and communication of these resident bottlenose dolphins - its stunning!

You see those dorsal fins, hear the blows and whistles, and for a moment you are a part of their social group.The experience of listening to them (using hydrohpones) as we watch them swim by heightens the experience ten fold.

Mediterranean Sea play host to a multitude of marine life and allow us to silently explore the inaccessible coastal wilderness by sea kayak. Although our project focuses primarily on bottlenose dolphins, we often see seagulls (Adouin’s and yellow-legged), cormorants, shearwaters (Yelkouan and cory’s), peregrines, egrets, herons, ravens, carrion crows, sand martins, swifts, rock doves, terns, krestels, sea turtles, ospreys, buzzards, goshawks, mouflons, posidonia seagrass and more. Not everything is seen on ever expedition but we do get a great variety.

Enjoy sea kayaking, snorkelling and wildlife watching while you spend wonderful days living among marine birds, dolphins, fish, and other wildlife. This Sea-kayaking and dolphins research program is accessible to you even if you have never sat in a kayak before; have never participated in a research program; if you are alone or with friends or family; whatever your situation, if you have one week to spend we can provide you an experience you will likely never forget! contributing to dolphins research and conservation.

Comfortable housing (private and double rooms), with shared cooking and bathroom facilities are provided. There is no deadline to apply. APPLY NOW!, applications are accepted on a first-come, first serve basis. Positions are open until filled.

DATES (7 days/6 nights - Arrival day: Sunday & Departure day: Saturday):

Team 1: from July 11th to July 17th
Team 2: from July 25th to July 31st
Team 3: from August 22nd to August 28th

RENDEZVOUS POINT: Golfo Aranci, Sardinia, Italy

Read through this general information carefully:

decide and take note of any dates that may be preferred and submit your application:

by email to

More information:

telephone: 00 39 346 0815414
Swim with us on Facebook

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Volunteers needed for dolphin research in Sardinia Island, Italy

Hi everyone,
on behalf of the Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute BDRI (, I am pleased to announce that our centre is currently accepting volunteers applications for the Spring-Summer term (a minimum of 6 days of participation) in Sardinia Island, Italy. The Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute BDRI is a marine science and education centre committed to conserving the diversity and integrity of marine life to meet the needs of current and future generations.
We invite you to join our ongoing study of the behaviour, communication and social lives of bottlenose dolphins along the Emerald coast, Sardinia Island, Italy. Dedicated to those who are interested to participate to dolphin research and conservation campaigns. No background knowledge of biology is required. You will assist researchers with data collection and recording while on the boat, helping to locate and keep track of dolphins, recording behavioural data, environmental information and recording sounds, video or photos.

All expeditions are designed to enhance our awareness of dolphins, other marine life and the marine habitat that surrounds us. Our goal is to have each volunteer depart our centre with a greater understanding and appreciation of the marine environment and the wealth of life it supports.

Benefits and advantages of the program:
- Travel and explore new places
- Get involved in dolphin research
- Gain fieldwork experience
- Learn to analyse and obtain conclusions with the data collected during the fieldwork
- Learn to use different research instruments: GPS, Hydrophone, Secchi disk, digital SLR camera, sonar, camcorder, anemometer, compass, etc
- Help advance our knowledge of bottlenose dolphins to improve their conservation
- Meet interesting people
- Enjoy the outdoors of the beautiful Emerald Coast (Sardinia Island)
- Enjoy the culinary talents of others and express your own.
There is no deadline to apply. However, approved applications are accepted on a first-come, first serve basis. Apply early! Positions are open until filled.

Please download the Volunteer opportunities general information at:

Further information can be found on our website (, or by e-mail at

Bruno Diaz Lopez
Chief Biologist / Director
Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute BDRI
V.Armando Diaz Nº4 07020 Golfo Aranci (SS) Italy
tel.+ 39 346 081 5414
tel. + 0789 183 1197

Monday, December 28, 2009

Vuoi diventare un vero esperto nello Studio dei mammiferi marini?

Vuoi diventare un vero esperto nello Studio dei mammiferi marini?


Impara, passo dopo passo, le piu' avanzate tecniche di ricerca sui mammiferi marini, ed in particolare nello studio di popolazioni di delfini, participando nei nuovi corsi di formazione FRC (Field Research-oriented Courses in Marine Mammals Science) nella sede del Istituto BDRI in Sardegna.

Questi corsi di alto livello di formazione sono paragonabili per quantita' e qualita' dei contenuti ad un vero e proprio Master e sono finalizzati a creare figure altamente professionali in grado di partecipare all’interno di un progetto di ricerca, portare avanti un progetto di tesi, oppure svolgere attività presso aziende di whale-watching, ecc.

La formazione che riceverai durante i corsi riguarderà un ampia gamma di contenuti, che andranno dalla selezione delle metodologie d'indagine adeguate, raccolta dati sul campo, all'analisi e presentazione di dati scientifici. Durante i corsi riceverai lezioni, essempi chiari, dritte e suggerimenti pratici per portare avanti un vero progetto di ricerca per studiare i delfini in natura!

Per partecipare nei nostri corsi ti basta una forte passione per imparare questa materia grazie alla quale, le 72 ore di formazione operativa (9 giorni di corso e 1 giorno di riposo), basate su esempi e dimostrazioni pratiche a mare ed in laboratorio si trasformeranno in una piacevole e indimenticabile sperienza.

I corsi di formazione sono tenuti dal zoologo direttore del BDRI, il Dr. Diaz Lopez uno dei piu' noti ricercatori a livello internazionale nello studio dei delfini, con oltre 40 pubblicazioni scientifiche su prestigiosi giornali internazionali, coautore di diversi libri sul settore e relatore di tesi per studenti di oltre 20 Università Europee ed Americane.

La quantita' e la qualita' dei contenuti che troverai in questi corsi non hanno eguali: le nostre lezioni hanno un approccio completamente diverso dai tradizionali corsi in aula nelle Università italiane. Ma cio' che distingue radicalmente questi corsi di formazione e' l'approccio academico, concreto e operativo, tipico delle Università degli USA. Infatti il Dr. Diaz Lopez lavora, come “subject matter expert”, nella creazione di corsi di formazione per Università degli USA. Un approccio basato su un legame tra teoria-esempi e dimostrazioni pratiche sia a mare come in laboratorio.

In tutte le giornate, verra' utilizzato un metodo formativo, testato per i membri del BDRI negli ultimi 5 anni di attività di formazione, che consente a persone di diverso livello academico di rimanere "al passo" ed apprendere facilmente le tecniche spiegate (il nostro metodo formativo utilizza esempi ed esercitazioni pratiche per "accelerare" il grado di apprendimento in aula e a mare). I nostri corsi di formazione possono essere scelti per motivi academici ed ottenere crediti universitari, in questo caso gli studenti devono informarsi prima del corso di tutte le procedure a seguire per ottenere i crediti nelle loro Università.

I corsi sono tenuti in inglese ma possono essere tenuti in Italiano sempre e quando i partecipanti lo richiedano con anticipo. I gruppi saranno ridotti con un massimo di 6 partecipanti in modo tale che il docente sara' a disposizione per rispondere a domande specifiche o personali a chiunque lo desideri. In questo modo tutti, sia i novizi che i piu' esperti in materia, potranno ricevere consulti personalizzati e suggerimenti specifici.

Quello che insegniamo è frutto di oltre 15 anni di esperienza diretta e pratica sul campo di queste tecniche di ricerca. Quando ti diciamo che un metodo scientifico è il più adeguato ti portiamo le pubblicazioni scientifiche su prestigiosi giornali utilizzati dai più importanti gruppi di ricerca che te lo dimostrano. Il resto di osservazioni "per sentito dire" non ci interessano.

Il nostro obbiettivo e' che tu esca dai nostri corsi avendo imparato e pienamente soddisfatto. Infatti alla fine del corso i partecipanti ricevono un voto finale (in base ai test teorici e prattici) per dimostrare le conoscenze insieme ad un certificato finale di partecipazione. Vogliamo che, applicando le tecniche spiegate, tu possa ottenere i migliori risultati nel futuro (dottorato, lavoro di tesi specialistica, triennale, all’interno di un gruppo di ricerca, lavorando in una azienda di whale-watching, delfinario, ecc), applicando quello che hai appreso durante le 10 giornate di questo corso.

Ci sono tre diversi tipi di corsi di formazione divisi in due livelli: Intermedio ed avanzato.

FRC 1001 - Monitoring coastal bottlenose dolphin populations (Intermedio)

FRC 1002 - Social relationships and communication in a fission-fusion society (Avanzato)

FRC 1003 - Conservation and management of bottlenose dolphin populations (Avanzato)

Leggi atentamente il materiale informativo che potrai scaricare su questo materiale è in inglese, come anche le pubblicazioni scientifiche, ma se hai qualche dubbio non dubitare a chiedere!.

Il costo del corso comprende lezione teoriche, pratiche, materiale didattico, alloggio in un apartamento con altri studenti (camera doppia e singola), uso degli strumenti impiegati durante le lezione pratiche, materiale per la ricerca, tutte le spese associate al lavoro di campo a mare ed in laboratorio. Ci sono sconti speciali (tra un 10% e un 25%) per studenti e persone senza lavoro. Non è incluso il viaggio fino a Golfo Aranci (Sardegna).

La partecipazione sarà soggetta a disponibilita e fino ad esaurimento di posti. Decide quale dei corsi ti interessa di più, il periodo di partecipazione e compila il formulario di partecipazione ( ) che dovrai spedire via email a

Per informazione e prenotazione:

tel. 346 0815414

tel. 0789 183 119