Silvia Bonizzoni
 
   
 
Last update: December 2014
 
     
 
Short CV  

Silvia holds a degree in Environmental Sciences at the University of Venice, Italy, with a thesis on bottlenose dolphin social organization. She got involved in dolphin research in 2000, and since 2006 she has been working as principal field investigator in various projects conducted by Dolphin Biology and Conservation, OceanCare and Tethys Research Institute in Greece (Gulf of Corinth, Northern and Southern Evoikos Gulf, Argolikos Gulf, Amvrakikos Gulf, Inner Ionian Sea Archipelago) and Italy (in Sardinia and Apulia). She took part in oceanographic cruises in the Adriatic Sea (in collaboration with ISMAR); participated in cetacean surveys off Los Angeles, California (in collaboration with Ocean Conservation Society); conducted a pilot project using photo-identification from shore to study bottlenose dolphins in the Galveston Ship Channel, Texas (in collaboration with the Marine Mammal Behavioral Ecology Group, Texas A&M University). Her main research tools include GLM/GAM habitat modelling and individual photo-identification. Silvia is currently a Research Associate with OceanCare and a Ph.D. student in Marine Biology at Texas A&M University (supervisor: Prof. Bernd Würsig).

     
E-mail   silvia.bonizzoni#gmail.com .(replace # with @)
   
Long CV  

Education

Ph.D. student in Marine Biology at Texas A&M University, Galveston TX, USA (with Prof. Bernd Würsig; ongoing)

Degree (Laurea) in Environmental Sciences, University of Venice, Italy (2008)

High School Diploma: Biological and Chemical Technician. State Technical Institute Primo Levi, Milan, Italy (1998)

 

Major professional interests

Dolphin ecology

Interactions between dolphins and coastal fisheries

 

Present positions

Dolphin Biology and Conservation (Italy and Greece)

  Principal Field Investigator and Research Associate — since 2011
   

OceanCare (Switzerland)

  Research Associate — since 2014

 

Experience

2009—date

Principal field investigator — Ecology, behaviour and conservation of short-beaked common dolphins, common bottlenose dolphins and striped dolphins in the Gulf of Corinth, Greece. Responsibilities include training of research assistants and intern students, dealing with international paying volunteers, boat driving, intensive field data collection, management and upkeep of field stations, management and upkeep of research and nautical equipment, interviews to fishermen, daily lecturing to students and project participants, public relations, reporting. Also in charge of database management: log, behaviour, strandings. Individual photo-identification of dolphins (three species).

2007—date

Validation of cetacean stranding data recorded in the Brindisi province since 2002.

2010—2014

Principal field investigator Ecology, behaviour and conservation of common bottlenose dolphins in the Northern and Southern Evoikos Gulf, Greece. Responsibilities include boat driving, intensive field data collection, database management, upkeep of research and nautical equipment, interviews to fishermen, reporting, administration.

2012

Principal field investigator Interactions between marine mammals and fisheries in the Argolikos Gulf, Greece. Visual surveys to investigate occurrence of dolphins and marine megafauna. Direct observations and interviews to assess fishing effort, interactions (particularly depredation) between marine mammals and fisheries, and interviews to fishermen.

2011—2012

Principal field investigator — Interactions between coastal dolphins and fisheries in and around the Marine Protected Area of Sinis, Italy. Visual surveys to investigate occurrence of dolphins and marine megafauna. Direct observations and interviews to assess fishing effort, interactions (particularly depredation) between dolphins and fisheries, and fishermen perception of dolphins. In charge of database management and data analysis.

Field investigator — Bottlenose dolphin photo-identification in the Galveston Ship Channel, TX.

Teaching Assistant — Marine Evolutionary Biology course, Department of Marine Biology, Texas A&M University at Galveston.

Saba Centra Assistant — Technical supervision of Saba Centra web conferencing across Texas A&M University campuses.

Marine mammal necropsy volunteer — Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network, Galveston, TX.

2007—2008

Principal field investigator — Ecology, behaviour and conservation of short-beaked common dolphins, common bottlenose dolphins and striped dolphins in Ionian Greece (Inner Ionian Sea Archipelago and Amvrakikos Gulf). Responsibilities include training of research assistants and intern students, boat driving, intensive field data collection, management and upkeep of field stations, upkeep of research and nautical equipment, daily lecturing to students and project participants, reporting. Also in charge of database management: log, behaviour, strandings, biological materials. Management of photographic catalogues and individual photo-identification of dolphins (two species).

2008

Principal field investigatorInteractions between coastal dolphins and fisheries in and around the Marine Protected Area of Porto Cesareo, Italy. Visual surveys to investigate occurrence of dolphins and marine megafauna. Direct observations and interviews to assess fishing effort, interactions (particularly depredation) between dolphins and fisheries, and fishermen perception of dolphins. In charge of database management and data analysis.

2002—2006

Field investigator — Cetacean fauna of the northern Adriatic Sea. Visual surveys from small vessels and oceanographic ships to investigate the occurrence and distribution of cetaceans and other marine megafauna.

2001—2006

Research assistant Ecology, behaviour and conservation of short-beaked common dolphins and common bottlenose dolphins in Ionian Greece (Inner Ionian Sea Archipelago and Amvrakikos Gulf).

2005

Trainer — 7-day course on ‘Cetacean research and conservation’ for researchers from Libya and Lebanon. Tethys Research Institute field station, Kalamos, Greece. Organised by UNEP’s Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and contiguous Atlantic Area (ACCOBAMS).

Lecturer — Training course on ‘Cetacean research methods’ for Veterinary Medicine students and professionals, University of Taranto, Italy.

2004

Trainer — 7-day course on ‘Cetacean research and conservation’ for researchers from Slovenia and Greece. Tethys Research Institute field station, Kalamos, Greece. Organised by UNEP’s Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and contiguous Atlantic Area (ACCOBAMS).

Field assistant — 5-day workshop on ‘Conservation of short-beaked common dolphins in the Mediterranean Sea’. Tethys Research Institute field station, Kalamos, Greece.

Lecturer — ‘Studying cetaceans in the wild’. Science Week organised by Institute of Marine Sciences, Venice, Italy.

Database manager — ‘Europhlukes’ (a EC-funded project to develop a European central depository on cetaceans). Provision of images and sighting data for common bottlenose dolphins and shortbeaked common dolphins in Greece and Croatia.

2001—2004

Assistant librarian — Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara marine conservation library (about 20,000 titles).

2003

Trainer — 7-day course on ‘Cetacean research and conservation’ for researchers from Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia and Georgia. Tethys Research Institute field station, Kalamos, Greece. Organised by UNEP’s Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and contiguous Atlantic Area (ACCOBAMS).

Lecturer — ‘Studying cetaceans in the wild’. Science Week organised by Natural History Museum, Venice, Italy.

 

Grants

Graduate Assistant-Teaching (GAT) Grant, 2011—2012
Marine Biology Interdisciplinary Graduate Program, Texas A&M University at Galveston, USA

MARB Mini-Grant, 2011
Department of Marine Biology, Texas A&M University at Galveston, USA

 

Miscellaneous

One of three members of the College of Arbiters of the Tethys Research Institute (2010—2013).

Wrote approximately 230 posts on cetaceans and marine conservation for the online newsletter of the Tethys Research Institute (Tethys News; 2006—2010).

Librarian, Tethys Marine Mammal Library at the Natural History Museum of Venice, Italy. Management of a collection of 15,000+ publications (2002—2006).

Co-editing and production: ‘DolphinPeople’, a 13-min video documentary featuring the work of three researchers (including myself) who study coastal dolphins in western Greece. The video highlights the importance of personal commitment to protect endangered dolphin populations (2002—2004).

Two-week volunteer for the ‘Pilot Whale Conservation Project’: cetacean ecology off Tenerife, Spain. Practiced cetacean research methods including individual photo-identification, theodolite tracking, behavioural sampling, respiration sampling (1999).

Attended marine biology course organised by the Milan Civic Aquarium (1999).

Translation from English to Italian of popular science articles (1999).

Assistant to editor, ‘Green Volunteers: The World Guide and Information Network to Voluntary Work in Nature Conservation’ (1998—1999).

Three-month course on environmental microbiology: microbiological analyses, testing of bacteriological, physical and organoleptic characteristics of drinkable water (1997).

Member of the Society for Marine Mammalogy and of the European Cetacean Society.

 

Technical skills

Navigation and handling of outboard boats. Individual photo-identification of dolphins; behavioral sampling; GPS-based tracking of dolphin movements; timing of respiration intervals; use of AF digital cameras, navigation instruments, hand-held computers for field data collection.

Holder of nautical license for boats up to 24 m long (since 2005); advanced diver certificate (CMAS, since 2001); car driving license (since 1997).

Interviews to investigate dolphin-fishermen interactions and attitudes towards cetaceans, with field experience in Italy and Greece.

PC and Mac computers:
Programme "R" (statistical analyses), ArcView v3.2, ArcGIS v10 (geographic information systems), SocProg v2.4 (social organization analyses), Saba Centra (web conferencing), FileMaker Pro Advanced (database), Dreamweaver CS3 (web design), Adobe Lightroom 5,Adobe PhotoShop CS5, ACDsee (image processing and management), FinalCut Pro 5 (video editing), Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).

Has done swimming for 12 years, winning several competitions.

   
Publications  

Publications — peer-reviewed

Bonizzoni S., Furey N., Pirotta E., Valavanis V.D., Würsig B., Bearzi G. 2014. Fish farming and its appeal to common bottlenose dolphins: modelling habitat use in a Mediterranean embayment. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 24(5):696–711.

Genov T., Bearzi G., Bonizzoni S., Tempesta M. 2012. Long-distance movement of a lone short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) in the central Mediterranean Sea. Marine Biodiversity Records. doi:10.1017/S1755267211001163. Vol. 5; e9.

Bearzi G., Bonizzoni S., Agazzi S., Gonzalvo J., Currey R.J.C. 2011. Striped dolphins and short-beaked common dolphins in the Gulf of Corinth, Greece: abundance estimates from dorsal fin photographs. Marine Mammal Science 27(3):E165–E184.

Bearzi G., Bonizzoni S., Gonzalvo J. 2011. Dolphins and coastal fisheries within a Marine Protected Area: mismatch between dolphin occurrence and reported depredation. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 21:261-267.

Bearzi G., Bonizzoni S., Gonzalvo J. 2011. Mid-distance movements of common bottlenose dolphins in the coastal waters of Greece. Journal of Ethology 29(2):369-374.

Bearzi G., Pierantonio N., Bonizzoni S., Notarbartolo di Sciara G., Demma M. 2010. Perception of a cetacean mass stranding in Italy: the emergence of compassion. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 20:644-654.

Bearzi G., Agazzi S., Gonzalvo J., Bonizzoni S., Costa M., Petroselli A. 2010. Biomass removal by dolphins and fisheries in a Mediterranean Sea coastal area: do dolphins have an ecological impact on fisheries? Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 20(5):549-559.

Bearzi G., Agazzi S., Bonizzoni S., Costa M., Azzellino A. 2008. Dolphins in a bottle: abundance, residency patterns and conservation of bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus in the semi-closed eutrophic Amvrakikos Gulf, Greece. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 18:130-146.

Bearzi G., Agazzi S., Gonzalvo J., Costa M., Bonizzoni S., Politi E., Piroddi C., Reeves R.R. 2008. Overfishing and the disappearance of short-beaked common dolphins from western Greece. Endangered Species Research 5:1-12.

Pino d'Astore P., Bearzi G., Bonizzoni S. 2008. Cetacean strandings in the Province of Brindisi, Italy, southern Adriatic Sea. Annales, Series Historia Naturalis 18(1):29-38.

Bearzi G., Notarbartolo di Sciara G., Bonizzoni S. 2005. Scientific literature on Mediterranean cetaceans: the Italian contribution. In B. Cozzi, ed. Marine mammals of the Mediterranean Sea: natural history, biology, anatomy, pathology, parasitology. Massimo Valdina Editore, Milano.

Bearzi G., Politi E., Agazzi S., Bruno S., Costa M., Bonizzoni S. 2005. Occurrence and present status of coastal dolphins (Delphinus delphis and Tursiops truncatus) in the eastern Ionian Sea. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 15:243-257.

 

Conference presentations and short papers

Bonizzoni S., Eddy L., Würsig B., Bearzi G. Submitted. Fish farm specialists: bottlenose dolphins in the Southern Evoikos Gulf, Greece. Proceedings of the 29th Annual Conference of the European Cetacean Society. St. Julians, Malta, 23-25 March 2015.

Santostasi N.L., Bonizzoni S., Bearzi G.  Submitted.  Optimizing abundance estimates of striped dolphins in the Gulf of Corinth, Greece.  Proceedings of the 29th Annual Conference of the European Cetacean Society.  St. Julians, Malta, 23-25 March 2015.

Pearson H.C., Bearzi G., Bonizzoni S., Santostasi N.L. 2014. Understanding the social organization of an apex marine predator to inform conservation practices: striped dolphins in the Gulf of Corinth, Greece. International Marine Conservation Congress, Glasgow, Scotland, 14-18 August 2014.

Santostasi N.L., Bonizzoni S., Bearzi G. 2014. Striped dolphin abundance in the Gulf of Corinth, Greece: dataset simulations help improve sampling design. International Marine Conservation Congress, Glasgow, Scotland, 14-18 August 2014.

Bonizzoni S., Bearzi G., Würsig B. 2014. Shifting perceptions towards Mediterranean whales and dolphins: from monsters to icons. Workshop "Marine Mammals as Indicators of Historical Changes", 28th Annual Conference of the European Cetacean Society. Liege, Belgium, 5–9 April 2014.

Bonizzoni S., Santostasi N.L., Würsig B., Bearzi G. 2014. Bottlenose dolphin abundance in the Northern Evoikos Gulf, Greece. Proceedings of the 28th Annual Conference of the European Cetacean Society. Liege, Belgium, 5–9 April 2014.

Da Silveira M., Bearzi G., Bonizzoni S., Piwetz S., Würsig B. 2014. Integration of Texas coastal bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) photo-identifications spanning 24 years. Poster presentation, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Marine Mammal Symposium (SEAMAMMS), Wilmington, NC, 28-30 March 2014.

Biondi J., Smultea M.A., Bacon C.E., Gailey G., Sychenko O., Würsig B., Bonizzoni S., Bearzi G. 2013. Longitudinal comparisons of digital photography of marine mammals from aircraft and shore. 20th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Dunedin, New Zealand, 9-13 December 2013.

Bonizzoni S., Furey N., Pirotta E., Valavanis V.D., Würsig B., Bearzi G. 2013. Modelling interactions between fish farms and bottlenose dolphins in a Mediterranean embayment. Proceedings of the 27th Annual Conference of the European Cetacean Society. Setúbal, Portugal, 8–10 April 2013.

Bonizzoni S., Bearzi G. 2012. Conservation status of short-beaked common dolphins in the Gulf of Corinth, Greece. 12th International Congress on the Zoogeography and Ecology of Greece and Adjacent Regions (ICZEGAR), Athens, Greece 18-22 June 2012.

Bonizzoni S., Bearzi G., Würsig B. 2012. Distribution of common bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus in the Northern Evoikos Gulf, Greece. Texas A&M University Research Symposium, Galveston, TX (USA), 25-26 April 2012.

Genov T., Bearzi G., Bonizzoni S., Tempesta M. 2011. Long-distance (1000+ km) movement by a short-beaked common dolphin in the central Mediterranean Sea. Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Conference of the European Cetacean Society. Cadiz, Spain, 21-23 March 2011.

Agazzi S., Bearzi G., Costa M., Bonizzoni S., Politi E. 2008. Abundance trend of short-beaked common dolphins in the eastern Ionian Sea: one of the lest central Mediterranean stocks is vanishing. Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Conference of the European Cetacean Society. Egmond aan Zee, The Netherlands, 10-12 March 2008.

Bearzi G., Politi E., Agazzi S., Bruno S., Costa M., Bonizzoni S., Gonzalvo J. 2005. The decline of short-beaked common dolphins Delphinus delphis in Eastern Ionian Sea coastal waters. P. 29 in K. Stockin, A. Vella and P.G.H. Evans. Proceedings of the Workshop “Common dolphins: current research, threats and issues”. European Cetacean Society Newsletter Special Issue 45.

 

Miscellaneous

Bearzi G., Bonizzoni S. 2013. Artisanal fisheries in the Gulf of Corinth, Greece. Digital photo book. 114 pp.

Bearzi G., Bonizzoni S. 2011. Dolphins of Evia: swimming angels between heaven and hell. Northern Gulf of Evia, Greece. Digital photo book. 80 pp.

Bearzi G., Bonizzoni S. 2011. Delfini e pesca nel Sinis. Marine Protected Area of Sinis Peninsula and Mal di Ventre Island, Italy. Digital photo book. 64 pp.

Bearzi G., Bonizzoni S. 2011. Encounters among waves. Digital photo book. 26 pp.

Bearzi G., Bonizzoni S. 2010. Three monk seal encounters in the Northern Gulf of Evia, Greece. The Monachus Guardian 13(2):33-34.

 

Reports and thesis

Bonizzoni S., Eddy L., Bearzi G. 2014. Dolphins and fisheries in the Southern Evoikos Gulf, Greece. Internal Report. Dolphin Biology and Conservation / OceanCare. 45 pp.

Bearzi G., Bonizzoni S. 2013. Fisheries in the Gulf of Corinth, Greece. Internal Report. Dolphin Biology and Conservation / OceanCare. 41 pp.

Bearzi G., Bonizzoni S., Santostasi N.L. 2012. Interactions between dolphins and small-scale fisheries in the Argolikos Gulf, Greece. Final Report. Dolphin Biology and Conservation / OceanCare. 54 pp.

Bearzi G., Bonizzoni S. 2011. Delfini e pesca nel Sinis. Prima fase dello studio sulle interazioni fra tursiopi e pesca costiera nell’Area Marina Protetta Penisola del Sinis - Isola di Mal di Ventre. Rapporto finale. 37 pp.

Bearzi G., Bonizzoni S., Gonzalvo J. 2010. Coastal Dolphins Greece. Report to OceanCare on the activities conducted between 1991 and 2010 in the eastern Ionian Sea, Greece. Tethys Research Institute Report. 39 pp.

Bearzi G., Bonizzoni S., Gonzalvo J., Agazzi S., Pereszlényi Z., Costa M. 2009. Ionian Dolphin Project. Report to UNEP’s Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas (RAC/SPA) on the activities conducted between 1991 and 2009 in the eastern Ionian Sea, Greece. Tethys Research Institute Report. 43 pp.

Bearzi G., Agazzi S., Gonzalvo J., Bonizzoni S., Costa M., Petroselli A., Politi E. 2008. Ionian Dolphin Project. Kalamos area and Amvrakikos Gulf. Report on the activities conducted between July 1991 and September 2008 in the eastern Ionian Sea, Greece. Tethys Research Institute Report. 41 pp.

Bonizzoni S. 2008. Social organisation of common bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus near the island of Kalamos, Greece. Environmental Sciences thesis, University of Venice, Italy. 60 pp.

Bearzi G., Agazzi S., Gonzalvo J., Bonizzoni S., Costa M. 2007. Ionian Dolphin Project. Kalamos area and Amvrakikos Gulf. Report on the activities conducted between July 1991 and September 2007 in the eastern Ionian Sea, Greece. Tethys Research Institute Report. 35 pp.

Bearzi G., Agazzi S., Gonzalvo J., Bonizzoni S., Costa M., Politi E. 2006. Ionian Dolphin Project. Report on the activities conducted between July 1991 and September 2006 in waters surrounding the island of Kalamos and in the Amvrakikos Gulf, Greece. Tethys Research Institute Report. 39 pp.

Bearzi G., Agazzi S., Bonizzoni S., Costa M. 2005. Ecosystem structure and dolphin-fisheries interactions in a 'natural laboratory': the Amvrakikos Gulf, Greece. Report to the Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas (RAC/SPA) on the activities conducted between July 2001 and November 2005 (MOU#17/RAC/SPA/2005). Tethys Research Institute Report. 23 pp.

Bearzi G., Politi E., Agazzi S., Costa M., Bonizzoni S., Azzellino A., Bruno S., Gramolini R. 2005. Report on short-beaked common dolphin studies in the area of Kalamos, Greece, 1993-2004. ACCOBAMS, Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area. 100 pp.

   
Other  
 

Texas A&M University - Marine Biology Field Course

A video documentary featuring the Marine Biology Field Course we held in Greece in 2014 (authors: Giovanni Bearzi and Silvia Bonizzoni)

Year 2014, English

     
 

The Dolphins of Corinth

A video documentary filmed in 2013, featuring some of our work in Greece (author: Jens Kramer / Design Armada)

Year 2013, English

     
 

Encounters among waves

Digital photo book (authors: Giovanni Bearzi and Silvia Bonizzoni)

Year 2011, English

     
 

Artisanal Fisheries in the Gulf of Corinth, Greece

Digital photo book (authors: Giovanni Bearzi and Silvia Bonizzoni)

Year 2013, English

     
 

Dolphins of Evia

Digital photo book (authors: Giovanni Bearzi and Silvia Bonizzoni)

Year 2011, English

     
 

Delfini e pesca nel Sinis

Digital photo book (authors: Giovanni Bearzi and Silvia Bonizzoni)

Year 2011, Italian

     
 

DolphinPeople

A story featuring the work of three researchers (including myself) who study coastal dolphins in Greece; the video highlights the importance of personal commitment to protect endangered marine mammal populations (authors: Giovanni Bearzi and Silvia Bonizzoni)

Year 2004, Italian with English subtitles