home about us research outreach areas publications
Study dolphins with us
in Italian, English subtitles available

In this series of short videos, available on YouTube, Silvia shares some aspects of our work on cetaceans. These videos are in Italian, but English subtitles can be viewed by clicking on the YouTube bottom-right button (Settings > Subtitles). Click on the cover to view the video.


With bottlenose dolphins at dawn
Being surrounded by dolphins in the stunning light of an Adriatic sunrise.
  In the wake of a beam "rapido" trawler
A rare encounter with bottlenose dolphins behind a beam trawler fishing with multiple dredges.
In the wake of a bottom otter trawler
On a cloudy morning, we photo-identify bottlenose dolphins that follow a trawler for several hours.
  For lunch? Polystyrene
We try to find out why seagulls peck at the styrofoam boxes we find at sea.

Dolphins behind midwater pair trawlers
We track bottlenose dolphins as they forage in the proximity of twin trawlers towing a large net called "volante".

  Sea turtles adrift
While navigating in search for dolphins in the waters off Veneto, we encounter quite a few dead loggerhead sea turtles.

Breakfast on a trawl net
A group of thirty bottlenose dolphins approaches a bottom otter trawler to forage in its wake.


Photo-identification at sunrise
We encounter bottlenose dolphins at dawn and photograph them, taking note of changes in group size and composition.


Logs adrift and collision risks
On some days, while we search for dolphins off the estuary of large rivers, we must pay much attention to avoid crashing into semi-submerged logs.


The emotions of a naturalist
Our friend Mauro Caldana describes his first experience with bottlenose dolphins off Veneto, Italy.


The first encounter with a fin whale
Silvia recalls the exciting sighting with a fin whale in Greece, twenty years earlier.


Seagulls on sea turtles adrift
Dead sea turtles floating adrift can become a perch and a food source for seagulls.


Surrounded by dolphins
A special morning: bottlenose dolphins bowriding and all around our research boat.


Silvia and dolphins twenty years earlier
Silvia, in her twenties, explains why she decided to study dolphins and what she likes about this job.


Bottlenose dolphins of the north-east
In a sultry August day, we encounter a group of dolphins in the northernmost sector of the Adriatic, off Bibione, Italy.


Plastic in offshore waters
In the summer, off beaches crowded by bathers, the sea fills up with plastic items floating adrift. Short-lived inflatable stuff that adds to the impact of fisheries and aquaculture debris.


Photography: between science and communication
A good camera is an essential research tool when at sea: it allows us to collect good scientific data, but also to share emotions and "tell stories".


Dolphins and fishing boats: individual specialization
When following trawlers, bottlenose dolphins display different feeding patterns, indicative of individual preferences or talents.


Calm sea, but no dolphins?
Doing research at sea is nothing like going to the dolphinarium: sometimes the animals are not found at all, and in fact the sighting frequency is a proxy to assess their abundance and distribution.


Approaching the dolphins and reducing disturbance
In the presence of dolphins, one must avoid maneuvering the boat in invasive ways and allow the dolphins to approach on their own initiative.


Research boat: basic equipment
The fundamental equipment for studying dolphins offshore: from GPS to sunscreen.


Dolphins and fishing boats: intensive fishing and adaptation
The waters off the coasts of Veneto are intensively exploited by trawlers: bottlenose dolphins have adapted and learned to forage behind different types of these fishing boats.


Dolphins and fishing boats: foraging and dangers
Bottlenose dolphins have become accustomed to foraging in the wake of trawlers: a risky behavior that is culturally transmitted to the young.


Spot and photo-identify dolphins
The difficulties of spotting dolphins in the distance, and how to identify them with good photographs of their dorsal fins.




Becoming a dolphin researcher
Silvia, who has been working as a dolphin researcher for 20 years, offers ten pieces of advice that might help in case you want to walk this path. "Are you ready?" :-)