27 June 2018

Early days of dolphin research

Giovanni Bearzi in September 1987 (age 23), on his first research trip to study Adriatic bottlenose dolphins around the island of Losinj (then Yugoslavia).

Giovanni borrowed his father's small inflatable boat, a Mirage 420, staying in a camping together with cousin Paolo. Giovanni then returned to Losinj several times in 1988 with Benedetta Cavalloni.

These early field trips, described in Giovanni's Biological Sciences thesis (*), eventually gave rise to the Adriatic Dolphin Project, "the longest ongoing study of a bottlenose dolphin population in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the longest in the world". Giovanni directed this project until 1996, before moving on to the Venice Dolphin Project, the Ionian Dolphin Project and other endeavours.

(*) Bearzi G. 1989. Contributo alle conoscenze sulla biologia di Tursiops truncatus (Montagu, 1821) nel mare Adriatico settentrionale. Tesi di Laurea in Scienze Biologiche, Università degli Studi di Padova, Italia. 172 pp.

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