BDRI's research

BDRI researchers address a wide range of questions to form a multi-dimensional picture of the marine megafauna behaviour and ecology and its relationship to the rest of the planet, including human society. BDRI scientists perform laboratory-based investigations as well as field studies in O Grove and surrounding Galician waters as well as in other places around the globe (Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic and Indian Oceans).

 

BDRI members seek to contribute to the understanding and conservation of marine mammals and marine birds, expand the public's knowledge and concern for our marine environment, and add to the scientific knowledge through the publication of scientific articles from our own field data.


Dolphins research Whales research Marine birds research Marine mammal research

 

Using techniques that neither harm nor seriously disturb the animals, BDRI's researchers have been conducting  different studies on the ecology and behaviour of marine mammals and marine birds in different regions of the world, as well as collecting detailed information about their environment. Long-term monitoring of a population is perhaps not viewed as exciting science, but is absolutely essential in order to estimate population trends and understand their causative factors.

 

The BDRI main research projects are:

 

  • ECOLOGY OF CETACEANS & MARINE BIRDS
  • BEHAVIOURAL ECOLOGY & SOCIOBIOLOGY OF CETACEANS
  • COMMUNICATION OF DOLPHINS
  • IMPACT OF HUMAN ACTIVITIES ON CETACEAN ECOLOGY
  • ECOLOGICAL MODELLING
  • FEEDING ECOLOGY OF OTTERS
  • MARINE RESCUE AND STRANDINGS
  • MARINE MAMMAL RESEARCH & CONSERVATION IN THE ARABIAN/PERSIAN GULF
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    Infrastructure

    This research is enabled and enhanced through access to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment:

    - The BDRI marine research laboratory in O Grove (Galicia, NW Spain).

    - Two specialised research vessels to carry out boat-based research surveys in the study area.


    BDRI laboratory and classrooms BDRI research vessel Tyba III BDRI research vessel Benur Dolphins bioacousticsBDRI laboratory and classrooms Marine mammal research courses Marine mammal internship Dolphin internship

     

    The incredible diversity of cetaceans present in our study area (Galicia, NW Spain) allows the BDRI team to have several ongoing research projects focused on the study of the ecology and behaviour of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena), Risso's dolphins (Grampus griseus), short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis), Risso’s dolphins (Grampus griseus), striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), long-finned pilot whale (Globicephala melas), killer whales (Orcinus orca), sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus), beaked whales (3 different species), humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), sei whales (Balaenoptera borealis), fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus), and blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus). Moreover, Galician waters are also home to hundreds of species of marine birds, sharks and to the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra), which are also included in our studies. A variety of conservation issues affect the species in these waters, many of which are related to human activity, such as the interaction with fisheries (a significant cause of mortality), overfishing, aquaculture activities, oil spills, pollution, the effects of shipping noise, military activity, and tourism.

     

    Additional studies by the BDRI have also been conducted in Italy, Spain, and Abu Dhabi to date. The most recent development is a new study in the Arabian Sea of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, finless porpoises, dugongs, and Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins with the support of the Environmental Agency of Abu Dhabi. In co-operation with other research institutions and environmental agencies, ongoing studies continue to provide fundamental scientific data for the adoption of long-term management measures and conservation strategies for the protection of coastal cetacean populations worldwide.

     

    Discover the species studied by the BDRI...

    Learn more about BDRI study area (Galicia, NW Spain)...

    Read BDRI scientific publications...

     

    In order to carry out research the BDRI collaborates with several national and international institutions and has a special research permit delivered by the Spanish Government.

     

    Ministerio para la transición ecológica, Gobierno de España 

     

     

    One of the aims of the BDRI is to train future marine mammal scientists by offering a wide range of programs and opportunities for students at all stages of their career. In addition to the marine research activities, we have rigorous educational programs providing work experience opportunities: internship positions, volunteering, training courses, and university project placements for bachelor and master students throughout the year.

     

    Our educational programs aim to prepare students for a professional career in marine mammals and marine birds research, and conservation of the marine environment. So, if you want to be a part of this unique experience and are a person who is interested in going abroad and obtaining hands-on experience in scientific research, boat-based field work, intensive training while having fun and meeting people from all over the world, then these are the programs for you.

     

    Internships in marine mammal science Volunteering with dolphins and whales Marine mammal research courses

     

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