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Team Brasilien

MSc. Juliana Couto Di Tullio

MSc. Juliana Couto Di Tullio

Juliana is a biologist dedicated to the research of marine mammals since 2002. During her graduation she participated in different Antarctic expeditions to study the ecology of elephant seals and the distribution of strandings of beaked whales in Southwestern Atlantic Ocean, which was the theme of her monograph. Juliana has obtained the masters degree on Biological Oceanography at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande (FURG), Brazil, studying the habitat use of the bottlenose dolphins and the potential overlap with the artisanal fisheries in the Patos Lagoon estuary and coastal areas. At present she works on the Bottlenose Dolphin Project and she is also involved in a humpback whale project in Antarctica. Since 2009 Juliana is also working on a new project, which aims to describe the distribution and the relation of marine mammal species with oceanographic variables on the continental slope of southern Brazil. She has experience in photo-identification, biopsy, distance sampling and GIS analyses.

Lília Fidélix

Lília Fidélix

Lília ist Witwe eines Fischers aus der Gemeinde von Rio Grande do Sul in Brasilien. Finanziert durch YAQU PACHA arbeitet sie seit vielen Jahren mit Biologen der Universidad de Rio Grande do Sul zusammen und hilft Fischern, Probleme zu erkennen und zu lösen.

MSc. Pedro F. Fruet

MSc. Pedro F. Fruet

Pedro F. Fruet is biologist and works on the research and conservation of marine mammals since 2000. As a member of the Animal Biology Department of Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), he is currently a PhD candidate in Biological Oceanography at the Federal University of Rio Grande (FURG) and member of the Marine Mammals Laboratory in the Museu Oceanográfico Prof. Eliezer Rios. Pedro has dedicated the last 8 years of his life to investigate the ecology and bycatch of the bottlenose dolphins in southern Brazil. In the last years he was involved in international conservation projects on humpback whales in the Antarctic and the critically endangered Eastern Taiwan Strait population of indo-pacific humpback dolphins. His field work is mainly concentrated on photo-identification of small cetaceans, distance sampling, biopsy sampling and beach monitoring with laboratory experience in population genetics.

Prof. Paul Kinas

Prof. Paul Kinas

Paul G. Kinas is Biological Oceanographer with a Ph.D in Statistics (UBC, Canada) and lecturer in applied statistics for undergraduate and graduate students at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande (FURG) since 1980. His research interests are focused at Bayesian statistical modeling to solve problems in population ecology, conservation biology and animal behavior.

Prof. Eduardo Secchi

Prof. Eduardo Secchi

I started my career on cetacean research in 1989 when taking my Bachelor's degree on Biological Oceanography at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande-FURG (Federal University of Rio Grande), in Rio Grande, southern Brazil. From 1991 to 1999 I was in charge for the Marine Mammal Laboratory at the “Museu Oceanográfico” (Oceanography Museum) of FURG. Since 1992/93 I have been leading a long-term project to evaluate the effects of by-catch on franciscana dolphins. Both my Masters (obtained at FURG, in 1999) and Ph.D. (obtained in 2006 at University of Otago in New Zealand) degrees addressed the population dynamics and viability of fransciscana. For these researches I was awarded with the First Prize as best research towarded the conservation of aquatic mammals in South America (in 2000) and with the Oliver Peason's Award by the American Society for Mammalogy (in 2007).  Paralelelly, I also led several research projects on ecology and conservation of other cetacean species in Brazil and Antarctica. There have been over 40 publications in peer-reviewed journal and many others as non peer-reviewed papers, which resulted mostly from these medium and long-term projects. These publications provided contributions in genetics, population dynamics, fishery interactions, stock identity, modelling, and other areas that are relevant for the conservation of cetacean species.  It is my medium-term goal to propose measures to mitigate effects of fishing-related mortality on the fate of franciscana and other coastal cetacean populations while allowing local communities to maintain their livelihoods through a responsible use of natural resources (fish in this case). My long-term goal is to improve the understanding of the dynamics, habitat requirement and threats for other marine mammal species and monitoring trends of franciscana and other species. My ultimate goal is capacity building of human resources. Since 2006 I am Adjunct Professor in the Institute of Oceanography at FURG. I am also in charge of the Marine Turtle and Mammal Laboratory at the same University where I have been supervising several undergraduates, masters and doctoral students from Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.  I have been Editor-in-Chief of the Latin American Journal of Aquatic Mammals from its beginning in 2002 up to 2007 and ad-hoc reviewer for many scientific journals in Brazil and abroad. I am also member of the Brazilian Government Task Force for Bycatch Mitigation and the Cetacean Specialists Group/World Conservation Union-Species Suvival Commission (CSG - IUCN/SSC).

Team Chile

Luis Bedriñana-Romano

Luis Bedriñana-Romano

Luis is currently finishing his undergraduate thesis at the Universidad Austral de Chile, in order to get his degree in Marine Biology. Luis worked for seven years in projects related to the ecology of marine mammals. Besides his work in the project "Pequeños cetáceos de Chiloé", a project intended to study small cetacean`s ecology at the Chiloé Archipelago, Luis has worked in a long term programme designed to monitor large whales in the Corcovado Gulf, Chile. Luis has also worked in a project concerning the evaluation of the interactions between artisanal fisheries and Southamerican sea lions. During the development of all these projects, Luis has also participated in many environmental education programmes, mostly for children from communities were the projects are being developed.

Biol. Marjorie Fuentes

Biol. Marjorie Fuentes

Marjorie is the Chilean project coordinator of the “Small Cetaceans of Chiloé” project in southern Chile. She graduated from the University of Valparaiso with a first class marine biology degree, and is currently completing a Master’s degree in “Wilderness and Nature Conservation” at the University of Chile in Santiago. Marjorie has been involved in the study of the ecology and behaviour of Chilean dolphins, Peale's dolphins and Burmeister's porpoise since December 2002, first as field assistant, and since 2007 as field work and volunteer coordinator. She also leads the environmental education campaign “Discovering the Marine World” which has been held very successfully in more than a dozen urban and rural schools of southern Chiloé. She is currently an active member of the Coastal Management Plan working group and has presented a proposal for conservation areas based on the results of the YAQU PACHA project.

Dr. Sonja Heinrich

Dr. Sonja Heinrich

Sonja ist Meeresbiologin an der Universität von St Andrews in Schottland, wo sie einen weltweit einmaligen Masters-Kurs in Meeressäugerkunde organisiert und unterrichtet (http://bio.st-andrews.ac.uk/mms). Ihre Forschungsinteresse gilt der Bestandsschätzung, der Verteilung und Koexistenz von überlappenden Arten sowie der Lebensraumerhaltung und dem Schutz von Robben und Walen, insbesondere küstennaher Kleinwale. Ihr Studium hat Sonja an der Universität zu Köln (Biologie), sowie der University of Otago (Neuseeland) mit Abschlüssen in Zoologie und Meereskunde (Masters) absolviert. In Neuseland studierte sie Populationsdynamik, Verhalten und Tourismuseinfluss auf eine seltene, einheimische Seelöwen-population. Ihre Promotion erfolgte dann an der University of St Andrews (GB), mit Forschungsprojekt in Südamerika. Als Teil ihrer Doktorarbeit gründete sie im Jahr 2000 das Chiloé Delfin (Kleinwal)-Projekt im Chiloé Archipel in Südchile, welches sie bis heute leitet. Das Chiloé-projekt hat sich erfolgreich zur ersten Langzeitstudie der Umweltschutzökologie von Chilenischen Delfinen, Peale’s Delfinen und Burmeister-Schweinswalen entwickelt in einer Region, in der intensivste Lachs-und Muschelzuchten zu vielen nachhaltigen ökologischen und sozialen Problemen führen. Projektergebnisse wie Bestimmung der Populationsgrößen der Delfinarten, ihrer Standortreue, Lebensraumnutzung und die Auswirkungen negativer menschlicher Einflüsse auf die Ökologie der einheimischen Arten tragen maßgeblich zur Ausweisung von wichtigen Schutzgebieten und der Erstellung von Küstennutzungsplänen bei. Sonja betreut regelmässig Studenten-Arbeiten, nimmt an wissenschaftlichen Tagungen teil und berät staatliche und private Organisationen in Umweltschutfragen in Bezug auf Wale und Delfine. Wenn Lehre und Forschung an der Uni ausnahmsweise mal etwas Freiraum lassen, hält Sonja gerne Vorträge auf kleinen Kreuzfahrtschiffen und betreut Reisegruppen in der Arktis und Antarktis.

Roke Rojas

Roke Rojas

Roke is a Marine Biologist from the Universidad Austral de Chile. Over the past four years, Roke has worked as researcher in the project "Pequeños Cetaceos de Chiloe" where the ecology of Chilean dolphins, Peale`s dolphins and Burmeister's porpoise is being studied at Chiloe Archipelago, southern Chile. He was also involved in studies concerning the characterization of acoustic signals of these species, an area that became his undergraduate thesis. Roke is an experienced taxidermist and uses this skill combined with his knowledge on aquatic mammals in order to develop environmental education programmes for schools and University students. Within a Postgraduate Programme Roke is intending to strengthen his experience in bioacoustics.

Dr. Dirk Schories

Dr. Dirk Schories

Dirk ist Meeresbiologe und DAAD Langzeit-Dozent an der Universidad Austral de Chile, wo er die chilenischen Forschungstaucher in Theorie und Praxis ausbildet sowie Kurse zur digitalen Bilderstellung und deren wissenschaftlichen Auswertung anbietet. Sein Forschungsinteresse gilt der Geo-Referenzierung und dem Monitoring von marinen und limnischen Lebensgemeinschaften. Sein Studium hat Dirk an der Universität zu Kiel (Biologie) abgelegt. Im Sylter Wattenmeer untersuchte er die Populationsdynamik von Grünalgen. Über dieses Thema hat er dann auch 1995 promoviert und anschliessend mit Kollegen die Rote Liste der Deutschen Marinen Makroalgen publiziert, deren Neuauflage unter seiner Leitung für den Herbst 2010 geplant ist.  Seit 1989 war er wiederholt für mehrere Monate im Süden Chiles tätig. Die Folgejahre nach seiner Promotion verbrachte er in Nordbrasilien, wo er für das Zentrum für Marine Tropenökologie bis zum Jahr 2001 arbeitete.  In den folgenden 2 Jahren war er auf Einladung des peruanischen Antarktis Institutes dreimal in der Antarktis und leitete gemeinsame Tauch-Expeditionen auf King George Island.  Weitere Tauch-Expeditonen nach Kamchatka (Russland) und im europäischen Raum folgten. An der Universität Rostock leitete Dirk in der Folgezeit die Flachwasser-Untersuchungen der Ostsee zur Umsetzung der Europäischen Wasserrahmenrichtlinie anhand von Makrophyten.  Bevor er 2007 mit seiner Familie nach Chile ging, war er noch am Internationalen Büro des BMBF in Bonn als Länderreferent für Chile und Argentinien tätig. Zurzeit leitet Dirk ein internationales Biodiversitäts-Projekt in der Antarktis sowie ein Vorhaben zur Untersuchung von Makrophyten im chilenischen Seengebiet. Neben seinen Studenten betreut Dirk auch Schüler, die in die Forschung hineinschnuppern möchten und hält öffentliche Vorträge.

Team Peru

Biol. Juan Valqui

Biol. Juan Valqui

Juan ist Direktor des 'Projecto Lontra felina', welches die Aktivitäten zum Schutz des gefährdeten Meeresotters in Peru koordiniert. Seine Teilnahme an den in Peru durchgeführten Studien über die wenig bekannte Art Lontra felina, hat ihm bereits die Bezeichnung als Meeresotter-Spezialist erbracht. Seit 2009 ist er mit seiner Doktorarbeit, eine populationsgenetische Studie über den Meeresotter in Peru, Teil des Teams. In seinen Feldarbeiten organisiert er Workshops in denen die Schulkinder - zukünftige Fischer - Informationen über die Wichtigkeit des Natur- und Umweltschutzes erhalten.

Team Uruguay

Carolina Abud

Carolina Abud

Carolina is one of the founding members and co-directors of the research and conservation group Cetáceos Uruguay. She started Franciscana Project in 2004 and has been part of it ever since, working mainly on artisanal fisheries by-catch of franciscana (Pontoporia blainvillei). She has worked on the geographic genetic structure of franciscana, being also one of her current interests. She is now MSc. student and her thesis involves the study of genetic variation and geographic genetic structure.

Paula Costa Urrutia

Paula Costa Urrutia

Paula is one of the founding members and co-directors of the research and conservation group Cetáceos Uruguay. She is co-director of the Francaaustral Project, which studies the behaviour and distribution of southern right whales (Eubalaena australis). She has also been part of Franciscana Project since 2004, working on artisanal and industrial fisheries by-catch of franciscana (Pontoporia blainvillei). Currently, she is interested on conservation genetics. She has been working on the social and geographic genetic structure of franciscana (MSc thesis) and as a PhD student she is studying the population genetics and mating system of blue whales.

Caterina Dimitriadis

Caterina Dimitriadis

Caterina is one of the founding members and co-directors of the research and conservation group Cetáceos Uruguay. She has been part of Franciscana Project from its beginning, working on artisanal fisheries by-catch of franciscana (Pontoporia blainvillei). Since 2005 Caterina is also co-director of the project titled "Diet of the franciscana dolphin in the Uruguayan coast". Caterina is a PhD student at University of Girona (Spain), and her thesis is about artisanal fisheries and Marine Protected Areas in Palamos (North Western Mediterranean).

Valentina Franco-Trecu

Valentina Franco-Trecu

Valentina is one of the founding members and co-directors of the research and conservation group Cetáceos Uruguay. She started her work on the Uruguayan pinniped populations in 2004 focused on maternal behaviour and continued working on mating systems, feeding habits, reproductive success and interaction with fisheries in the Uruguayan rookery for five years. At present she is co-director of the Franciscana Project, working on artisanal and industrial fisheries by-catch of franciscana (Pontoporia blainvillei). She is also co-director of the project titled "Diet of the franciscana dolphin in the Uruguayan coast". Se has a Master degree in Biology and her thesis was entitled "Reproductive success and diet of Arctocephalus australis females and its trophic relation with Otaria flavescens in Uruguayan waters".

Paula Laporta

Paula Laporta

Paula is one of the founding members and co-directors of the research and conservation group Cetáceos Uruguay. Currently she has a Master degree in biological oceanography. She is director of the Toninas Project, an ecological and behavioural study of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) along the Uruguayan coast. She also is a member of Franciscana Project since 2004, working on artisanal and industrial fisheries by-catch of franciscana (Pontoporia blainvillei). She will start her PhD next year, continuing the bottlenose dolphin study in a coordinated regional frame. Since the beginning of Cetáceos Uruguay, she works on its environmental education program, currently is co-coordinating Arenas Project that is directed to teachers along Uruguayan coast.

Prof. Marila Lázaro

Prof. Marila Lázaro

Marila is a professor of the Science and Development Department of the Faculty of Sciences in Montevideo, Uruguay. As a biologist, she has developed studies related to ethology and marine mammal population structure. She has also undertaken an environmental education project with the children of small-scale fisherman to increase awareness about the accidental capture of the franciscana dolphin (Pontoporia blainvillei). She has a PhD in Philosophy, Science, Technology and Society from the Basque Country University. The theme of her thesis is: "The Culture of Science and Social Participation in Environmental Problems." Marila has been advisor of 9 undergraduate students (+ 1 in progress), is advisor of 2 master students about environmental education and ethic and is part of the 1 PhD committee members about human dimension in conservation and natural resources management. She is coordinating a consensus conference about nuclear energy in Uruguay (2010), a public participation mechanism in science and technology. Marila is founder of SIMURG an NGO aimed at promoting social appropriation of the sciences and arts through projects that encourage citizen participation in the generation and use of knowledge. She is part of the Regional Advisory Boards of Global Greengrants Fund.

Cecilia Passadore

Cecilia Passadore

Cecilia is one of the founding members and co-directors of the research and conservation group Cetáceos Uruguay. She is a MSc. student investigating about marine mammal interactions with the Uruguayan pelagic longline fishery that operates in the South-western Atlantic Ocean, with emphasis in by-catch, depredation and distribution of orcas (Orcinus orca). Since 2006, she has been part of Franciscana Project, working on artisanal fisheries by-catch of Franciscana (Pontoporia blainvillei). She also co-directs a project about cetacean distribution in Antarctic waters that is part of the Census of Antarctic Marine Life. Since the beginning of Cetáceos Uruguay she works on its environmental education program, currently co-coordinating Arenas Project, a project directed to teachers along the Uruguayan coast.

María Nube Szephegyi

María Nube Szephegyi

María is one of the founding members and co-directors of the research and conservation group Cetáceos Uruguay. Currently she is a MSc. student, being her thesis based on franciscana dolphin (Pontoporia blainvillei) distribution in relation to environmental variables. She has been part of Franciscana Project since 2006, working on artisanal and industrial fisheries by-catch and has been also part of the environmental education program of Cetáceos Uruguay, co-coordinating Arenas Project, a project directed to teachers along the Uruguayan coast.