The early years (1968-1976)

My earliest memories are pervaded by an almost obsessive biophilia and zoological curiosity. When I terminated my school curriculum, embracing life sciences as a profession was an obligate choice, and in 1968 I enrolled as a student in biology at the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Parma. There, as an intern at the Institute of Zoology directed by Dànilo Mainardi, I participated in a study of the agonistic behaviour and territoriality of a small gobiid fish, Padogobius martensi, performed in 1968-69 under the guidance of Gilberto Gandolfi. For my “laurea” thesis I also conducted original research on the cultural transmission of behaviour among wild colonies of rats, Rattus norvegicus in the area of the Po River delta, under the supervision of Vittorio Parisi.

California (1976-1985)

In 1976, my studies and military obligations in Italy having been concluded, I moved to San Diego, California, to complete my professional preparation in marine biological science and to engage in related professional activities. Most notably, these included scientific affiliations with the following institutions:

Italy (1985 – present)

Having obtained my doctoral degree from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1985, I moved back to Italy to participate in a regional effort to promote science-based marine conservation in the Mediterranean Sea and adjacent waters.  During these years my scientific affiliations included:

Most of the above described activities are reflected in scientific publications, reports and conference presentations, and books.


Participation in scientific societies

  • Charter member and life member of the Society of Marine Mammalogy. I have participated and presented communications to many of the Society biennial meetings (San Diego, 1977; Miami, 1987; Pacific Grove, 1989; Chicago, 1991; Galveston, 1993; Orlando, 1995; Monaco, 1998; Maui, 1999). I am currently member of the Society’s Board, and chair the International Relations Committee.
  • Member of the European Cetacean Society (ECS) since its foundation in 1987. I have participated in most of the society’s annual meetings (La Rochelle, 1989; Palma de Mallorca, 1990; Sandefjord, 1991; San Remo, 1992; Inverness, 1993; Montpellier, 1994; Lugano, 1995; Lisbon, 1996; Stralsund, 1997; Monaco, 1998; Valencia, 1999; Rome, 2001; Liège, 2002; Las Palmas de Cran Canaria, 2003; La Rochelle, 2005; Gdynia, 2006; San Sebastian, 2007; Istanbul, 2009; Setùbal, 2013). I have been a member of the ECS Board from 1990 to 1997, and have served as president of the Society from 1993 to 1997. I was the organiser of the 1992 San Remo meeting, and as president of ICRAM I hosted the 2001 Rome meeting. At the 1994 Montpellier meeting I organised and chaired the ECS workshop: “Methods for the study of bottlenose dolphin populations in the wild”.
  • Member of the Società Italiana di Biologia Marina (SIBM): 1986 – present.
  • Member of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists: 1988 – 2005.

Scientific journals. I have cooperated with a number of scientific journals for the peer reviewing of submitted papers. Journals include: Ambio, Aquatic Mammals, Biologia Marina Mediterranea, Caribbean Journal of Science, Conservation Biology, Ecological Applications, Endangered Species Research, Environmental Management, European Research on Cetaceans, IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering, Italian Journal of Zoology (= Bollettino di Zoologia), Journal of Cetacean Research and Management, Journal of Coastal Research, Journal of Mammalogy, Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, Latin American Journal of Aquatic Mammals, Mammal Review, Mammalia, Marine Biodiversity Records, Marine Biology (Berlin), Marine Ecology Progress Series, Marine & Freshwater Research, Marine Mammal Science, PLOS ONE, Scientific Reports of the International Whaling Commission, Trends in Ecology and Evolution (TREE), and Zootaxa.

I have also several times been asked to review proposals submitted to the National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration.

Since 2005 I am a member of the Editorial Board of Aquatic Mammals.