Team Südamerika

Dr. 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 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.


Dr. 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

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.


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.


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. 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.


Dr. 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.


Dr. 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 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).


Dr. 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“.


Dr. 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.


Dr. 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.


Dr. 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.