Prof. Enrique A. Crespo
He obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Buenos Aires in 1988. At present he is Senior Researcher at the National Research Council of Argentina and Professor of Ecology at the University of Patagonia. He is member of the Cetacean Specialist Group since 1987 (SSC, IUCN) and Latin American Coordinator since 1997. He has been Consultant of UNEP and UNDP. He has participated of research and conservation projects in South America and Europe, has received 44 national and international grants from many organizations for research, organizing meetings and workshops and training human resources. He has been vice-director of the Centro Nacional Patagónico. He has been advisor of 7 Ph.D. students (+ 7 in progress), 2 master students and 23 undergraduate students. He is author or co-author of 61 scientific papers about marine mammals of the region published in international journals, 23 book chapters and many working documents and technical reports for international meetings. He has been invited to the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission; he is co-author of the Action Plan for the World’s Cetaceans, 2002-2010. He has organized many meetings and workshops in order to solve conservation problems of aquatic mammals at the regional level for the franciscana, South American sea lions, and other seabirds and mammals of the Patagonian Sea.
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 Seelöwenpopulation. 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 Umweltschutzfragen 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.
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 1st PhD committee members about human dimension in conservation and natural resources management. She coordinated 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.
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).
Dr. Alexandre N. Zerbini
Alexandre N. Zerbini has a B.Sc. in Biological Oceanography (1992) from the University of Rio Grande, Brazil; a M.S. in Zoology (1998) from the University of São Paulo, Brazil and a Ph.D. in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (2006) from the University of Washington, USA. He worked as a marine mammal biologist at the Oceanographic Museum ‘Prof. Eliézer de Carvalho Rios’ in Southern Brazil (1992-1995) and was an Associate Professor at the Institute of Marine Sciences of the University of Itajaí (1996-1999), where he taught a class on marine mammal biology and ecology. He has published over 45 papers and book chapters in scientific and outreach publications and has participated or coordinates research projects in Brazil, the Antarctic, the United States, Cook Islands, New Caledonia and the Caribbean. Zerbini is currently a research fellow at the National Marine Mammal Laboratory, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, NOAA in Seattle, USA. He is also the Head of Science of Instituto Aqualie, a non-profit organization in Brazil. Zerbini was an advisor to the Brazilian Environmental Agency in 1998-99, and has been a member of the IUCN Cetacean Specialist Group since 1998 and of the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission since 2000. He is a member of the Society for Marine Mammalogy and the Latin American Society for Aquatic Mammals, a member of the editorial board of the Latin American Journal of Aquatic Mammals and a reviewer for various international journals and research organizations.