Bruno Diaz Lopez bruno at thebdri.com
Fri Oct 6 07:02:25 PDT 2017


The BDRI team is aware of the importance of behavioural research concepts and methodology in field research projects, and therefore has created this advanced course to provide in-depth, hands on immersion into the field and laboratory methods for behavioural ecology and communication of bottlenose dolphins. This training course aims to provide specialization in behavioural methods, focusing in particular on bottlenose dolphin social behaviour and communication, achieving an integrated approach to the understanding of the behavioural complexity of this species.

This course will include hands on collection of field data studying a resident population of common bottlenose dolphins in NW Spain. This means that trainees will not only learn analytical methods concerning social relationships and communication of wild bottlenose dolphins, but also how to collect behavioural and acoustical field data. In addition, the course will include PowerPoint lectures with computer based practical sessions where participants work through real field data illustrating the use of software for social structure, abundance, and bioacoustical analysis. 

This course is a great chance for students and professionals to boost their career skills using learning materials usually only available to students and staff at the Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute (BDRI). The exclusive learning model helps students to connect the conceptual material presented in each course to case studies. Participants will only need to bring their own laptop. A total of 72 hours will be spent in lectures, field work, tutorials and other class teaching.

After completing this course, trainees will be able to:
- Design a project to assess the social organization of a bottlenose dolphin population
- Describe and quantify the vocal repertoire of a bottlenose dolphin population via computer practical sessions
- Explain the importance of the photo-identification and abundance estimation methods, and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these methods
- Extract manually and automatically dolphin dorsal fin outlines from digital photographs, identify individuals and create a catalogue
- Describe the patterns of association of a coastal bottlenose dolphin population and test if bottlenose dolphins have preferred or avoided associates
- Outline the whistle acoustic features of free-ranging bottlenose dolphins and determine the contour of whistles by visual analyses of spectrograms
- Discriminate the different types of sounds produced by bottlenose dolphins by visual and aural analysis of the sonograms
- Apply appropriate statistical techniques on behavioural data sets and give an interpretation of the results
Dates and Lenght: From October 23rd (arrival day 22nd September) to 1st November 2017; 10 days (72 hours).

Location: Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute, Avenida Beiramar 192, O Grove, Pontevedra, Galicia (Spain). O Grove has very good transport links and is withing two hours travel by car from the two main airports in Galicia (Santiago de Compostela and Vigo). These airports can be reached by direct flights from most European cities.

Course Costs: The total cost for this course is 1500 Euros including free housing at the BDRI facilities (shared room) from the night before the start of the course until the day after the end of the course (11 nights). The course fee includes training, boat based surveys, accommodation in the BDRI apartment, certificate of attendance, printed material and all associated costs during the duration of the course. The apartment sited 150 metres from the Institute has a full kitchen (gas and electricity are included) and a full set of cooking utensils. Foods of all kinds are available at the local supermarkets within walking distance at your own expense. Participants will be responsible for their transportation to and from the research centre in O Grove, Galicia, Spain. 

Please note that all profits generated from this course will be used to support ongoing field research at the BDRI. 

Application procedure

Places are limited to 6 participants to allow for individual support and feedback by the tutors. This course also addressed to groups (scientists, university students) hence it is possible to arrange with the BDRI special requirements regarding language and dates to suit the different groups.

To book a place, or for more information, email: info at thebdri.com
Lastest scientific articles published by the BDRI team in 2017:

- Diaz Lopez B., 2017. Temporal variability of predator presence around a fin fish farm in the North-western Mediterranean Sea. Marine Ecology 38(1), e12378.
- Diaz Lopez B. and Methion S., 2017. The impact of shellfish farming on common bottlenose dolphins’ use of habitat. Marine Biology 164: 83.
- Díaz López, B., Grandcourt, E., Methion, S., Das, H., Bugla, I., Al Hameli, M., Al Hameri, H., Abdulla, M; Al Blooshi, A; Al Dhaheri, S.(2017). The distribution, abundance and group dynamics of Indian Ocean humpback dolphins (Sousa plumbea) in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (UAE). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 1-9. 

Bruno Díaz López
Chief biologist and Director

The Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute BDRI
Avenida Beiramar 192, O Grove 36980, Pontevedra, Spain
0034 684 248552

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