Institute of Marine Research (CSIC)
Eduardo Cabello, 6. Vigo. Pontevedra. 36208 (Spain)
(+34) 986231930 ext. 860241
I am a French PhD candidate specialised in marine biology and conservation, with a particular interest in the use of data and samples from stranded and bycaught animals to investigate anthropogenic effects on marine mammals.
I have a BSc in ‘Biology of the Environment’ from the University of Nantes (France) and a MSc in ‘Oceanography and Marine Environments’ from the Pierre and Marie Curie University – Sorbonne Universities (France). I spent the first year of my MSc as an exchange student at the Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR) in Canada, and the second year in between France and Ireland. My Master thesis was co-supervised by Dr Sinéad Murphy and Dr Cóilín Minto at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) in Ireland, where I studied spatio-temporal trends in age and size at sexual maturity, growth parameters and body condition of harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in the Northeast Atlantic.
Before starting my PhD in Vigo late 2019, I worked with various entities such as universities, institutes, governmental agencies, stranding networks and whale-watching industries in various countries: the Netherlands, Canada, Ireland, France, Iceland, Scotland and Belgium.
My PhD thesis is entitled ‘Past and current threats to dolphins in the Atlantic and Mediterranean’ and I am supervised by Dr Graham Pierce (IIM-CSIC) and Dr Francisco Rocha (University of Vigo). I will have secondments with Dr Morten Olsen at the University of Copenhagen (Denmark) and with Dr Canan Çakirlar at the University of Groningen (the Netherlands). My PhD is funded by a Marie Skłodowska-Curie scholarship, and is part of the SeaChanges network, which manages 15 PhDs related to the interface between marine biology and archaeology.
The aim of the PhD is to investigate the current and historical ecology of common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) in the Mediterranean Sea to obtain insights into the decline of this species in this area. I will consider several aspects: health status, diet, fisheries interactions and possible competition with striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba). To understand the current situation in the Mediterranean, I will use information and samples from the present and the past (e.g. live animals, strandings, museum collections, archaeological collections and the historical record). I will also look at this species in the Northeast Atlantic, to compare both regions, and at striped dolphins (a species that is apparently thriving in the Mediterranean) in both regions.
Diet work will be based on analysis of stable isotope signatures in several tissues. Investigation of health status will be done by analysing breath microbiome, and by using necropsy reports to access information on body condition, pathology and causes of death and ultimately population dynamics.