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Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute

This organization has been expired and its programs are no longer offered.


The Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute is dedicated to researching bottle-nose dolphins in Italy. The research conducted is long-term, and BDRS also runs Dolphin observation tours. Internships are available for a variety of research positions in Sardinia, Italy. Interested applicants should visit the BDRI website for more details, and applications information for internships in Sardinia, Italy.



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Yes, I recommend this program

I participated in the BDRI´s program in August 2017 as an intern and it was an incredible experience that I seriously recommend to everyone.
This has been my first experience studying cetaceans in the wild and I have learned a lot.

If the weather was Ok we usually went out on the boat where we were looking for dolphins and almost everyday we saw a lot of them and right after leaving the harbor. Depending on your position on the boat (the front, back or top) you had to do different things. However during the day the positions on the boat were rotated so we had the opportunity to perform all different tasks during boat based surveys. Every 20 mins it was survey time and we had to collect different data.
When we were on presence we studied their behavior.
We did not just studied the behavior of Bottlenose dolphins, also of all the cetaceans we saw, like harbour porpoises and common dolphins.
Moreover, we did Land based field work in Rons, which is similar to boat surveys, but in land with scopes and binoculars. In every survey we had to count and identificate all the birds species (L,Lf,Lr,P,Ss...), boats etc.

At the lab we usually worked on Photo ID, transcribing all the data, working with GIS or in acoustics! Here in the lab we usually worked in pairs and for me that´s better because you learn to work with different people and it is also helpful because, for instance, in photo ID if you don't identificate one individual your partner can do it, so 4 eyes see more than 2.
Also in the lab they tried to change the people we worked with so we could get to know everyone and they tried to put us in different tasks everyday so that we learnt how to do everything, so at the end of the internship you have worked al least once in everything. In the lab everything was very well organized, so it was very easy to continue with the work that other people had started. I've learned a lot about being organized with my work.
At the end of the internship we had to do a presentation about a topic related with cetaceans and it was a good chance to learn doing research and also while listening to the others. Mine was related with my thesis, and I have to thank Bruno for all his help with the statistics and everything.
All the BDRI staffs very profesional, and you learn a lot from them. They don't hesitate to answer all your questions and if you are very interested in something and you ask, they usually let you do it.

We usually had the weekends off and we used them to relax and visit other places like Cies or Ons islands, going to the beach... On the free time there are plenty things you can do in O Grove like going surfing to La Lanzada or going into the catamaran to try mussels and wine that is a lot of fun!

Another thing that I found very interesting about this experience is that I feel I have grown as a person, because I haven't learned just about dolphins, also about life. It has been my first time living outside and for example I learned to cook and many more things! I've also met people from all over the world and I've learned things from different cultures and I´ve improved my english talking with them. I made a lot of new friends that I will never forget and for sure I will keep in touch with them.
I want to thank all the "Literns" because this time without them wouldn't have been the same, and to Séverine and Bruno for all their help and sharing all their knowledge. And, of course, the intern coordinator Oriol for all his patience, teaching us the birds and how to clean, and helping us with everything.
It was an incredible experience and I hope to be able to go back soon! Doing this internship also have helped me to know that I want to orientate my future to the marine biology!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Great experince working at the Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute for 6 months.
You can learn and understand the real and amazing work behind the research of marine mammals behaviour and ecology in their natural envoirnment not only working at sea but also at the lab. You will also have the chance to meet people from all over the world and make new frindships.
From time to time different species of marine mammals will strand alive and you can help in the returning of the animal to the sea or death and you can help in the autopsy to see what was the cause of death.

You will have an amazing personal and educational growth.

Sara Simões
Yes, I recommend this program

Before going to Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute I never had any experience with marine mammals. It was there that I saw my first real life dolphin and and whale, which was incredible. You never get tired of watching them.
In the institute you learn all about PhotoID and others, such as: how to analyse acoustics, to identify species of marine birds in the area and to identify the dolphins on the field, ... I have learned so much from this experience. It made me grow both in professional and personal ways. I've learned that field work sometimes is not easy but in the end it is rewarding. A very important point of the internship is to be able to leave with people from other nationalities and different cultures. For that you need to be open-minded and to respect each other. I've met amasing people and made very good friends.
One of my favorite memories is one that happened in open sea. We were there waiting for something to appear and finally we saw two whales (minkewhales) and later on the same day we saw a huge group of common dolphins passing. It was so overwhelming and such a rare event to see.
At the end of the intership I decided to get a master in Marine Biology, which before was not my first option for the master.

I absolutely reomend this place to do an internship or even to volunteer.

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Yes, I recommend this program

I participated in the BDRI 's program in winter of 2017.It was a great experience. Everybody's nice , they explain to you how the system works with patience. You will realize that even you don't have any biological kownlege, you can still join this programme and learn many stuffs you can't learn from school.
And O grove is a beatiful village , you can discover many amazing stuffs after work and maybe just take a walk on the beach.
Thanks to Bruno and Severine that gave me all the supports during my volunteer project and guided me during the work.
I hope to see everybody again in the future it sounds like a good thing to come back when i have a chance.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

I participated in the BDRI 's program in the spring of 2015. It wasn't my first experience with ceteceans but it was certainly the best. During my two months i worked with very professional staff , I worked with a lot of different programs and increased my knowledge about dolphins, especially bottlenose dolphins . I had the opportunity to spend a lot of days working on the boat thanks to perfect sea conditions and always with dolphins . It was amazing : for most of the time you can spot dolphins after just a few minutes and so close to the harbour! Allowing you to collect a lot of important data . I also participated on some landbased field work and again we were very lucky with seeing dolphins.
About the town; O grove; it's a beatiful village with a lot of things to do , during the day off ,usually we organised fantastic trips to discover Galicia or to do other activities with everyone.
It was a very good experience and i suggest to everybody that want improving the knowledge about marine mammals and how works a research institute, to intern to this program.
Thanks to Bruno and also to Victoria and Severine that followed me during my stage and helped me during the work.
I hope to see everybody again in the future and,why not, maybe coming back here in Galicia for another experience or for my future thesis.
Thanks Davide


This organization no longer has any active programs. Visit our homepage to continue your search.