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My major professional interests focus on marine science, conservation and policy.
I have been concerned for over 30 years with the advancement of knowledge of the natural history, ecology, behaviour, taxonomy and conservation of aquatic vertebrates, with an emphasis on marine mammals and cartilaginous fishes, and described my research in more than 130 scientific papers and over 50 reports and conference presentations. Some of these writings are posted on this website and can be accessed from here. Please click here to download a complete copy of my CV.
During the last decade I have concentrated efforts on the development of marine protected areas as a conservation tool. In particular, I have stimulated the creation of the first high-seas marine protected area, the Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Mammals.
I have been responsible for the leading and management of governmental and private, national and international science and conservation organisations.
In recent years I have served as a marine policy advisor to various national and international bodies, and participated in multilateral meetings and negotiations in representation of Italy.
In many occasions I have engaged in training and teaching activities, and currently teach a course on marine biodiversity conservation science at the University of Milan. Through appearances on television and radio, and the publication of popular articles and prize-winning books, I have been striving to increase public awareness on the conservation of the marine environment, with an emphasis on the Mediterranean Sea.
In 1999 I received the honorary citizenship from the town of Sciara, in Sicily, founded in 1670 by Filippo Notarbartolo.
In my free time I enjoy cruising in the Aegean Sea aboard a small wooden boat.