Our work

The Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute (BDRI) is an independent marine science center dedicated to research, education, and conservation of marine biodiversity. We study marine biodiversity and educate scientists, students, decision-makers, and the public thanks to the cooperation with multiple partners. BDRI’s reputation and success rests solidly on its ability to publish multiple scientific studies in prestigious scientific journals.


Our field research experience, innovative technology, and commitment to research, education, and conservation make our institute an important source of knowledge about marine biodiversity and the environment for scientists, decision-makers, students and the public.


Marine mammals research Blue whale in Galicia Field research on marine biology Studying dolphins and whales in Spain


  • RESEARCH - Working in world-class facilities, collaborating with national and international partners, and using new technologies, scientists at the BDRI are pursuing new research on marine megafauna, its ecology, behaviour and  relationship with the rest of the planet, including human society. BDRI scientists perform laboratory-based investigations as well as field studies in O Grove and surrounding Galician waters as well as in other places around the globe (Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic and Indian Oceans).

  • EDUCATION - One of the aims of the BDRI is to train future marine mammal scientists by offering a wide range of programs and opportunities for students at all stages of their careers. These programs enable aspiring marine scientists to work alongside leading marine biologists as they undertake ground-breaking research on the charismatic marine mega-fauna in one of the most productive oceanic regions in the world (Galicia, North-western coast of Spain). Our educational programs aim to prepare students for a professional career in marine mammals and marine birds research, and conservation of the marine environment.

  • CONSERVATION - Our team seeks to expand the public's knowledge and concern for our marine environment by adding scientific information through the publication of collected and analysed field data. The BDRI carry out regular assessments of the conservation status of marine mammals in different parts of the world monitoring abundance, distribution and the pressures and threats experienced by these species. Cetaceans are protected by European and Spanish laws, but in order to develop effective protection guidelines, education and research is necessary to find out much more about them, and the pressures they face. Cetacean species are listed on Annex IV of the European Union’s Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) as “in need of strict protection”. As such, they require regular assessments of their conservation status which covers abundance, distribution and the pressures and threats experienced. Understanding the structure of any marine mammal population and their relationship with other populations should therefore be a pre-requisite to establishing appropriate management units and defining future Special Areas for Conservation as required by the EU Habitats Directive (92/43/CEE).

    Marine mammals research and educational programs Field research on marine biology Studying dolphins and whales in Spain Marine conservation programs

    Background of the BDRI

    In 1999 the Italian non-profit research organisation “Accademia del Leviatano” started the "Dolphin-project" in Sardinia (Italy) in collaboration with Dr. Bruno DÍAZ LÓPEZ, a zoologist with more than 20 years of experience as a cetacean researcher in different parts of the world. The project continued and in 2005, the Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute (BDRI) was established by Dr. Bruno Díaz López. Over the years, the project grew to encompass a wider area and a more diverse range of issues. In 2014, the BDRI moved to Atlantic waters (Galicia, North West of Spain) to discover a new area, to study more species, and create new projects.


    Sea turtle in Mediterranean waters Bottlenose dolphin research Studying dolphins and whales in Mediterranean waters BDRI field research on dolphins interaction with human activities


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