Bruno Díaz López

Bruno Díaz López
Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute | BDRI · Research and Education

PhD Ecology & Evolution
Working in the field and following up on different studies on the ecology and behavior of marine megafauna.

About

114
Publications
36,016
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Citations
Introduction
I am the chief biologist, director and founder of the Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute BDRI. My main interests are behavioural ecology, sociobiology, dolphins communication and effects of human activities on cetaceans. I have published several scientific articles and I have delivered a number of lectures and public talks on cetacean research and conservation around the world. I have carried out field research on cetaceans, in the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and Arabian Sea.
Additional affiliations
January 2014 - present
Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute
Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute
Position
  • Managing Director
Description
  • Founder, Director and Chief Biologist of the Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute
November 2004 - December 2013
Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute
Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute
Position
  • Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute BDRI
Description
  • Founder and Director of the BDRI
Education
March 2016 - March 2018
University of Bordeaux
Field of study
  • Ecology and Evolution
September 1999 - June 2002
University of Vigo
Field of study
  • Animal Biology
October 1994 - July 1999

Publications

Publications (114)
Article
Full-text available
Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are an extremely vocal mammalian species and vocal communication plays an important role in mediating social interactions. Very little is known about how wild bottlenose dolphins use whistles in different contexts and no data exist for context specificity of whistle characteristics. This study describes, for...
Article
Full-text available
A first attempt at analysing interactions between bottlenose dolphins and gillnets along the northeastern coast of Sardinia (Italy) was conducted between October 1999 and December 2004. A new approach was used: combining interviews with fishers with boat-based direct observations and behavioural and group size analysis. Fishers on monitored boats n...
Article
Full-text available
The main response of top predators to human-induced environmental changes is often behavioral. Although human activities regularly impose a disturbance on top predators, they can also be a source of reliable and concentrated food resources for species with a high degree of behavioral plasticity. This study represents the first assessment of the inf...
Article
Full-text available
There is increasing evidence that animal personality can affect many aspects of an individual's behaviour, life history and fitness. However, there have been few studies about the link between personality and social organization in the context of wild mammals in their own natural environments. This article reports on ecologically relevant data, lin...
Article
Full-text available
Owing to the worldwide growth of aquaculture over the last years, new habitats have been created through the supplement of nutrients. This addition of nutrients affects the whole marine food web, resulting in predator species such as bottlenose dolphins becoming attracted to these areas. During this 5-year-long study that was carried out along the...
Preprint
An understanding of animal grouping patterns is essential to increase knowledge about their social systems. We used a five-year continuous dataset to investigate grouping behavior in a free-ranging highly social mammal, the bottlenose dolphin. Our objective was achieved by examining the relationships between a set of oceanographic, climatic, topogr...
Article
Full-text available
A fundamental question in animal behaviour is the role of vocal communication in the regulation of social interactions in species that organise themselves into social groups. Context dependence and seasonality in vocalizations are present in the communication of many species, although very little research has addressed this dependence in marine mam...
Article
Full-text available
The Persian Gulf is positioned in the heart of the Middle East as one of the most critical water bodies. Indian Ocean humpback dolphins (Sousa plumbea) are distributed in nearshore waters and are therefore highly vulnerable to a variety of anthropogenic pressures. To our knowledge, there is a little information and data available about habitat use...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Our oceans are the lifeblood of our planet, covering more than 70% of the planet's surface, driving the climate, regulating temperature and ultimately sustaining all living organisms. They also serve as the basis for much of the global economy, supporting sectors such as shipping, renewable energy, tourism and fisheries and employing millions of pe...
Poster
Full-text available
Ecopath with Ecosim has been used to create mass-balance models of different types of ecosystems around the world to explore and analyse their functioning and structure. This modelling framework has become a key tool in the ecosystem approach to fisheries management, by providing a more comprehensive and holistic understanding of the interactions b...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the important role of marine mammals in marine ecosystems and the imperative for their conservation, there is still a great lack of information on the diversity, distribution, and density of these animals in the Saudi waters of the Arabian Gulf. To fill this gap, an integrative data-collection approach including fishermen’s questionnaires,...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge of the habitat use of wildlife in highly impacted areas is essential to identify areas of biological importance and to implement appropriate conservation measures. The Arabian Gulf represents one of the most extreme marine environments and is considered one of the regions in the world with the greatest anthropogenic impact. Information on...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Eutrophication risk determination requires a continuous acquisition of nutrient data to establish environmental trends. In the context of the MarRISK project, a portable module has been designed to autonomously measure inorganic nutrients together with other parameters such as temperature and salinity along coastal transects.
Article
Full-text available
The expansion of fisheries and its increased efficiency are causing severe detrimental impacts on marine species and ecosystems, that can be categorised into operational and ecological effects. While impacts directly caused by fishing activities have been extensively documented, it is difficult to set an empirical link between fisheries and changes...
Article
Full-text available
We described the spatial segregation of two species of cetaceans, the common dolphin and the bottlenose dolphin. We also document the first direct observation of interspecific killing of a common dolphin by bottlenose dolphins and of interspecific necrophilia in cetaceans. The study was conducted from 2014 to 2019 in the Ría de Arousa (Northwest Sp...
Preprint
Full-text available
Knowledge of the habitat use of wildlife in highly impacted areas is essential to identify areas of biological importance and to implement appropriate conservation measures. The Arabian Gulf represents one of the most extreme marine environments and is considered one of the regions in the world with the greatest anthropogenic impact. Information on...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Resulta ser apremiante que, dada la incertidumbre sobre los efectos de las actividades humanas y el cambio climático en especies amenazadas de carácter migratorio, como el rorcual azul, sea necesario alcanzar una mayor comprensión sobre la ecología de estas especies. El proyecto BALAENATUR: seguimiento del rorcual azul dentro de la red Natura 2000,...
Cover Page
Full-text available
Cover image: Underwater photo of a common bottlenose dolphin in Sardinia Island (Italy) to illustrate dolphins' personality research. CetusGeo Dolphin & Whale Emagazine # 7 - Dolphin Research Australia
Article
Full-text available
We like to think humans are pretty special. Yet, for ethologists, pet owners, and anyone else who’s ever bonded with an animal, the existence of non-human personalities might not be breaking news. Personality describes consistently expressed (repeatable) behavioural differences between individuals of the same species that are otherwise similar to o...
Article
Full-text available
The four currently recognised species of Sousa are all threatened on the IUCN Red List. To date they have not been included in any of the available software platforms that have been developed for the automated matching of cetaceans from photo-ID data. Because of their unique morphology, existing algorithms are unlikely to be successful and new algo...
Article
Full-text available
Ecopath with Ecosim has been used to create mass-balance models of different type of ecosystems around the world to explore and analyse their functioning and structure. This modelling framework has become a key tool in the ecosystem approach to fisheries management, by providing a more comprehensive and holistic understanding of the interactions be...
Article
Full-text available
Identifying foraging variation within a population and assessing its relationship with social structure is essential to increase knowledge about the evolution of social systems. Here, we investigated individual foraging variation in bottlenose dolphins and its potential influence on their social organization. We used generalized affiliation indices...
Poster
Full-text available
This study describes personality differences between wild bottlenose dolphins and quantifies, for the first time in marine mammals, the influence of personality on social structure. There is increasing evidence that animal personality can affect many aspects of an individual’s behaviour, life history, and fitness. This study reports on ecologicall...
Poster
Full-text available
Methion S, Díaz López B. 2019. Individual foraging variation drives social organization in bottlenose dolphins. Behavioral Ecology DOI:10.1093/beheco/arz160 Poster presented at the World Marine Mammal Conference
Poster
Full-text available
The Emirate of Abu Dhabi is strategically located within the Arabian Gulf in a combination of geographical, oceanographic and ecological conditions which enable the presence of a rich cetacean fauna. Although the preservation of suitable habitats is necessary, the persistence of cetacean species in Abu-Dhabi waters cannot occur without a better und...
Poster
Full-text available
Marine ecosystems, especially those located in coastal areas are heavily affected by human activities. Research conducted in these areas should be aimed at improving the conservation of threatened species and habitats. Environmental factors have been used to understand species distribution and the latter has proven to be a fundamental tool to promo...
Poster
Full-text available
Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) are an increasingly used conservation tool to protect the oceans and its biodiversity. The harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) is elegit to such protection by Annex II of the EU’s Habitats Directive; particularly the Iberian harbour porpoise, a genetically distinct population, is in need of such conservation me...
Poster
Full-text available
Cetaceans frequently display skin marks which can be caused by diseases, parasites, and interactions among conspecifics and with human activities. For the present study, we used one year of photo-identification data for resident bottlenose dolphins of the Ría de Arousa (NW Spain). The aims of this study were to assess the types of skin marks found...
Poster
Full-text available
Social network analysis is important for studying the evolution of social systems. The aim of this study is to describe the social structure of a resident population of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Data were collected between January and June 2017 onboard a research vessel in the Ria de Arousa (Galicia, North West of Spain). Dol...
Poster
Full-text available
Interaction between bottlenose dolphins and fisheries is a growing problem worldwide. The fisheries sector in the Ría de Arousa (Galicia, NW Spain) is one of the most important of Europe, however the effect of fisheries activities on the behaviour of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) remains poorly known in the area. This study is a first ap...
Poster
Full-text available
Understanding the dynamics between bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) behavior and anthropogenic behavior is essential for the creation and implementation of effective conservation strategies for the species. Due to a general trend towards coastal urbanization, bottlenose dolphins encounter frequent disturbances due to human activities, facing...
Poster
Full-text available
Understanding the physical processes and environmental variables influencing cetacean movements on a small scale is necessary to discern the ways in which these top predators utilize their habitat. In this study we analyze the variables related to the presence of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in two adjacent but environmentally di...
Article
Full-text available
Atypical pigmentation, which is rarely observed in the wild, may influence social interactions between animals and can be detrimental for survival. Hypopigmentation, which is the lack of pigment in a part or on the entire body, is a type of atypical pigmentation pattern that can be either acquired (e.g. vitiligo) or congenital resulting from the in...
Poster
Full-text available
Eutrophication can cause adverse effects in the coastal ecosystems, this leads to an accelerated proliferation of opportunistic microbial and macroalgae communities, altering the trophic structure of the marine ecosystems and deteriorating water quality. The determination of eutrophication risk requires a continuous acquisition of time series of nu...
Chapter
Full-text available
Since the beginning of my career as marine mammal scientist in 1999, I realized that a research study is only as good as the methods used to sample and analyse the data collected at sea. In this respect, to study the ecology and behaviour of marine mammals is not very different from any other research on land mammals' or birds' ecology. During all...
Article
Full-text available
The world's ecosystems are altered to different extents by anthropogenic activities. Marine habitats, especially coastal areas, are subjected to an increasing pressure derived from human activities on both land and ocean. Information about species distribution is fundamental to develop effective conservation and management measures and counteract n...
Article
Full-text available
1. In the coastal environment, marine mammals are exposed to one of the fastest-growing food production sector, i.e. the shellfish farming industry. Identification of critical habitats, such as foraging grounds in highly human-impacted areas, is essential to species conservation. Therefore, understanding the variables that influence a species’ fora...
Article
Full-text available
Recent studies show that human impacts on marine ecosystems are threatening marine biodiversity. A greater emphasis on predicting how predators might respond to changes in the marine environment is needed because the effects of human activities are spatially heterogeneous. Here we analyse rorqual whales distribution data in a highly impacted upwell...
Article
Full-text available
The impact of commercial fisheries on marine top predators is currently the focus of considerable international concern. In spite of the recognition of the competition between fisheries and marine predators for the same resources, few comprehensive assessments of the level of overlap between marine predators and fisheries have been conducted. Data...
Presentation
El delfín común (Delphinus delphis) es la especie de cetáceo más abundante y observada con más frecuencia en aguas del Atlántico Noreste. Aunque estudios recientes sobre la distribución de esta especie en aguas atlánticas muestran que el Noroeste de la Península Ibérica es un área importante para su distribución, hay una falta de información sobre...
Article
Full-text available
This study presents the first robust estimates of abundance and demographic parameters of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in a highly affected coastal ecosystem along the northeastern Atlantic. Seasonal abundance, apparent survival and temporary emigration rates were estimated using Pollock's robust design models. Photographic ident...
Article
Full-text available
Determining the drivers that are responsible for the fine-scale distribution of cetacean species is fundamental to understand better how they respond to changes in their environment. We utilized information theoretic approach to carry out a comprehensive investigation of the key environmental and anthropogenic correlates of habitat use and relative...
Poster
Full-text available
Determining the drivers that are responsible for the fine scale distribution of cetacean species is fundamental to understand better how they respond to changes in their environment. Coastal cetaceans regularly exist in sympatry; nevertheless, ecological studies have been often based on a single species approach while ignoring the potential effects...
Poster
Full-text available
Behavioural studies are essential for defining critical habitat for a population’s survival. It is crucial to identify foraging habitats, especially in areas under high anthropogenic pressure, to protect cetacean populations in need of conservation. We present here an innovative study combining behavioural sampling and the use of a multi-model appr...
Poster
Full-text available
The short beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) is the species of cetacean most commonly seen in the NE Atlantic. Recent studies such as the CODA and SCANS III surveys and other surveys carried out in the early 2000s, showed that the waters off NW Spain are an important area for the species. However, there is a lack of information on habitat u...
Poster
Full-text available
Because bioacoustics is a recent discipline, the importance of behavior and sociality on the vocal production of marine mammals is not very well known. The aim of this study is to determine the importance of intra-population variability on the whistles characteristics of free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). A boat-based campaign h...
Poster
Full-text available
The interaction between cetaceans and gillnets and purse seine fisheries is common in European waters.Gill nets and purse seines fishing activities affect the survival of many cetaceans, including the bottlenose dolphin. Along th NW Spain, more particularly the Ría of Arousa, there is a resident population of common bottlenose dolphins in an area c...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
La interacción entre el hombre y los cetáceos, siempre ha suscitado una atracción especial a lo largo de la historia. Desde tiempos de la antigua Grecia comenzando por los relatos idílicos de Homero (700-800 A.C) y posteriores descripciones con un corte más científico de Aristóteles (350 A.C), se habla de la relación existente entre estos animales...
Poster
Full-text available
Study of the evolution of natural marks present on the dorsal fin of free ranging common bottlenose dolphins resident in the Ría of Arousa, NW Spain.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Determining the drivers that are responsible for the fine scale distribution of cetacean species is fundamental to understand better how they respond to changes in their environment. Coastal cetaceans regularly exist in sympatry; nevertheless, ecological studies have been often based on a single species approach while ignoring the potential effects...
Poster
Full-text available
Owing to the worldwide growth of marine aquaculture over the last years, new habitats have been created through the supplement of nutrients. This addition of nutrients affects the whole marine food web, resulting in predator species such as bottlenose dolphins becoming attracted to these areas. The primary aim of this 9-yr study was to identify and...
Poster
Full-text available
Association patterns of resident bottlenose dolphins in the Ría of Arousa, NW Spain.
Article
Full-text available
Infanticide is considered a conspicuous expression of sexual conflict amongst mammals, including bottlenose dolphins. Although reported previously in this species, confirmed cases of infanticide and associated epimeletic behaviour are very rare and their socio-behavioural context remains poorly understood. Here, we provide evidence of epimeletic an...
Article
Full-text available
The Arabian Gulf is one of the most heavily impacted water bodies raising serious concerns about the conservation status of many marine species. A limited coastal range and near-shore distribution make Indian Ocean humpback dolphins particularly vulnerable to mortality and traumatic injuries from heavy maritime traffic and gill-netting practices. P...
Poster
Full-text available
Bioacoustics is a relatively new area of cetacean research. However, due to technical, financial, and logistical issues, it is relatively poorly studied outside of captive animals. This study examined the whistle characteristics of bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, in Ria de Arousa, Galicia, Spain from April to October 2014. The effects of g...
Article
Full-text available
Shellfish farming is an expanding segment of marine aquaculture, but the impact of this industry on coastal cetacean species is only beginning to be considered. The interaction between mussel farming and coastal cetaceans in one of the world’s leading producers of this bivalve (Galicia, NW Spain) was studied. Specifically, the habitat use of common...
Article
Full-text available
Recently, aquaculture has generated worldwide interest as a result of the overexploitation of wild stocks combined with a growing international demand for fish and seafood products. Wild fish attracted to the marine fish farms, together with the presence of the farmed fish, are powerful attractants to predators that normally feed on similar or iden...
Poster
Full-text available
The waters of the southern Arabian Gulf are the most extreme marine environ-ment on the planet with temperatures ranging from 16 oC during the winter to over 36oC in the summer. We initiated a dolphin monitoring programme in the coastal waters of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates in 2014 in order to define the distribution, abund...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Monitoring changes in bottlenose dolphin communities and then identifying the causes for them forms the core of conservation research and are further integral components of the information needed to manage human impacts on dolphin populations. Mediterranean bottlenose dolphin populations are affected by man’s use of coastal waters, particularly by...
Poster
Full-text available
El presente estudio, llevado a cabo en aguas de la ría de Arousa entre abril y noviembre del 2014, se centra en la descripción de las características y las tasas de producción de los silbidos emitidos por los delfines mulares. Grabaciones y observación del comportamiento de los delfines se llevaron a cabo a bordo de una embarcación de 12m. Mediante...
Conference Paper
Aunque las rías gallegas albergan una de las concentraciones de polígonos de bateas más altas a nivel mundial se desconoce el impacto de dicha industria en depredadores superiores como los delfines mulares. Entre los meses de marzo 2014 y agosto 2015 en la ría con mayor número de bateas, la ría de Arousa, se llevó a cabo un enfoque multidisciplinar...
Poster
Full-text available
A pesar de la complejidad social del delfín mular son pocos los estudios acerca de la estructura social de esta especie en la Península Ibérica. Este estudio contribuye a un mayor conocimiento de la dinámica social de esta especie y más en particular en aguas gallegas. Entre los meses de marzo del 2014 y marzo del 2015 se llevaron a cabo un total d...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Conservation of a species requires the collection of reliable information about the distribution and habitat use, so that protection measures can be implemented in the future. The growth of aquaculture and the frequent exposure to motorised boats are likely to affect coastal populations of bottlenose dolphins, such as those found in north-east Sard...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, the temporal distribution of dolphins, group dynamics, site fidelity and abundance of common bottlenose dolphins along the North-western coastal waters of Sardinia (Italy) was assessed through mark-recapture photographicidentification techniques. Prior to this study, no research has previously focused on bottlenose dolphins within th...
Conference Paper
In the social systems of mammals, infanticide by males seems to be a common phenomenon. Losing an offspring prematurely leads to early resumption of cycling and females conceiving sooner. This makes a time gain and with it improved reproductive performance for infanticidal males all the more likely. Protection of infants from conspecifics must be o...
Conference Paper
Owing to the worldwide growth of aquaculture over the last years, new habitats have been created through the supplement of nutrients and introduction of species. These changes affect the whole marine food web, resulting in predator species such as bottlenose dolphins becoming attracted to these areas. The data for this study were collected as part...
Article
Full-text available
Acoustic harassment devices (AHDs) have been deployed to reduce the interaction between different marine mammals and fisheries in many areas. Despite field studies on some marine mammal species, there is a lack of information about their effectiveness on common bottlenose dolphins. The controlled exposure experiment described here is the first prac...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Very little is known about how free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) use social signals in different behaviours and few data exist for context specificity of vocalizations. This study focuses on the association between social signals and specific underwater behaviours. Data were collected as part of a long-term study along the north...
Poster
Full-text available
Do free-ranging male bottlenose dolphin use vocalizations in a different way than females?