Nino Pierantonio

Principal field investigator

Nino Pierantonio, works for Tethys where he currently is an associated researcher and serves as Principal Field Investigator for the Ionian Dolphin Project and the Cetacean Sanctuary Research project. He has also been a Member of the Board of Directors between 2013 and 2016.

His primary interests focus on marine ecosystems with an emphasis on marine mammals, including natural and life history, abundance and density estimation, acoustics and telemetry.

He started collaborating with Tethys in 2003 and, to date, has participated in several research projects in different areas of the Mediterranean Sea and the European North Atlantic, and has spent about 1200 days in the field aboard oceanographic research vessels, sailing, motor and inflatable boats, and aircrafts.

Since 2009 Nino is part of a team carrying out extensive aerial surveys in the Central Mediterranean Sea aimed at estimating the abundance and density of cetacean populations and other megavertebrates in the region. Starting from 2012 he also participates in satellite telemetry programmes for fin whales in the waters of the Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Mammals and in the waters surrounding the Island of Lampedusa, in the Sicily Channel. During the summer 2016 Nino took part to the third replicate of the Small Cetaceans in European Atlantic waters and the North Sea (SCANS-III) monitoring programme, serving as an observer and data logger during aerial surveys carried out in the German Bight, the Baltic Proper, the Skagerrak and the Kattegat as well as the waters surrounding the southern and western coasts of Norway.

Nino is experienced in research methods including visual and acoustic vessel- aerial- and land-based surveys for cetaceans, individual photo-identification, behavioural sampling, radio and satellite tagging, photogrammetry and line transect distance sampling. He is also skilled in the use and maintenance of equipment including ‘hand–held’ computers, quadcopters and camera drones, laser range finders, digital cameras, velocity-time and depth recorders and satellite tags, static hydrophones and towed arrays of hydrophone. Nino is proficient in several computer software packages including dedicated research applications, GIS packages and software for audio, video and image editing for both Microsoft Windows and Unix–like (Linux) environments. From early 2012 he also is a certified JNCC Marine Mammal Observer (MMO), Passive Acoustic Monitoring Operator (PAM) and BOEM Gulf of Mexico Protected Species Observer (PSO). He is also a keen sportsman mostly enjoying his free time bouldering and running. Nino is Italian and he is fluent in English, has a good knowledge of French and mumbles some German and Spanish. For more information you can check Nino’s profiles at Research Gate and Google Scholar.