The interest in large marine vertebrate conservation, research and management is increasing in pre- and post-graduate students, as well as in professionals. This course will provide a strong platform from which to launch a career working with this special group of animals, it covers relevant subjects for both wild and captive animals (as the course is designed to appeal to students from a wide range of backgrounds including biologists, naturalists and veterinarians).

The Professional Masters in Large Marine Vertebrates Sciences was born from the collaboration between Alma Mater Studiorum and  Department of Biology, Ecology and Earth Sciences (DIBEST) of the University of Calabria. It is an International Master specifically designed to give professionals and young graduates theoretical knowledge on a large variety of aspects of Large Marine Vertebrate management and conservation, starting from the basics (physiology, biology, anatomy, etc.), to more specific competences, like welfare, diseases and pathology, legislation concerning Marine Vertebrates, monitoring, management in the wild and under human care, as well as communication and scientific writing skills.

All this is possible thanks to a team of highly qualified professors, which includes academics from the two main Universities, selected Universities throughout Italy and the rest of the world as well as highly specialist independent professionals.

The unique strength of this Master Course is its practical approach, allowing the participants to immerse themselves in the different aspects of  working with and conserving large marine vertebrates, both in the wild and under human care. Features that make this course stand out are the 20 CFU (500 hours) internship and a mandatory, immersive, field research trip with the Dolphin Communication Project (DCP) to the DCP Director’s research field site on Roatan, Honduras. DCP’s study site is at The Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences (RIMS) at Anthony's Key Resort. DCP’s Director, KM Dudzinski, has been studying the bottlenose dolphins at RIMS since 2003, with several research papers detailing findings related to comparisons between wild and captive bottlenose dolphin social behaviour. Both DCP and RIMS offer educational programs that focus on blending a hands-on field experience with an introduction to science and application of the scientific method. 

The Master, taught in English, is composed of taught modules and an internship, for a total of 18 months.

Scientific Committee

Dr. Annalisa Zaccaroni (Director of the Master)

Prof. Diego Bucci

Prof. Cristiano Bombardi

Dr. Gianni Pavan

Dr. Emilio Sperone

Dr. Manuel Garcia Hartmann