Berta Maris (2000 × 2000 px) (1)

About us

Our team is made up of biologists and naturalists with a passion for insular biodiversity and from year to year, it includes students 's ornithologists that collaborate with us.


Giacomo dell'Omo

I am a naturalist with a wide spectrum of interests and study species (ranging from rodents to seabirds).

I have been monitoring the population dynamics of the Scopoli’s shearwaters breeding in Linosa island for the last 15 years together with Prof. Bruno Massa (University of Palermo). I coordinate the field activities and data collection for determining the breeding success of around 500 breeding pairs, as well as all the research studies carried out in Linosa.

Throughout the years, I have had the chance to collaborate with other researchers and supervise numerous students on research regarding the reproductive biology, behaviour, eco toxicology, physiology, and spatial ecology of this species. Regarding this latter field of research, we have attached numerous tracking devices as GPS, accelerometers, and GLS on shearwaters to investigate their foraging movements during the breeding season and during wintering when they migrate in the Atlantic Ocean.




Martina Cecchetti

I am a visiting Post-doctoral Researcher at the Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Turin, where thanks to the grant L’Oréal ‘For Women in Science’, I am carrying out a research on the predation of wild prey by domestic cats in Linosa.

I carried out my PhD at the University of Exeter, identifying hunting drivers in domestic cats and designing novel management strategies for reducing their hunting tendency benefiting wildlife without compromising cat welfare (e.g. dedicated playtime and high meat content food).

In 2014, I went for the first time in Linosa for writing my master thesis on the feeding ecology of free-roaming cats in relation to Scopoli’s shearwater conservation.

Since then, I am the manager of the cat project. I periodically carry out the census of the cat population and coordinate the Trap Neuter Return activities. Moreover, I also take part in the field activities for monitoring the shearwater colony.



Vittoria Roatti

I am a biologist with a MSc in Environmental Biology. I am currently working on my PhD project at the University College London (UK).

My research investigates ‘social learning’ in juvenile wild chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) in Namibia.

I have been working within the Scopoli’s shearwater project in Linosa since 2016, when I studied the breeding ecology of this species for completing my MSc thesis at the University of Turin. Since then, I have been collaborating in monitoring the shearwater breeding success (on a sample of approx. 500 nests), which involves collecting biometric measurements of birds and eggs and ringing adults and juveniles.




Antonella di gangi

I am a biologist and since 2016 I have been working at “Area Marina Protetta Isole Pelagie” within conservation projects, environmental monitoring programs, awareness and communication activities and event planning.

From the same year, I have been collaborating in the Scopoli’s shearwater monitoring in Linosa and since 2018 I have also been monitoring the breeding colony in Lampione.

Here, my research focuses on evaluating the limiting factors and threats to shearwaters and on identifying tailored conservation strategies for reducing such impacts and enhancing their conservation status.

Moreover, since 2018 I also study the Yelkouan shearwater (Puffinus yelkouan) breeding in Lampedusa.

Finally, I currently collaborate with Birdlife Italy carrying out on-board observations on fishery vessels to quantify seabird bycatch rate, within the Med Bycatch program.


Sofia Bolumar Roda

I am a MSc student in Environmental Biology at the University of Turin.

My interest in ornithology arises when I was working in a LIPU wildlife rescue centre and then I became passionate about it by taking part in bird ringing sessions and censuses across Italy.

My research interest mainly focuses on seabirds, indeed since 2019 I have been collaborating in the fieldwork activities for monitoring the Scopoli’s Shearwater colony in Linosa Island and in 2020 I completed my BSc with a dissertation on Cory’s shearwater (Calonectris borealis).

As environmental activist and future researcher my aim is to contribute to the conservation of seabirds, which are seriously threatened by human-related activities, like climate change, overfishing and plastic pollution.




Marco Cianchetti-Benedetti

I met the shearwaters nesting in Linosa for the first time in 2008 when I was a volunteer in one of the first projects carried out on the island.

I have immediately loved these incredible seabirds. After some years, in 2012, I have started a PhD regarding the behavioural ecology of Scopoli’s shearwaters in Linosa using GPS and accelerometers to identify foraging areas and behaviours performed by shearwaters in relation to the commercial fishing activities.

In this project, we have also assessed the effects of anthropogenic light and sound disturbance on shearwaters’ behaviour during the chick-rearing period and consequent effects on chick development.

Now, I am investigating the fine-scale foraging behaviour of Scopoli’s shearwaters in relation to natural prey and fishery discards using GPS and micro cameras.


Dario D'Emanuele

I am a naturalist with a BSc in Natural and Environmental Sciences, I am currently a MSc student in Biodiversity and Environmental Biology at the University of Palermo.

My research interest mainly focuses on the ecology of marine fauna, particularly that of seabirds and turtles.

Since 2017 I have been collaborating with Berta maris in the annual monitoring of the Scopoli’s shearwater colony in Linosa and helping in other field activities related to shearwaters.
I also collaborate with the Protected Marine Area (AMP) of the Pelagie Islands as scientific technician for the conservation and safeguarding of the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta),monitoring its nesting site in Linosa.


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