Marina Costa

Field investigator and data analysis

Marina Costa holds a PhD in Marine Biology from the University of St Andrews (Scotland, UK), and two MSc in Biology and in Environmental Policy and Economy  from the Università Statale di Milano (Italy). She boasts a broad and long background in marine biology, working with marine benthic and cetacean communities in several regions worldwide including Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, North Sea, Red Sea, Southwestern Atlantic and Southern Oceans.

Since 2002 Marina has been collaborating with the Tethys Research Institute studying abundance, distribution and habitat use of cetaceans in several projects (Venice Dolphin Project, Ionian Dolphin Project, Interreg III, Strait of Messina Project, and Istituto Superiore per la Protezione  e la Ricerca Ambientale (ISPRA) Aerial survey for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). Other experiences include collaborations with the Aquarium and Hydrobiological Station of Milan in Italy (1996-2003), the Abu Salama Society in Egypt (2005-2006), the  Cetacean Research & Rescue Unit in Scotland (2008-2009), and the Compagnia del Mar Rosso in Djibouti (2015). Marina was project manager of the project ‘Sustainable Development in the Southern Egyptian Red Sea’, in Egypt with the Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation (HEPCA) from 2010 to 2012, and of the project ‘Dolphins of the Kelp’ in the Falkland Islands with the South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI) from 2016 to 2018.

In 2019 and 2020 Marina continued her collaboration with SAERI to design Marine Management Areas in the Falkland Islands and to develop the policy and legislative framework. Since September 2020 Marina is also working as freelance environmental consultant for the European Commission Joint Research Center (EU-JCR) providing review of marine ecosystem services and marine restoration methodologies. Marina academic and professional experiences have given a set of skills ranging from data collection in the field to analytical and modelling techniques including estimating animal abundance using line transect and capture-recapture methods and describing their distribution and habitat preferences using GLMs and GAMs in GIS environment. Marina professional interests are focused on cetacean conservation, development of environmental awareness, and capacity building to make research a tool for real conservation. Marina is an experienced boat skipper, accomplished field cetologist and advanced scuba diver. She can speak Italian (mother tongue), English (advanced), French (intermediate) and some Modern Greek and Spanish (basic).