Barbara Mussi

Barbara is among the pioneers of the study of cetaceans in Italy.

She started sailing in 1987, becoming an offshore sailing instructor for the association I Venturieri, with which she worked until 1990. In the second half of the 1980s, she participated in the first surveys of the Italian seas conducted by the Tethys Institute, aimed at producing an overview of the distribution of cetaceans around the peninsula. During this period, the waters of the Pontino and Campanian archipelagos were first noted for the remarkable diversity of cetaceans present here.

In 1990, Barbara, aboard the sailboat in which she lives, moved from Chioggia (VE) to Ischia, where in 1991, she founded the Ischia Dolphin Project, a long-term study of cetaceans in the waters of the islands of Ischia and Ventotene, which she still directs today, researching the ecology and behavior of cetaceans in the Mediterranean. Later, together with Angelo Miragliuolo and Katia Massaro, she founded the association she chairs today.

During the first phase of her professional life, she was mainly concerned with making the scientific world aware of the biodiversity of cetaceans in the waters of the archipelagos, writing articles, reports, and conference presentations.

In later years, her professional choices were devoted to the identification and conservation of cetaceans' critical habitats, supporting the creation of protected areas to reduce the impact of human activities on marine mammals.

Today Barbara lives in Piedmont, on the land of her grandparents, in a small country village. She regularly embarks on Jean Gab, training new researchers and supervising the many students engaged in thesis and field internships. She is engaged in educational activities on cetaceans, lectures in schools, and courses in universities. She collaborates with several Italian universities supervising dissertations on cetaceans. She has authored national and international scientific and popular presentations and publications.