Alexandros Frantzis is the Scientific Coordinator and President of the Pelagos Cetacean Research Institute (Greece). He received his DEA (M.Sc.) and Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from the University of Aix-Marseille II (France) in 1988 and 1992 respectively. His research originally concerned the field of Benthic Ecology, but since 1993 was focused on the cetaceans of Greece and the Mediterranean Sea. In 1998, his scientific work on the effects anthropogenic noise on cetaceans reached internationally acclaimed media such as Nature, BBC, CNN, Reuters, Times, Economist, National Geographic etc.
Starting when almost nothing was known regarding cetaceans in Greece his research: a) revealed an unexpected diversity in cetacean species in the Greek Seas, b) linked for the first time the use of military sonar with atypical mass strandings and provided solid scientific evidence for an international science and conservation movement against noise pollution in the oceans, c) discovered an important resident population unit of sperm whales, which is the best studied at the Mediterranean level so far, d) discovered a unique phenomenon of permanent mixed-species dolphin societies in the Gulf of Corinth and hybrids between two dolphin Genus never observed before, e) recorded for the first time worldwide the echolocation sounds of Cuvier’s beaked whales, f) made the first link of sperm whale communication sounds (codas types) with their behavior, g) discovered the only (relict) population of harbor porpoises in the Mediterranean Sea.
A large part of these projects has been supported by OceanCare. Since 2008 Alexandros Frantzis and the Pelagos Cetacean Research Institute have developed a close and continuous collaboration with OceanCare that lately resulted in pioneering achievements. Within the framework of the project «SAvE Whales» technological developments and cutting-edge research have been financially supported by OceanCare and used to save the Mediterranean sperm whales from ship-strikes.
Alexandros Frantzis is member of the IUCN Cetacean Specialists Group since 1998 and significantly contributed to the listing of several Mediterranean species’ population as Endangered. With his research he proposed and achieved the creation of eight large marine Natura2000 areas for cetaceans in Greece and several IMMAs (globally Important Marine Mammal Area) in the eastern Mediterranean. He has served ACCOBAMS (Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and contiguous Atlantic area) as member of its first scientific committee, before and after this agreement came into force. He has contributed to the popularisation of the scientific knowledge and the public awareness regarding the conservation of the marine environment and cetaceans, through many articles, books, seminars and lectures in Greece and other European countries, as well as through eco-volunteer programs.
Alexandros Frantzis has published 51 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals, one monography, more than 30 papers in proceedings of conferences, workshops and special editions and more than 10 technical reports.