Rui Santos

Rui at the helm

After my Msc degree testing the effects of drugs administered to zebrafish on bone development , I pursued my life-long dream of working with cetaceans.

Over the last decade, I have acquired field experience working on a daily basis as a skipper for whale watching companies in the Azores. While developing my boat handling and interpretation skills, I developed a protocol to collect cetacean data using these opportunistic observation platforms. The database I created over seven consecutive years contains more than 5500 cetacean sightings.
Currently I am earning a PhD at the University of the Algarve, Potugal and MICS for a thesis untitled "Temporal and Spatial Distribution of Cetaceans in the Azores, as a means to define migration and dispersal patterns employing associated biotic and abiotic distributional driving factors".   This will contribute significantly to improve cetacean habitat use knowledge in the Azores, as well as, in North Atlantic areas which are related to the Azores. I joined the MICS team in 2019 in order to learn  and discover more concerning blue whale distribution and dispersal in the North Atlantic. I was able to observe one of the first blue whales matched between the St Lawrence and the Azores.