Faculty and Staff

Grgur Pleslić, PhD

Grgur Pleslić, PhD

Resident lecturer in Marine Megafauna Conservation Ecology, Blue World Institute
Masters in Education of Biology and Chemistry
University of Split, Croatia
Ph.D. in Biology
University of Zagreb, Croatia
Marine Megafauna Ecology: Marine Mammals
Population Management of Marine Megafauna
Directed Research
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Faculty Profile

During undergraduate studies I developed a keen interest in scientific methods used in ecology. Being a SCUBA diver, I’ve researched parameters influencing the growth of an ascidian species for my B.Sc. thesis. As I’ve started to work for the Blue World Institute, my primary research interests shifted to population dynamics and spatial and social ecology of bottlenose dolphins and other cetaceans. Since 2008 I’ve been carrying out boat-based research and utilizing photo-identification data to model their population parameters, home range, habitat use and social structure in several study areas in the eastern Adriatic. A significant part of this research is focused also on the influence of human activities, most notably fisheries, aquaculture and leisure boating, on the distribution and habitat use of bottlenose dolphins. Besides this, I have participated in several aerial surveys of the Adriatic Sea, exploring cetacean and sea turtle abundance and distribution on a basin-scale. Recently, my interests are broadening to also include application of scientific methods and results in national and trans-national monitoring schemes in alignment with EU legal frameworks, and translation of the research results into conservation initiatives. Throughout the years, I had a chance to cooperate with numerous volunteers and supervised several B.Sc. and M.Sc. students. Besides the work at the Blue World Institute, I have held several guest lectures about the application of photo-identification methods in visual surveys at the University of Padua (Italy) and currently I am teaching population dynamics modelling as an Assistant Professor at the University of Primorska (Slovenia).

Academics & Research

Research Interests

  • Cetacean Population Dynamics
  • Social Structure of Cetaceans
  • Spatial Ecology of Cetaceans


An ecosystem-based system of variables to enhance marine species and habitat monitoring and conservation: The Adriatic Natura 2000 case study.

Manea E, Bergami C, Pugnetti A, Fabrizio G, Oggioni A, Bandelj V, Cataletto B, Pleslić G, Bongiorni L (2022). Frontiers in Marine Science, 9:920366.

Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in North Dalmatia, Croatia: Occurrence and demographic parameters.

Pleslić G, Rako-Gospić N, Holcer D. (2021). Marine Mammal Science, 37(1):142–161.

Photo-identification of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Montenegrin waters. In: Joksimović A, Đurović M, Zonn I, Kostianoy A, Semenov A (ur.).

Miočić-Stošić J, Holcer D, Đurović M, Pleslić G, Ikica Z, Vuković V (2020). The Montenegrin Adriatic Coast: Marine Biology, vol 109. The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry. Springer, Cham, str. 515-531.

Social structure and spatial distribution of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) along the Croatian Adriatic coast.

Pleslić G, Rako-Gospić N, Miočić-Stošić J, Blazinić Vučur T, Radulović M, Mackelworth P, Frleta-Valić M, Holcer D. (2019). Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 29 (12): 2116-2132.

Factor associated variations in the home range of a resident Adriatic common bottlenose dolphin population.

Rako-Gospić N, Radulović M, Vučur T, Pleslić G, Holcer D, Mackelworth P. (2017). Marine Pollution Bulletin, 124(1): 234-244.

The abundance of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the former marine protected area of the Cres-Lošinj Archipelago.

Pleslić G, Rako N, Mackelworth P, Wiemann A, Holcer D, Fortuna C. (2013). Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 25(1): 125-137.


Negative interactions between common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and fisheries in the eastern Adriatic Sea.

Pleslić G, Miočić-Stošić J, Rako Gospić N, Holcer D (2019). In: Đurović M (ed.). Book of Abstracts, Adriatic Biodiversity Protection

AdriBioPro2019, Kotor (Montenegro), April 7-10 2019, Institute of Marine Biology, University of Montenegro, p. 67.
How many bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabit the former Cres-Lošinj Special Marine Reserve, Croatia?

Pleslić G, Rako-Gospić N, Mackelworth CP, Wiemann A, Holcer D, Fortuna CM (2014). In: Book of Abstracts, 28th Annual Conference of the European Cetacean Society, Liege (Belgium), April 5– 9 2014, European Cetacean Society, Walloon, p. 80.

Influence of foraging strategies on social structure of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in eastern Adriatic Sea, Croatia. V: Klobučar G, Kopjar N, Gligora Udovič M, Lukša Ž, Jelić D (eds.).

Pleslić G, Kett G, Rako Gospić N, Vučur T, Holcer D, Miočić-Stošić J, Mackelworth P (2015). Book of Abstracts, 12th Croatian Biological Congress, Sveti Martin na Muri (Croatia), September 18 – 23 2015, Croatian Biological Society, Zagreb, p. 87.

Abundance estimates of a resident bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) community inhabiting the proposed Cres-Lošinj MPA, Croatia. In: Jelaska S, Klobučar G, Šerić Jelaska L, Ljeljak Levanić D, Lukša Ž (eds.).

Pleslić G, Rako N, Holcer D, Mackelworth P, Wiemann A, Fortuna C (2012) Book of Abstracts, 11th Croatian Biological Congress, Šibenik (Croatia), September 16–21 2012, Croatian Biological Society, Zagreb, p. 231.