Who we are

The Association Delfini del Ponente APS was created in February 2020 by a team of 7 passionate, early-career guys with strong interests in the sea and its inhabitants.

Even though coming from different backgrounds and having different areas of expertise, this group has the common goal to protect Western Liguria’s biodiversity. Another important aim of the team is to spread knowledge about it to every citizen, especially to the most disadvantaged, so that they can enjoy and learn about our natural beauties.

Monitoring cetaceans and other marine wildlife in the Western Ligurian Sea is our main activity.
Most of our attention is focused on the bottlenose dolphin, a species that lives in coastal shallow waters. We study their distribution and interactions with human activities in order to identify the presence of potential key areas for the species and assess its status.
We also offer educational activities to spread an environmental culture based on respect and protection of the marine ecosystem. We are devoted to raising awareness among all generations of people, to increase their interest in scientific research, the marine environment and all its inhabitants.

Davide Ascheri
Davide AscheriPresident
I graduated in Marine Biology and Ecology at the University of Genoa.
I am a ski and sail instructor and like to scuba dive in my free time.
Being son of a captain, from an early age I have been very passionate about the sea and its creatures. Following my passion I joined several research projects in Italy, Spain and Alaska working on different species of marine mammals and birds.
Me and Elena have been in charge of Delfini del Ponente research project since 2018; I mainly focus on dolphinsphoto-identification and the study of their social structure.
Elena Fontanesi
Elena FontanesiVice President
After a year in Tasmania studying the dwarf minke whale, I graduated in Marine Biology at the University of Bologna. Even though I come from the Padana Medow, I’ve always been extremely keen on the marine environment and its fauna; that’s why I became a scuba dive instructor.
I joined research groups in north Sardinia, Ischia and Queensland.
I started working in the fields of scientific divulgation and environmental education when I moved to Imperia and started working for Costa Balenae in 2017.
I was part of the team that founded Delfini del Ponente in 2018.
Ever since, I’ve been a very dedicated and passionate member!
Anna Marotta
Anna MarottaSecretary
I graduated in Psychology at the University of Turin and I’m currently doing my Master’s degree in Psychotherapy.
I grew up with a huge passion for sailing and became a sail instructor in 2015; that passion still hasn’t abandoned me.
In 2019 I did a Masters on autism at the University of Genoa, the project involved autistic youngsters on a sailing boat experience. After that I continued to be involved and toorganise similar projects. My hope is to continue such activities involving also Delfini del Ponente.
Enrico Carta
Enrico Carta
I graduated in Natural System Science at the University of Genoa in 2019.
For many years I’ve had a huge passion for ornithology, birdwatching and naturalistic observation.
I joined Delfini del Ponente for my Master’s thesis internship on Western Liguria seabirds.
I worked with the Bicknell Museum of Bordighera in order to classify and historically contextualize a butterfly collection. I’ve been a teacher of scientific subjects at the high school of Ventimiglia since 2019 and the association ornithologist since 2018.
Lorenzo Minoia
Lorenzo Minoia
I graduated in Marine Ecology and Biology at the University of Genoa. The damp climate of Padana Medow did not prevent me from developing my passion for the sea. I took part in some research projects in Galizia (Spain) where I studied cetaceans and in South Africa where I focused on the biology of the great white shark.
Specialized in, and extremely fond of sharks, I work as a scuba diver at Elba Island.
I’m a member of Delfini del Ponente coordinators team and oversee the Association webpage.
Andrea Pisano
Andrea Pisano
I’m a boat driver, sailer and painter. I love the sea and I’m very keen on cetaceans!
During my long career I worked on many whale watching boats; took part in some scientific projects about cetaceans and biopsies.
I’m finally retired after many years spent at sea on a huge variety of vessels, but I’m always ready to sail with Delfini del Ponente looking for Ligurian Sea marine wildlife! I’ve been their main skipper since 2018.


EMILIO LEPRE (Founder-Informatic)
ELISA ALLIONE (Founder- Marine Biologist)
CARLO ASCHERI (Member – project’s Skipper)
DANIELA CASAGRANDE (Project’s Skipper)
FRANCESCA SALVIOLI (Member – Marine Biologist)

SELENA MARVALDI (Member and Web Manager)

ANDREA CAROLINA PEDRAZZINI (Member – Intern coordinator 2022)

FRANCESCA BATTAGLIA (Member – Intern coordinator 2022)