MARECOL - Marine and Coastal Ecology, Conservation, Restoration

Areas: Biology

The Marine and Coastal Ecology, Conservation and Restoration Research Group is active at the Ravenna and Bologna Campuses. Our research focuses on the role of natural and anthropogenic processes in shaping ecosystem structure and functioning. We cover a wide range of themes: community ecology of rocky shores, biogenic reefs, sedimentary environments, wetlands, saltmarshes, and human-built habitats; evolutionary and adaptive processes in marine seaweeds and invertebrates; assessment and mitigation of the effects of human activities and urbanisation; biodiversity conservation and restoration ecology.

Currently we are studying resistance and resilience of subtidal temperate and tropical biogenic reefs to multiple stressors and to climate and oceanographic changes. We use molecular ecology techniques to study diversity of gorgonian corals and seaweeds, their adaptive potential and genetic connectivity between populations to support marine conservation planning. We investigate how coastal urbanisation, namely harbours and coastal defence structures, affect ecosystems, and we develop and test innovative eco-engineering and nature-based solutions for the design of marine infrastructures and waterfronts that have value to both humans and the environment.

The Adriatic Sea, with a millennial history of human disturbances, is our training field to investigate ecological shifts and mitigation strategies. In the framework of international and national research projects and collaborations, we apply our expertise to marine habitats worldwide. Our commitment is to strengthen the research at the interface of ecology, environmental management, and conservation, and ensure that the scientific knowledge about marine processes and human impacts is transferred to the society and the decision making process.

Lines of research


ERC Panels
LS8_1 Ecosystem and community ecology, macroecology

LS8_2 Biodiversity, conservation biology, conservation genetics

LS8_3 Population biology, population dynamics, population genetics

LS8_8 Coevolution, biological mechanisms and ecology of species interactions (e.g. symbiosis, parasitism, mutualism, food-webs)

LS8_11 Marine biology and ecology

LS2_7 Metagenomics

LS9_7 Environmental biotechnology (including bioindicators, bioremediation, biodegradation)

PE8_11 Sustainable design (for recycling, for environment, eco-design)



Federica Costantini (PA)

Group Members


Instituto de Ciencias del Mar (CSIC), Passeig Marıtim de la Barceloneta 37-49, 08003 Barcelona, Spain; Laboratoire d'Ecogéochimie des Environnements Benthiques, , Observatoire Oceanologique de Banyuls/mer, France; CCMAR-CIMAR Laboratorio Associado, F.C.T.- Universidade do Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005–139 Faro, Portugal; Marine Biology Research Group, Department of Biology, Ghent University, Campus Sterre S8, Krijgslaan 281, B-9000 Gent, Belgium; Université Côte d’Azur, CNRS, ECOMERS, France; Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University, Pacific Grove, CA 93950, USA; Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), Department of Estuarine and Delta systems, Korringaweg 7, 4401 NT Yerseke, Netherlands; The Nature Conservancy, 100 Shaffer Road, Center for Ocean Health, University of California Santa Cruz, CA 95060; School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Science & Centre for Marine Bio-Innovation; UNSW Australia | Sydney NSW 2052, Australia; Marine Biology and Ecology Research Centre, School of Marine Science and Engineering, Plymouth University, Drake Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AA; ECOncrete Tech LTD; Departamento de Ecología e Hidrología, Universidad de Murcia, Campus de Espinardo, 30100 Murcia, España; ECOMERS laboratory, Université de Nice - Sophia Antipolis, Nice, France; Department of Zoology-Marine Biology, University of Athens, Greece; Institute of Oceanography, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Anavyssos, Greece; Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences of Sam Ratulangi University, Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia; Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), Department of Estuarine and Delta systems, Korringaweg 7, 4401 NT Yerseke, Netherlands; SINTEF Materials and Chemistry, Environmental Technology Department, Trondheim, Norway; IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Göteborg Sweden; Empa - Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Dübendorf, Zürich, Switzerland