Biodiversity conservation: from population genetics to ecosystems resilience

We apply molecular genetic and genomic techniques to study aquatic (marine and estuarine) species, benthic assemblages and ecosystems for the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable management of coastal ecosystems. Activities and approaches include analysis of:

  • spatial and temporal variations of the genetic/genomic structure of populations of marine sessile and sedentary, seaweeds, plants and invertebrates
  • depth as a driver of evolutionary and adaptive processes
  • larval dispersal, connectivity and species resilience
  • influence of human impacts (overharvesting, pollution, coastal urbanization) on population health, species dispersal and assemblage structure
  • implementation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and evaluation of the effectiveness of MPAs networks
  • management and conservation of harvested and endangered species (gorgonian corals, oyster reefs, canopy-forming seaweeds, salt marsh plants, marine turtles)
  • recruitment and dynamics of subtidal biogenic reef assemblages (e.g. coralligenous outcrops)
  • metagenetic and metagenomic assessment of biodiversity and of the ecological status of coastal habitats
  • identification and valuation of ecosystem services supported by habitat forming species
  • web ecological knowledge and citizen science as a tool for biodiversity monitoring and management


- MarTERA ERA-NET Cofund SEAMoBB: Solutions for sEmi-Automated Monitoring of Benthic Biodiversity.

Research Projects of National Interest (PRIN)“Coastal bioconstructions: structures, functions, and management” (Call 2010-2011; Prot. 2010Z8HJ5M; 2013-2015) and “Reef ReseArcH - Resistance and resilience of Adriatic mesophotic biogenic habitats to human and climate change threats” (Call 205; Prot. 2015J922E4; 2017-2020).

“Training Network for Monitoring Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas” (MMMPA), a Marie Curie Initial Training Network (Call FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN; Grant Agreement no.: 290056; 2012-2015).

Oceans Past Platform (COST Action IS1403)

Functional Variability and Dynamics of Responses of Marine Forests to Global Change – MARFOR (Biodiversa, ERA-LEARN 2020 grant agreement No 645782.

“MARES - Doctoral Programme in Marine Ecosystem Health and Conservation” (EU- 512002-1-2010-1-BE-EMJD)

Major International Collaborations

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