The Ecology group deals with the study and evaluation of the “health status” of marine ecosystems (also in relation to the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive), their biodiversity and functioning as well as the strategies for mitigating anthropogenic impacts and rehabilitating the degraded ecosystems. The multiple research lines of the group are carried out with innovative and interdisciplinary approaches especially focused on deep marine environments and coastal environments of the Mediterranean Sea, Antarctic, Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.
The research team has also consolidated experience in the field of marine biology and ecology. In particular, it has competences in the frame of marine microbial ecology and interactions between microbial diversity (including that of viruses) and functioning of marine ecosystems using a combined approach based on microscopy, metagenomics and biochemical assays. The team actively collaborates with numerous Italian and foreign public and private research laboratories and is involved in the first European project (H2020) for the restoration of damaged marine ecosystems (MERCES-Marine Ecosystem Restoration in Changing European Seas), in the EU IDEM project (Implementation of MSFD in the Mediterranean Sea DEep, 11.0661 / 2017/750680 / SUB / ENV.C2) e in the EU AFRIMED project Algal Forest Restoration In the MEDiterranean Sea (EASME/EMFF/2017/ – Sustainable Blue Economy). The group carried out activities in the frame of the national projects: Environmental Restoration and Bathing of SIN Bagnoli-Coroglio (ABBACO); Blue Biotechnologies for restoring marine ecosystems of the contaminated Site of National Interest (SIN) ex Montedison (Falconara funded by CARIVERONA andPON Conversion of off-shore platforms for multiple eco-sostenible uses, funded by MIUR. In addition, the Ecology research team is conducting scientific activity in Antarctica through the National Program for Research in Antarctica (PNRA).

Stefano Varrella
Claudia Ciotti
Sara Canensi
Lisa Pola