MMMPA People

Early-Stage Researchers

Experienced Researchers

External Expert Scientist

Researchers mailing list:

Early-Stage Researchers


Fabrizio Gianni

Nationality: Italian

MMMPA Research project: ESR01. Evolution of marine forests in the Mediterranean MPAs and ecological restoration. University of Nice - Sophia Antipolis, ECOMERS laboratory, in Nice (France).

Education: I graduated with a Master's degree in Marine Biology (University of Bologna), defending a thesis on Marine Protected Areas. I studied ecology, conservation biology, statistics, marine botany and subjects concerning the structure, dynamics and evolution of marine habitats and ecosystems.

Work experience: I performed many field and laboratory activities in my degree's courses, in the university internship, and working as a volunteer in scientific research projects conducted by several national institutes for environmental protection. Recently I was an intern at International Ocean Institute of Malta and I collaborated with this Center for other research projects.

Research interests: My career goals are to continue in my research on environmental protection and particularly on establishment and efficacy of marine protected areas (MPAs). In the same time, I want to develop skills with an interdisciplinary perception founded both on ecological and socio-economic aspects, necessary for MPAs management.

Hobbies: I have a lot of hobbies, in particular I like photography, aquariology, travelling, cooking, gardening and reading books. I also like doing sports like soccer, volleyball, rugby, swimming, surf and jogging.


Paula Andrea Zapata Ramirez

Nationality: Colombian

MMMPA Research project: ESR02. Coralligenous assemblages assessment. Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e dell'Ambiente, Università Politecnica delle Marche, in Ancona (Italy).

Education: BSc. (Hons) Marine Biology at the Jorge Tadeo Lozano University (2005). Thesis title: Historical analysis of the natural and anthropogenic impacts on the coral reefs of the National Natural Park Corals of the Rosario, Colombian Caribbean; Visitor research student at the School of Life Science, Herriot Watt University (2007); Visitor research student at the Marine Geosciences Research Group, Barcelona University (2010); MSc. Marine Science and Limnology. Nacional Autónoma de México University (2011), Thesis title: Characterization of marine benthic habitats located at the Puerto Morelos Reef National Park, México".

Work experience: Intern researcher at the Center for Tropical Paleoecology and Archeology, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (2011-2012); Researcher at the Colombian petroleum institute. Ecopetrol: Group of Reservoir Modelling and Bioestratigraphy, (2006); Assistant researcher at the Colombian International Conservation (2005); Assistant researcher at the Colombian Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences. INVEMAR (2003-2005).

Research interests: My academic and professional interests have always been related to marine fauna. I'm interested and had worked in communities and population dynamics of coral reefs and associate ecosystems (coral species, calcareous algae, reef fishes), using statistical analysis and GIS systems as a way to assess and understand the ecosystem patterns, the distribution of species and with the findings, how it's possible to do resource management. I am also interested on the understanding of major controls affecting the evolution of the carbonate environments, including the response to factors ranging from global change and sea level fluctuations to local factors, such as siliciclastic or nutrient input.

Hobbies: Diving, traveling, backpacking. learning languages, reading comics, out door activities, dancing salsa, watch movies, hang out with my friends and family.



David Cabana Permuy

Nationality: Spanish

MMMPA Research project: ESR03. Development and assessment of biotic tools for coastal lagoon ecosystems. Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, in Athens (Greece).

Education: MSc Marine Biodiversity and Conservation (120 ECTS) Ghent University and Pierre et Marie Curie University; Bachelor's degree in Environmental Biology (311 ECTS), A Coruña University and Palermo University; Postgraduate Certificate of Education (60 ECTS), A Coruña University

Work experience: Thesis, "Assessing reference conditions and macrobenthic EcoQ for the Belgian Part of the North Sea". (ILVO, Oostende); Project Assistant (Regional Environmental Centre, Tallinn); Internship Meiofauna Laboratory. Ghent University; Research Assistant. Meiofauna Laboratory. Palermo University.

Research interests: ecosystems functioning and the understanding of how biodiversity shifts and anthropogenic driven environmental forces can affect the resilience of marine communities. Benthic macro-invertebrates ecology and indices development. Marine Protected Areas and marine biodiversity conservation.

Hobbies: collaboration in volunteering groups working on social and environmental issues. Participation in outdoor activities, as well in some sports as sailing, scuba diving and trekking. Travelling, exploring new and different cultures.


Elizabeth Arévalo Carrillo

Nationality: Spanish

MMMPA Research project: ESR04. Sediment metabolism and secondary production of macrobenthos as indicators of ecosystem functioning. Department of Zoology-Marine Biology, University of Athens, in Athens (Greece).

Education: I have studied Marine Science in Cadiz and then I did a Master Degree in Oceanography.

Work experience: I worked during three months in the Spanish Oceanographic Institute, then I collaborate with the Biology Department in the University of Cadiz for two years, and last I have worked in the Science Museum "Principia" in Malaga during six months.

Research interests: I am very interested in all things related to the ocean and the beach, but everything I have done it has been about the macrobenthos and the influence of the human pressure.

Hobbies: I like reading, walking with my dog, cycling and diving. I also like going out with friends and going to the cinema.


Giulia Prato

Nationality: Italian

MMMPA Research project: ESR05. Trophic relationships in Marine Protected Areas. University of Nice - Sophia Antipolis, ECOMERS laboratory, in Nice (France).

Education: BSc in biology, University of Milan.; Erasmus student, University of Valencia, Spain; MSc in marine biology, University of Pisa. Thesis on trawling discards in the Mediterranean Sea; Research intern at Zmt, (Center for tropical marine ecology), Bremen, attending courses on fish stock assessment and trophic modeling of ecosystems.

Work experience: Volunteer at the Charles Darwin research station, Galapagos Islands. Research assistant at NUI Galway, Ireland, within the EU project CoralFISH. 
Intern at Marilimitado dive center, Sagres, Portugal.

Research interests: Fisheries impact, ecosystem approach to fisheries management. Fish stock assessment and trophic modelling of ecosystems. Coastal and deep sea biodiversity, essential fish habitats, Marine Protected Areas design. 

Hobbies: Diving, travelling, learning languages, swing dancing, snowboarding, reading. 


Patricia Martí Puig

Nationality: Spanish

MMMPA Research project: ESR06. Connectivity among populations of the genus Patella and other marine invertebrates among Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas. Interdepartmental Research Centre for Environmental Science of the University of Bologna, in Ravenna (Italy).

Education: MSc Erasmus Mundus in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Ghent and Oviedo Universities. Master thesis in "genetics and morphology of the genus Pocillopora (Cnidaria, Anthozoa) between the Hawaiian archipelago and surrounding regions" at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology. Bachelor's degree (licenciatura) in Animal Biology at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona.

Work experience: Marine Educator and Coral Researcher at Four Seasons, Maldives. Research intern in genetic identification of the invasive species Mnemiopsis leidyi at ILVO fisheries, Belgium. Research assistant in Coral and Fish aquaculture at Mote Marine laboratory, Florida. Research assistant in Intertidal ecology at Bangor University, UK. Research intern studying the diversity and distribution of benthos species in the Cap de Creus Canyon at the Marine Sciences Institute of Barcelona, Spain.

Research interests: My interests and experience varies from several fields of marine biology, including marine invertebrate ecology, coral aquaculture, restoration of coral reef ecosystems and genetics. I'm specially interested in the aspects related to climate change, ocean acidification, environmental impacts, coral bleaching, marine protected areas and the biodiversity and conservation of coral reef ecosystems. My goal now is to pursue further challenges in research, education and management for marine conservation. This MMMPA project will allow me to use the state on art genetic tools to assist the effectiveness of marine protected areas along the mediterranean coast using a multispecies aproach (Patella and other marine invertebrates).

Hobbies: I enjoy meeting new people and learning from different cultures and places. During my free time I like to do some sports (diving, tennis, sailing...), play chess and music (piano, flute, guitar...) and dancing (salsa, tango...). I'm keen on photography and underwater photography.


Antonio Calò

Nationality: Italian

MMMPA Research project: MMMPA ESR07. Connectivity of Mediterranean reef fish populations and MPA design. Department of Ecology and Hydrology, University of Murcia, in Murcia (Spain).

Education: Master degree of "Evaluation of Environmental Impacts and Certification" (University of Salento, March 2012); Bachelor of "Environmental Sciences" (University of Salento, December 2009). Both Master and Bechelor theses on MPA effects and fish life history traits.

Work experience: During my internship at the "Conservation and Management of Marine and Coastal Resources Laboratory" I worked on the distribution of commercially important fish and their life cycle. The university courses focused mainly on the evaluation of human impacts on the marine environment. Actually I'm conducting a project on the assessment of the accumulation of solid waste along the coast.

Research interests: marine environment conservation strategies, effects of MPAs, human impacts on coastal environments (especially fishing), fish life history.

Hobbies: free-diving, spearfishing, scuba, cycling, photography.


Katie Elizabeth Hogg

Nationality: British

MMMPA Research project: ESR08 Community-based management of Mediterranean MPAs: marine governance, social capital and participatory methods. Department of Ecology and Hydrology, University of Murcia, in Murcia (Spain).

Education: 2008-2009 Newcastle University, UK. Master of Science, Tropical Coastal Management: Distinction. 2002-2006, University of St Andrews, UK. Bachelor of Science (Hons.) Marine and Environmental Biology: Upper second class honours.

Work experience: I have spent the last few years working as a self employed Marine Mammal Observer on seismic survey vessels in the North Sea, Irish Sea and Atlantic. Between contracts I worked for Newcastle University on the Future of Reefs in a Changing Environment (FORCE) project in St Kitts, WI. This involved socio-economic fieldwork within several communities. Prior to that I spent 9 months in Mozambique working as a project manager for the Marine Megafauna Association. This involved community outreach work, management planning, scientific diving, and tagging and photographing whalesharks, manta rays, turtles (etc) to monitor movements and populations.

Research interests: My interest lies in the interface between social and environmental aspects of ecosystem management. I am particularly interested in exploring how local communities interact with their marine environment. I hope to identify practical approaches that can help ensure a sustainable future for the marine environment and safeguard the livelihoods of local communities.

Hobbies: Scuba diving, Photography, Travel.


Daniel Mateos Molina

Nationality: Spanish

MMMPA Research project: ESR09 Innovative approaches and methodologies in benthic bio-cartography and decision support systems for MPAs. UBICA s.r.l., in Genoa, and Interdepartmental Research Centre for Environmental Science of the University of Bologna, in Ravenna (Italy).

Education: M.S. Marine Science focused on Biological Oceanography (University of Puerto Rico). Thesis: "Assessing the effects of Mona Island Marine Protected Area on coral reef fishes, Puerto Rico". B.Sc. in Biology (5 years) focused on Environmental Sciences and Marine Biology (University of Murcia).

Work experience: Developing an Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA), prerequisite to MPA management plans. Assesing fish populations of recreational and commertial species. Coral reef restoration and coral farms. Scientific diver in fish spawning aggregations and Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems Cruise along Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. Research assistant in remote operated vehicules (ROV). Divemaster and safety diver. Marine and environmental education.

Research interests: I am particularly interested in strategies for the design, development, and Implementation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), using socioeconomic and environmental information to evaluate the potential of alternative management scenarios to restore, sustain, or enhance the health of MPAs. I am also interested in fish spawning aggregations, local ecological knowledge, fisheries management and conservation.

Hobbies: Travel, scuba diving, play sports (basketball, tennis, soccer, ski…), dance salsa, reading.


Vasiliki Markantonatou

Nationality: Greek

MMMPA Research project: ESR10: Integrated Coastal Zone Management. Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e dell'Ambiente, Università Politecnica delle Marche, in Ancona (Italy).

Education: Vasiliki (Vessa) Markantonatou is a Marine Scientist and holds an MSc in Management of Marine Biological Resources from University of Crete. She has also followed several training courses, like Environment and Sustainable Development (UOA), Integrated Coastal Zone Management (PAP/RAC Centre) and GIS (NTUA).

Work experience: Vessa has a diverse background in application of ecosystem- based approaches in underpinning management of marine resources. Since 2010 she has been involved in several Framework 7 Projects (ODEMM, MEDISEH, CORALFISH, MEECE, BADMINTON) with particular reference to habitats of special protection.

Research interests: I am particularly interested in the application of ecosystem-based management principles and community-based adaptive management approaches to marine conservation. I am also interested in developing a holistic management performance in relation to stakeholder needs and priorities in MPAs. 

Hobbies: I get pleasure from gardening, yoga and meditation, flamenco dancing, board games, photography and cinema. Also I enjoy outdoor activities like fishing, hiking and backpacking.



Experienced Researchers


Juan Severino Pino Ibánhez


MMMPA Research project: ER01. Sediment metabolism and secondary production of macrobenthos as indicators of ecosystem functioning. Department of Zoology-Marine Biology, University of Athens, in Athens (Greece).

Education: B.Sc. in Marine Sciences (5 years, Universidade de Vigo, Spain), M.Sc. in Coastal and Marine Studies (Universidade do Algarve, Portugal), Ph.D. in Marine Biogeochemistry (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland).

Work experience: All my relevant working experience has been focused on the study of benthic processes and their impacts on the surrounding surficial waters. After a Leonardo da Vinci intership at Instituto Hidrográfico (Portugal), I started working on the biogeochemistry of coastal and marine benthic systems at Universidade do Algarve (Portugal), within the O-DOIS project. We described for the first time Submarine Groundwater Discharge into Ria Formosa coastal lagoon. In 2008 I started a Ph.D. project at Trinity College Dublin (Ireland) on the elucidation of the role of permeable sediments in mediating nitrate-rich Submarine Groundwater Discharge.

Research interests: Oceanography; Global and Environmental Change; Coastal Ecology; Land-Ocean Interactions; Marine Biogeochemistry; Hydrology and Biogeochemistry of Coastal Aquifers and Estuaries; Benthic Nutrient and Organic Matter Cycling; Benthic-Pelagic coupling; Benthic Response to Anthropogenic Pressure, Climate Change and Biological Activity.

Hobbies: Electric guitar using plenty of distortion, Galician bagpipe, hiking, climbing, trekking, getting lost, scuba diving, tae-kwon-do, micology.


Fabrizio Bartolini

Nationality: Italian

MMMPA Research project: ER02. Trophic relationships in Marine Protected Areas. University of Nice - Sophia Antipolis, ECOMERS laboratory, in Nice (France).

Education: PhD in Animal Ecology and Ethology issued by University of Florence (Italy), 16/02/2009, MSc in Natural Sciences issued by University of Florence (Italy), 15/11/2004.

Work experience: Experience in studies of behavioural biology, community analysis and thermal biology of marine and freshwater molluscs and crustaceans. Working experiences in several African and European countries plus a 3-months expedition in Antarctica.

Research interests: Anthropogenic induced changes in marine communities assemblages. Biodiversity conservation. Functional ecology of ecosystem engineers and keystone species. Ecophysiological adaptations of marine and freshwater invertebrates, with particular interest in their potential response to climate change scenarios.

Hobbies: Birdwatching, Hiking, Fishing, Playing/watching Soccer, Playing guitar.


Jessica Garcia

Nationality: French

MMMPA Research project: ER03. Connectivity of Mediterranean reef fish populations and MPA design. Department of Ecology and Hydrology, University of Murcia, in Murcia (Spain).

Education: September 2008-Current: PhD in marine biology and ecology ( School of E.P.H.E and University of Perpignan). 2007-2008: Master's degree in environment and biodiversity management (School of E.P.H.E). 2005-2007: Master's degree in functional ecology (University of Perpignan). 2001-2005: Licence's degree in biology of organisms and natural populations (University of Paul Sabatier Toulouse 3). 2001: High school of Las cases (Bachelor 's degree of Science).

Work experience: Professional Training : 2006-2008 Tropical experience: Study on the MPA effect on exploited fish population by artisanal fisheries in Martinique . 2006 Mediterranean experience: Monitoring of artisanal fisheries impact and estimation of catches in Porquerolles island (2 month). Assessment temporal recruitment variability on Diplodus sargus on Albères rock coast (6 months).

Skills & Techniques acquired:
-Monitoring of the diversity and biomass of 93 reef fish species by visual transects.
- Implantation of internal acoustic transmitter among 4 fish groups (snapper, grouper, surgeonfishes and parrotfishes).
- External tagging fishes.
- Tracking fish movement using mobile receiver.
- Recovery and analyze of acoustic data.
- Extraction and preparation of otolith (inclusion, sectionning).
- Analyze of otolith data: shape, ages, annual growth.
- Stock discrimation of acanthuridae using analysis shape.

Research interests: Diel migrations and movement patterns of tropical adult fishes (home range, spawning aggregation) are my principal interests and especially theirs applications in MPAs (e.g : efficiency, spillover effect, MPA design) to use and crossing of multiple techniques (e.g : acoustic technique, external tagging, otolith microchemistry, genetic, visual census) on multi-species reef fishes.

Hobbies: SCUBA diving, Aquariophily, Theatre, footing.


Marcello Sanò

Nationality: Italian and Dutch

MMMPA Research project: ER04.Integrated Coastal Zone Management and Web-GIS. UBICA s.r.l., in Genoa (Italy).

Education: Master in Environmental Science (Università degli Studi di Genova, Italy 2002), Postgraduate certificate in Integrated Coastal Zone Management (Universidad de Cantabria / Ministry of the Environment, Spain, 2006), Marie Curie trainee in GIS/ICM with Eco-Imagine (2004-2007) PhD (Universidad de Cantabria, Spain, 2009).

Work experience: Coastal management, planning, engineering and GIS with universities and organizations in Europe and Australia. European projects BEACHMED, ENCORA, CONSCIENCE, OURCOAST; Spanish Cooperation projects on ICZM in the Mediterranean; Lecturer for MEDOPEN (PAP/RAC) and numerous universities. Australian projects SEQCARI, Future Coastlines.

Research interests: Coastal policies, planning and management; climate change impacts and adaptation; integration between coastal processes, ecosystems, engineering and the community; post-normal science, complex systems modelling, stakeholder engagement and social networks analysis; marine protection, information systems and DSS.

Hobbies: surfing, yoga, free and scuba diving, skateboarding, bush walking ultimate frisbee, playing the trumpet, reading history.



External Expert Scientist

Paolo Guidetti

Nationality: Italian 

Professor of Ecology at the University of Nice (France). Formerly (2007-2012), researcher in Zoology at the University of Salento (Lecce, Italy). University degree 110/110 in Biological Sciences at the University of Genoa (Italy). PhD in 'Fundamental Ecology' at the University of Lecce (Italy). Visiting scientist in 2003 and 2004 at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (UC San Diego, USA). Teaching courses on 'Fish Ecology', 'Fishery Biology and Management', and 'Marine Conservation' at Universities of Genoa and Lecce-Salento, and courses on 'Origin of Life' and 'Introduction to Ecology' at the University of Nice. Scientific responsible of more than 30 national and international projects on marine protected areas, with emphasis on conservation of fish assemblages and management of small-scale fisheries. Authors of 84 ISI papers published in international journals.


MMMPA - Training Network for Monitoring Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under Grant Agreement no.: 290056.

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