PhD in Innovative Technologies and Sustainable Use of Mediterranean Sea Fishery and Biological Resources (FishMed-PhD)

Academic Year 2023-2024
Subject area Biological, Geological and Agricultural Sciences
Cycle 39
Coordinator Prof. Stefano Goffredo
Language English, Italian
Duration 3 years

Application deadline: Aug 22, 2023 at 11:59 PM (Expired)

Second PhD Call for Applications, with scholarships funded by NRRP and other funds

Enrolment: From Sep 28, 2023 to Oct 03, 2023

Doctoral programme start date: Nov 01, 2023

39 PNRR PhD Call for Applications

Application deadline: Jun 20, 2023 at 11:59 PM (Expired)

PhD Call for Applications, with scholarships funded by NRRP and other funds

Enrolment: From Jul 31, 2023 to Aug 22, 2023

Doctoral programme start date: Nov 01, 2023

39 PNRR PhD Call for Applications
Operating centre
Fano (PU)
Main Department
Department of Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences - BiGeA
Associated Departments
Department of Cultural Heritage - DBC
Department of Chemistry "Giacomo Ciamician" - CHIM
Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology - FaBiT
Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental, and Materials Engineering - DICAM
Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences - DISTAL
Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences - DIMEVET
Doctoral Programme in collaboration with research institutions (art. 2, comma 2, lett. a) del D.M. n. 45/2013)
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche – CNR
Research topics
  • Marine microbial metagenomes: study of microbial metagenomes from marine organisms (holobionts) and environments as indicators of ecosystems and organism health and functionalities
  • Marine environment: relationship between environment and organisms; autecology and synecology, biological cycles of the species being harvested, and food webs
  • Modeling gene regulation, biomineralization, growth, and population dynamics in marine calcifiers and fish species
  • Genomic methods and life history traits as tools for fisheries management
  • Fishery stock assessment methods
  • Fishing innovative techniques and Technologies
  • Marine microbial food webs, and food security
  • Influence of contaminants (chemical and microbiological) on reproductive cycles, on food quality and on human biodiversity
  • Bioremediation of impacted marine ecosystems (surface and subsurface water and sediments)
  • Aquaculture, restocking and relative environmental impact
  • Human genetic and epigenetic variability of genes involved in lipid metabolic and pollutant detoxification pathways in Italy and the Mediterranean area: a focus on nutrition and health
  • Natural resources and environmental economics
  • Evaluation of natural resources and ecosystem services
  • Protection of the environment and resources: legal bases, organizational, and innovative elements and tools for ecosystem-based fishery management
  • Community legislation on fisheries, national rules in the Mediterranean countries and EUSAIR
  • International Fisheries Organizations operating in the Mediterranean: objectives and functioning
  • Sustainable exploitation of marine bio-resources (microbes, biomass and fish processing by-products and wastes)
  • Citizen Science: communication, volunteer involvement, spatial and temporal large-scale monitoring, dissemination, environmental education
Job opportunities and potential areas of employment
Oceans are drivers of the economy and have a great potential for innovation and growth. “The EU blue economy” employs over 4 million people, generating a turnover of over 660 billion euros a year. Sustainable Blue Economy is the strategy of the European Union for the sustainable development of the marine and maritime sectors as a whole. Some blue economy sectors where there is a high growth potential are aquaculture, tourism, marine biotechnology, resource and environmental management. These expanding sectors create a great need for researchers, engineers, managers and environmental economists at the local, national and international level. Preparing the skills necessary for the development of the EU blue economy is a priority of the EC Mission Starfish 2030 and the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP). The latter must contribute to the achievement of European environmental objectives also through the protection of marine resources, the transition to a circular economy, the prevention of pollution and the protection and restoration of coastal areas. FishMed-PhD will train young researchers to meet these needs through broad intersectoral and interdisciplinary interactions. The skills acquired will be applicable in various professions related to consultancy and environmental management, socio-economic risk assessment and public employment. PhD students will be able to select specific indicators of changes in the marine environment, aimed at analyzing the socio-economic implications of these changes, useful for businesses and policy makers; they will participate in workshops and conferences, acquiring networking opportunities in both the private and public sectors. After their doctorate, they will be able to become European leaders in the management of the marine environment and its resources.
Admission Board

Appointed by RD n. 709/2023 Prot n. 149534 on Jun 02, 2023

Confirmed for Call for further PhD Positions
Rectoral Decree n. 1066/2023 Prot. n. 0226313 of 04/08/2023

Surname and Name University / Institution Rolo email
Bonaldo Alessio Università di Bologna Member
Falini Giuseppe Università di Bologna Member
Luiselli Donata Università di Bologna Member
Marini Mauro CNR - Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche Member
Adinolfi Felice Università di Bologna Substitute
Giuliani Cristina Università di Bologna Substitute
Goffredo Stefano Università di Bologna Substitute
Luna Gian Marco CNR - Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche Substitute
Learning outcomes

Despite the fact that the fisheries issue is one of the priorities of the European agenda, this topic has never been supported by high level dedicated education. FishMed-PhD will focus predominantly on Mediterranean fisheries, both in terms of understanding the impact that fishing pressure can have on ecosystems, but also how fisheries are interconnected with the marine environment and are themselves impacted by other drivers of change (e.g., climate change, alien species). FishMed-PhD will train a new generation of managers, not only on innovative Technologies, the biology of the harvested species and biotechnologies, but also on the importance of limiting the anthropic impacts while maintaining the economic performances. Students will carry out interdisciplinary, state-of-the-art research and complement their training through specialized courses. Students will also learn to implement environmental awareness and to deliver scientific knowledge to policy makers, and the general public.

Activities to be carried out by Doctoral candidates

Individual PhD research projects will merge the limited available knowledge with new insights generated by FishMed-PhD to assess fishery and ecosystem status and integrate this knowledge into a wider policy and social matrix of transparent and usable outputs that are urgently needed by policymakers, managers, and stakeholders. FishMed-PhD program will combine interdisciplinary approaches in novel ways, envisaging four research work packages. WP1: Organism Biology & Physiology. Students will investigate ecosystem responses to drivers of change (e.g climate change) using a multi-scale approach from organism to population scales, by conducting studies (molecular, physiological, macroscopic growth) under controlled conditions and in situ. WP2: Environmental Monitoring & Conservation. Students will use remote sensing, species distribution modelling, and citizen science approaches to assess Mediterranean Sea biodiversity status and stressors. Moreover, students will learn to assess hydrocarbon pollution and state-of-the-art bioremediation techniques, and to investigate the impact of microplastics on Mediterranean ecosystems. WP3: Ecosystem & Socioeconomic Modelling. Students will use physiological and autoecological descriptors, as well as long-term robust time-series analysis to simulate alternative environments and human use scenarios (e.g., fishery regulations, coastal development) in an ecosystem model. This model will be coupled with ecosystem services (e.g. fisheries, tourism, ecosystem resilience), to evaluate the ecological and socioeconomic impacts of the different scenarios. WP 4: Risks Assessment & Integration Into Policy and Society. Students will investigate the interactions among economic activities, and assess risks to ecosystem services. Students will contribute to decision support tools that can help policymakers choose the most sustainable scenarios and communicate the impact of these scenarios to different stakeholders and the public at large.

Research training activities compliant with the Doctoral programme's learning outcomes

Course title / Teacher / Number of hours
First year

  • Marine metagenomics / Marco Candela / 8 hours;
  • Biomineralization; origin, evolution and diagenetic processes / Frédéric Marin / 8 hours;
  • Electron microscopy / Giovanni Valdrè / 8 hours;
  • Growth and population dynamics models / Stefano Goffredo / 8 hours;
  • Introduction to computational biology / Jaap Kaandorp / 8 hours;
  • Comparative genomics and evolutionary applications / Andrea Luchetti / 8 hours;
  • Marine physiology / Silvia Franzellitti / 8 hours;
  • Animal-microbiota interactions / Antton Alberdi / 8 hours;
  • Crystallization in biomineralization and the environment / Damir Kralj / 8 hours;
  • Oceanography and biogeochemistry / Jonathan Erez / 8 hours.

Second year

  • Fluctuations of fish populations / Stylianos Somarakis / 8 hours;
  • Trophic networks, climate change and resource management in Northern Europe / Michele Casini / 8 hours;
  • Safety of fish products; microbial food webs and teleost microbiome / Gian Marco Luna / 8 hours;
  • Chemical contaminants and quality of fish products / Mauro Marini / 8 hours;
  • Marine biological resources in the Adriatic / Jakov Dulcic / 8 hours;
  • Indicators for sustainable fisheries / Fabio Fiorentino / 8 hours;
  • Ecological engineering for marine productivity / Gianna Fabi / 8 hours.
  • Fishing technology / Alessandro Lucchetti / 8 hours
  • Human population dynamics in traditional fishing communities; genetics, nutrition, health / Donata Luiselli / 8 hours;
  • Genetics and genomics for resource management / Alessia Cariani / 8 hours.

Third year

  • Blue Growth and ecosystem services / Giulio Malorgio / 8 hours;
  • Valorization of fish and mariculture waste materials / Giuseppe Falini / 8 hours;
  • Principles of fisheries economics and politics / Felice Adinolfi / 8 hours;
  • Algal mariculture in the context of climate change / Zvy Dubinsky / 8 hours;
  • Bioremediation / Giulio Zanaroli / 8 hours.
Internationalization features

FishMed-PhD program is international. At least 25% of its Academic Board is made up of professors and researchers belonging to qualified foreign universities or research centers: Bar-Ilan University (Israel), The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel), Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (Croatia), University of Amsterdam (Netherlands), University of Burgundy (France), Hellenic Center for Marine Research (Greece), University of Copenhagen (Denmark) and Ruder Boškovic Institute (Croatia). The selection process also takes on an international character, positively evaluating the scientific excellence of candidates, such as scientific publications in journals with Impact Factor, participation in international conferences, and reference letters for any research periods spent in abroad institutes. In addition, young high-profile graduates are selected through networks that promote employment growth in the Mediterranean region. In addition to Euraxess, open positions are published on specific websites that improve the development of employment in the southern Mediterranean countries (eg HOMERe - High Opportunity for Mediterranean Executives Recruitment). FishMed-PhD program requires a compulsory research period abroad, of at least three months, to promote a better understanding of the existing realities and of the ways of managing marine resources at an international level.

Expected research results and products

Training and research performance of FishMed-PhD students will be monitored by supervisors who will ensure that fellows obtain sufficient intersectoral/iterdisciplinary skills to increase employability, as well as research skills. The supervisors will report/advise students during both training and research activities envisaged in the FishMed-PhD programme. At the end of the first year, the student’s participation in training activities and the experimental design and methodology to be applied during their research project will be evaluated. At the end of the second year, students will provide an overview of training and research activities conducted in the previous 24 months, showing preliminary results and statistical analysis. At the end of the third year, to be admitted to the PhD defence, students must have: i) at least two publications in Impact Factor journals, of which at least one as first author, ii) participated in at least one international conference, iii) performed a period abroad of at least three months,  iv) completed a final draft of the PhD thesis and of a 30 minutes oral presentation. These mandatory criteria will be evaluated by the FishMed-PhD Academic Board and after approval, the students will be admitted to the PhD defence.