37670 - Underwater Scientific Research

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The student acquires the basic theoretical and practical knowledge nere to study the marine environment by SCUBA  diving. The student will use the different survey techniques during the practicals in field work.

Course contents

Scientific diving history, evolution, advantages and limits. Safety in scientific diving. Survey techniques to  map the seabed. Qualitative and quantitative tools for the characterization of benthic assemblages.  Photographic and video survey methods. Dr Massimo Ponti, president of the Italian Association of Underwater Scientific Operators (AIOSS), oversees the coordination of educational activities and the organization of training. The course is part of the training courses for underwater scientific operators approved by AIOSS valid for the achievement of the European Scientific Diver certification according to ESDP standards.


Colantoni P. 2007 L'immersione scientifica. Tecniche di indagine subacquea. Editrice La Mandragora, Imola, 144 pp.

Gambi M.C., Doppiano M. (Eds.) 2003 Manuale di metodologia di campionamento e studio del benthos marino mediterraneo. Biologia Marina Mediterranea 10 (s): 638 pp.

Per approfondimenti

Bakus G.J. 2007 Quantitative analysis of marine biological communities. John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, New Jersey, 435 pp.

Barbieri F. 2014 Cavità sommerse. L'immersione in caverne e grotte marine. Editrice La Mandragora, Imola, 208 pp.

Boyer M. 2014 La fotografia naturalistica subacquea. Tra tecnica, arte e scienza. Magenes Editoriale srl, Milano, 239 pp.

Heine J.N. 2011. Scientific Diving Techniques. A pratical guide for the research diver. Best Publishing Company, Flagstaff, Arizona (USA), II Eds, 232 pp.

Teaching methods

The course includes classroom teaching, practicals in the computer lab and in the pool, seminars by external teachers.
Field course is subject to changes in relations to the available budget by the Master Degree Program

Assessment methods

The final exam aims to assess the theoretical and pratical knowledge, including the exercises in the pool and at the sea.
The theoretical knowledge will be evaluated by a written test.
The ability to apply the methods and interpret the results will be the assessed during the oral exam.

Teaching tools

Classroom teaching, underwater practicals in the pool and at sea by SCUBA diving. 

Office hours

See the website of Marco Abbiati

See the website of Massimo Ponti