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

Academic Year 2021-2022
Subject area Biological, Geological and Agricultural Sciences
Cycle 37
Coordinator Prof. Stefano Goffredo
Language English, Italian
Duration 3 years
Positions 7 positions. More information in the PhD Programme Table.
Application deadline May 21, 2021 at 12:00 PM
Doctoral programme start date Nov 01, 2021
Operating centre
Fano (PU)
Main Department
Department of Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences - BiGeA
Associated Departments
Department of Chemistry "Giacomo Ciamician" - CHIM
Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental, and Materials Engineering - DICAM
Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology - FaBiT
Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences - DISTAL
Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences - DIMEVET
Department of Cultural Heritage - DBC
Doctoral Programme in collaboration with research institutions (art. 2, comma 2, lett. a) del D.M. n. 45/2013)
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche – CNR
Mobility abroad
3 months
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 variability of genes and pathways involved in lipid metabolism across Italy and the Mediterranean area: focus on genetics, nutrition and health;
  • Natural resources and environmental economics;
  • Fisheries economics, product marketing and fishery chain;
  • 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 for the economy and have great potential for innovation and growth. The 'blue' economy represents roughly 5.4 million jobs and generates a gross added value of almost €500 billion a year. Blue Growth is the long-term strategy of the European Union to support sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors as a whole. The strategy focuses on sectors where there is a high potential for sustainable jobs and growth (e.g., aquaculture, coastal tourism, marine biotechnology, and resources and environmental management). The preparation of the blue economy workforce to face challenging economic transformations is a priority of the Mission Starfish 2030 of the EC. Tomorrow’s blue economy will attract talented individuals with cutting-edge professional skills who will need to interact at a cross-disciplinary and cross-sectoral level. FishMed-PhD programme is undoubtedly contributing to the EC Starfish 2030 Mission. FishMed-PhD candidates will acquire expertise that are applicable in different professions linked to environmental consultancy and management, socioeconomic risk assessment, and public engagement. In the short-term (throughout the PhD programme), PhD candidates will be capable of selecting specific socioeconomic indicators linked to changes in marine environments to perform sustainable analyses of the implications of these changes for private and public decision makers. PhD candidates will have the opportunity to participate in workshops and conferences at early stages of their scientific careers and thus help them gain international recognition and provide networking and career opportunities in both the private and public sectors. In the long-term (after the PhD programme), FishMed-PhD researchers will be European leaders and experts in marine environmental monitoring and management capable of quantifying and valuing impacts and vulnerabilities by taking into account the interdependencies between ecosystems and social and economic systems.
Admission Board

Surname Name University/Institution Role email
Bonaldo Alessio Università di Bologna Member
Falini Giuseppe Università di Bologna Member
Luchetti Andrea Università di Bologna Member
Luna Gian Marco CNR - Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche Member
Marin Fréderic Université de Bourgogne (France) Member
Somarakis Stylianos Hellenic Center for Marine Research (Greece) Member
Adinolfi Felice Università di Bologna Substitute
Candela Marco Università di Bologna Substitute
Ghiselli Fabrizio Università di Bologna Substitute
Goffredo Stefano Università di Bologna Substitute
Malorgio Giulio Università di Bologna Substitute
Marini Mauro CNR - Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche Substitute
Learning outcomes
Despite the fact that the fishery issue is one of the priorities of the European agenda, this topic has never been supported by high level dedicated education. FishMed-PhD programme 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 programme 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. PhD candidates will carry out interdisciplinary, state-of-the-art research and complement their training through specialised courses. PhD candidates 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 programme 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 programme will combine interdisciplinary approaches in novel ways, envisaging four research work packages.
WP1: Organism Biology & Physiology
PhD candidates 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
PhD candidates will use remote sensing, species distribution modelling, and citizen science approaches to assess Mediterranean Sea biodiversity status and stressors. Moreover, PhD candidates 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
PhD candidates 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
PhD candidates will investigate the interactions among economic activities, and assess risks to ecosystem services. PhD candidates 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 Unit Title / Teacher / Number of hours.
First Year
- Bacterial metagenomics of marine environments / Marco Candela / 8 hours;
- Biomineralization; origin, evolution and diagenetic processes / Frédéric Marin / 8 hours;
- Environmental Scanning and Transmission 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 environment / Damir Kralj / 8 hours.
Second Year
- Fluctuations of fish populations / Stylianos Somarakis / 8 hours;
- Trophic networks, climate change and management of resources in Northern Europe / Michele Casini / 8 hours;
- Safety of fish and fisheries products, microbial food webs, and teleost microbiome / Gian Marco Luna / 8 hours;
- Diffusion of chemical contaminants and influence on fish food quality / Mauro Marini / 8 hours;
- Bioremediation / Giulio Zanaroli / 8 hours;
- Marine Living Resources – with special emphasis on the Adriatic Sea / Jakov Dulcic / 8 hours;
- Indicators for sustainable fisheries / Fabio Fiorentino / 8 hours
- Eco-engineering to enhance the marine productivity / Gianna Fabi / 8 hours.
Third Year
- Human population dynamics in traditional fishing communities; genetics, nutrition, health / Donata Luiselli / 8 hours;
- 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;
- Recreative fisheries / Beatriz Morales Nin / 8 hours;
- Mediterranean algal mariculture potential under global climate change / Zvy Dubinsky / 8 hours.
Internationalization features
FishMed-PhD programme is international. Its Academic board will include at least 25% of professors and recognized experts in the field of fisheries, ichthyology, food web dynamics, modeling and simulation of biological systems, from different international institutions: Bar-Ilan University (Israel), Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (Croatia), University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands), University of Burgundy (France), the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (Spain), the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (Greece), University of Copenhagen (Denmark), and Ruder Boškovic Institute (Croatia). The selection process will consider broad candidate expertise, including technical/scientific experience, scientific publications, participation in scientific meetings, university courses/grades, and reference letters. Fellowships will be widely advertised. High-profile young graduates will be selected through network boosting employability in the Mediterranean region. In addition to Euraxess, open positions will be published on specific websites enhancing the development of employability in southern Mediterranean countries (e.g. HOMERe - High Opportunity for Mediterranean Executives Recruitment). FishMed-PhD programme envisages a mandatory abroad research period of at least three months, to broaden the PhD candidate’s knowledge of the existing realities and ways of managing marine biological resources.
Expected research results and products
Training and research performance of FishMed-PhD candidates 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 PhD candidates during both training and research activities envisaged in the FishMed-PhD programme. At the end of the first year, the PhD candidate’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, PhD candidates 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 thesis defence, PhD candidates 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 PhD candidates will be admitted to the PhD thesis defence.
Doctoral programme Academic Board
Name Surname University/Institution Qualification
Felice Adinolfi Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Antton Albderdi Estibaritz University of Copenhagen (Denmark) Professore Associato
Marco Candela Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Michele Casini Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Zvy Dubinsky Bar-Ilan University (Israel) Professore Ordinario
Jakov Dulcic  Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (Croatia) Dirigente Di Ricerca
Gianna Fabi CNR - Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche Primo Ricercatore
Giuseppe Falini Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Fabio Fiorentino CNR - Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche Primo Ricercatore
Silvia Franzellitti Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Stefano Goffredo Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Jacobus Adrianus (Jaap) Kaandorp University of Amsterdam (Netherlands) Professore Associato
Damir Kralj Ruder Boškovic Institute Dirigente Di Ricerca
Andrea Luchetti Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Donata Luiselli Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Gian Marco Luna CNR -Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche Dirigente Di Ricerca
Giulio Malorgio Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Fréderic Marin Université de Bourgogne (France) Professore Ordinario
Mauro Marini CNR - Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche Dirigente Di Ricerca
Beatriz Morales Nin Instituto Mediterráneo de Estudios Avanzados (IMEDEA - Spain) Dirigente Di Ricerca
Stylianos Somarakis Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (Greece) Primo Ricercatore
Giovanni Valdrè Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Giulio Zanaroli Università di Bologna Professore Associato