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Francesco Mugnai


Dipartimento di Scienze Biologiche, Geologiche e Ambientali

Curriculum vitae



October 2015 - December 2017, Master’s Degree in Marine Biology at BiGeA Department (Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences), University of Bologna - Ravenna Campus.
Thesis title: “Exploring the distribution and underlying drivers of mussel and oyster species in harbour environment”.
Thesis subject: Applied Ecology.
Principal studies: Ecology, Conservation and Taxonomic Genetics, Physiology, Population structure and connectivity, Marine Botany and Algology, Microbiology, Experimental design and data analysis.
Thesis supervisors: Prof. Laura Airoldi (; PhD Francesco Paolo Mancuso (; PhD Federica Costantini (
Final degree mark: 110/110 cum laude
Graduation date: 14.12.2017

October 2011 - October 2015, Bachelor’s Degree in Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology at DSS Department (Department of Health Sciences), University of Firenze.
Thesis title: “H3F3A and H3F3B gene analysis for Giant cell tumour of bone (GCTB) and Chondroblastoma (CB) diagnoses”.
Thesis subject: Clinical Biochemistry.
Principal studies: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Histology, Immunology, Embryology, Microbiology, Bioinformatics.
Thesis supervisors: Prof. Pamela Pinzani (;
Prof. Mario Pazzagli (
Final degree mark: 97/110
Graduation date: 08.10.2015

2006 - 2011, “Scientific Lyceum Piero Gobetti”, Bagno a Ripoli (FI) (Final Mark 81/100).

2015 - 2016 FIPSAS-CMAS Advanced diver



2nd September 2019 – Current, working as Research Assistant at BiGeA (Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences), University of Bologna - Ravenna Campus. The aim of the project is the "Resistance and resilience of Adriatic mesophotic biogenic habitats to human and climate threats". My main activities are DNA extraction from benthic organisms, use of statistical softwares (Structure, Arlequin, DAPC ...) in order to carry out analyses of genetic differentiation and genetic relationships among the marine populations via clustering assignment methods.

14th January 2019 – 13th August 2019, working as Research Assistant at CIRSA (Interdepartmental Center of Environmental Sciences Research), University of Bologna - Ravenna Campus, with a studentship founded by Po FEAMP 2014/2020 FLAG of Emilia-Romagna Coastline. The aim of the project is the "Characterisation and conservation strategies for the Bevano river outlet towards protected and commercially relevant species". My main activities are benthic and sediment scuba sampling and analysis, bathymetric investigation for geomorphology mapping, videos and photos collection of marine populations census.



December 2016 - November 2017, Thesis internship near the BiGeA Department (University of Bologna - Ravenna Campus), developing methods and analysis protocols for ecological surveys as part of the World Harbour Project workgroup 2 purposes (
Subjects: (i) Field work: Primary taxonomic identification of mussel and oyster native and non-native species in seawall Ravenna harbour environment. Collection of different life stages of these organisms (larval, settler, recruit and adult) using different self-handmade collectors specifically designed, as well as other standardised collectors. Physical and chemical seawater variables survey. (ii) Benthos laboratory work: size class sorting and counting of target bivalve individuals collected at adult stage using different sieve meshes, and adult biomass analyses. Early life stage (larvae, settlers) individuals sorting and ethanol storing for genetic analyses. (iii) Genetic laboratory work: Development of a proper PCR amplification protocol for COI region of collected target species larvae and settlers. Sanger sequencing of the amplification products. (iv) Data analysis: Statistical data analysis using R package and Primer+Permanova software.

April 2015 - September 2015, Thesis internship near the Clinical Biochemistry Laboratory (under DSS, University of Florence), with involvement in bone tissue tumours diagnosis assays development.
Subjects: DNA extractions from FFPE tissue samples belonging to patients affected by bone and cartilage tumours. PCR amplifications using specific primers for H3F3A and H3F3B genes. High Resolution Melting (HRM) analysis of PCR amplified. Post-PCR purification and staining of the amplified samples for Sanger sequencing.
September 2014 - March 2015, Thesis internship at the Human Immunology Laboratory (under DSS, University of Florence), with involvement in celiac disease identification and characterisation through T lymphocyte cells phenotypic and genetic analyses.
Subjects: Learning and execution of several Molecular biology techniques: detachment of lymphocytes and leucocytes from a blood bag through the “buffy coat technique”; phenotypic staining of blood cells to sort them out using both flow cytometry and magnetic microbeads sorting techniques; DNA and RNA extraction as well as PCR amplification, together with experiences in retrotranscription of ribonucleic acids; cell culture techniques, both for eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells; viral vector transfection of lymphocytes using lentiviruses.

April 2019 - Field research involvement regarding " Morphologic characterisation of biotic and abiotic surfaces through photogrammetry techniques ", with planning and performing activities for in-field benthos sample collection and analysis, as well as employing my ability in small motor boat sailing.
October 2016 - October 2017 - Participation to the international project " World Harbour Project " -workgroup 2 activities in Ravenna harbour, which aims to " … develop resilient urban ports and harbours through a global network of collaborating scientists" ( Activities were experiment field installation and monitoring, biological, chemical and physical parameters analysis, as well as field experiment removal and post-removal analysis following specific given protocols.
January 2017 - February 2019 – Collaboration in the context of the international Project “ Plastox - Direct and indirect ecotoxicological impacts of microplastics on marine organisms ”, a JPI Ocean project aiming to “investigate the ingestion, food web transfer, and ecotoxicological impact of microplastics, together with persistent organic pollutants (POPs), metals and plastic additive chemicals associated with them, on key European marine species and ecosystems” (

November 2016 - November 2017, role of Tutor for the Master in Marine Biology course, as a reference point for planning and organising meeting between students and professors, as well as a problem solver for any issue inside the MCs course.

8-11 May 2017, “Scuba Scientific Research” course by Prof. Massimo Ponti (, University of Bologna - Ravenna Campus). Learning of several different scientific diving techniques of analysis, together with marine sample collection and processing (near Alassio, Liguria).
February 2017 - Habitat Modelling (with GAMs in R) by Prof. Guillem Chust, AZTI Tecnalia (near Ravenna campus).
February 2017 - Tutorial on RAD data analysis using STACKS; Introduction to UNIX language for Next Generation Sequencing. Prof. Tereza Manousaki, IMBBC (HCMR) (near Ravenna campus).
November 2016 - Introduction to R: “R Basis and its applications in marine biology” (20 hrs)
Prof. Massimo Ponti, Dr. Alessia Cariani, Dr. Marco Stagioni University of Bologna (Ravenna campus).
19-23 September 2016, “Experimental Marine Laboratory” - multidisciplinary course in Marine Biology with field and laboratory activities enrolled near Rudjer Boskovic Institute Centre for Marine Research, G.Paliaga (Rovinj, Croatia).

11-14 February 2019, participation to the Conference " Census of Marine Mediterranean Benthic biodiversity: an integrative metabarcoding approach (CoMBoMed) " in Ravenna, Italy, organised by Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences (BiGeA), University of Bologna and by CIRSA (Interdepartmental Center of Environmental Sciences Research).

23rd March 2019, contribution to the DIGITA event in Ravenna. This manifestation contributes to popular science and digital culture spread towards your students, from primary school to high school. It aims to enhance the interest in science, history, art knowledges of all the people, both younger and older.
29th September 2017, involved in the organisation and in the divulgation activities of the European Researchers’ Night in Palazzo Corradini, Ravenna. The main activity covered was the sensitisation of Ravenna citizens toards the World Harbour Project activities and research topics taking place in Ravenna harbour during middle 2016 to middle 2017.

December 2018, Winner of Master degree Thesis Prize by Fondazione Flaminia (Ravenna, Italy) promoting the thesis work contribution for the enhancement of the environment and the county of Ravenna. (

Mugnai F., Mancuso F.P., Costantini F., Airoldi L.: “ Exploring the distribution and underlying drivers of native and non-native mussel and oyster species in harbour environment ”, in preparation for Marine Ecology Progress Series.


4th June 2019, Mugnai F., Mancuso F.P., Costantini F., Airoldi L.: “ Exploring the distribution and underlying drivers of native and non-native mussel and oyster species in harbour environment ”, in preparation for Marine Ecology Progress Series. Oral communication accepted of article abstract at 2nd International Conference on Community Ecology (ComEc), Bologna, Italy (4-6 June 2019).

20th July 2017, Involved in drawing up the “Webinar no. 8” of the World Harbour Project, as well as research data contributor (


• Deep field work and sampling experiences, both in scuba and marine surface sampling. Strong abilities in focusing on field manipulation experiments, intense attitude in problem solving and field objects manufacturing, leading to bypass on-field unforeseen sampling issues.
• Strongly prone to team work and workgroup cooperation.
• Ability of using several scientific diving sampling techniques: belt transect, visual census, sessile and vagile benthic organism collection, underwater photography and videography for scientific purposes, marine seagrass meadows fields sampling and analysis techniques.
• Strong ability in using microscopes (optic, electronic and stereomicroscope), as well as microscopy photo-taking techniques.
• Identification of marine benthic invertebrate organisms using taxonomic approaches and genetic techniques.
• DNA preparation, extraction, purification and PCR analysis; electrophoresis gel preparation and loading/run of biological samples. Familiarity with Sanger sequencing and NGS techniques.
• Use of BLAST, Genetix, Arlequin, Mega and Structure softwares for bioinformatic data analysis.
• Use of Office Programs (Word, Excel, Power Point, Pages, Numbers, Keynote).
• Use of R, Primer+Permanova and Past softwares for statistical data analysis.
• Use of qGIS (open-source of Geographic Information System software).
• Strong planning ability both for time managing and target achievement efficiency.
• Ability to drive small motor boats, motorbikes, small trucks with trailer, and bulldozers.
• High competence in video making and video editing, as well as photo editing and music registering and sampling, using iLife suite, Final Cut, Machine programs, together with Adobe Suite softwares.

• PhD Francesco Paolo Mancuso, Department of Life Sciences, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy.
• PhD Federica Costantini, Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, Bologna University – Ravenna Campus, Ravenna, Italy
• PhD Francesca Porri, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, Grahamstown University, South Africa.
• PhD Owen S. Wangensteen, Norwegian College of Fishery Science, University of Tromsø, Norway.



August 2018 - January 2019: covering the role of Technical Specialist at the Genius Bar of Apple Store I Gigli (Apple Retail, Italy) in Calenzano, Florence, with the aim of giving high level technical support and troubleshooting solutions towards Apple products customers.

June 2015 - October 2015, Catering activity and service in room in an agritourism in the Tuscany countryside (Pelago - Florence), as well as foreign guest receiving.

November 2012 - January 2013, Role of cashier for PAM Panorama supermarket, using IBM cash informatics systems.

April 2013 - April 2014, Member of executive council of a non-profit social and cultural organisation in San Francesco (Pelago - Florence). The purpose of this project was to plan and organise events for young people, as well as helping people affected by various handicaps. Every single proceeds has been devolved in charity.
April 2012 - December 2012, operating as Telethon fund-raising in Florence, holding several stands.

2018 Driving licence for all kinds of motorbikes (Type A3)
2010 Driving licence for cars and vans (Type B)

Italian (mother tongue)
English (C1 level written, C2 level spoken)
French (B2 level, both written and spoken)
Spanish (A1 level written, A2 level spoken)

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