Visiting PhD student
"After that magic moment when my eyes were opened to the sea, I was no longer able to see, think and live as before."
Therefore, I started to study marine biology, in particular the corals, which have a great ecological, structural and social importance and are the most biodiverse marine ecosystems on the planet. Unfortunately, coral reefs are extremely delicate and vulnerable to environmental changes, e.g. ocean warming and ocean acidification.
During my MSc in the Marine Science Group at University of Bologna (UNIBO) I studied the influence of temperature and solar radiation on sexual reproduction of solitary zooxanthellate Mediterranean corals along a latitudinal gradient. In my PhD I continued the studies on the effect of climate change on corals. In particular, I am researching the influence of ocean acidification on sexual reproduction in three Mediterranean corals transplanted along a natural carbon dioxide gradient. At the same time I am studying the biomineralization process and skeletal characteristics of Mediterranean and Red Sea corals in collaboration with Department of Chemistry of UNIBO. Thanks to Chris Voolstra I had the possibility to visit KAUST where I am transferring my knowledge to the Red Sea and learning new techniques.