Adam Summers - Friday Harbor Laboratories, University of Washington


My research has been influenced by my background in engineering and mathematics and my interest in the evolution of non-human animals. I have many collaborative projects on a variety of vertebrate taxa, including reptiles, amphibians, bony fishes, and cartilaginous fishes. My main research program is in understanding the effects of material properties on the form and function of organisms. For example, I use a comparison between the cartilaginous fishes and the bony fishes as a model system for understanding the constraints and opportunities presented by a cartilaginous skeleton.

I approach problems at several disparate size scales: the comparative biochemistry of cartilage, ultra- and micro-structural morphology, gross anatomy, and function at the whole animal level.

In general my students’ interests are different than my own, with each pursuing a completely independent project. From time to time I will collaborate with a student on a project of mutual interest. My students and I share a desire to understand the mechanics of an organism’s interactions with its environment and an overarching concern with placing the answers in an evolutionary context. I consider anatomy to be the investigative basis for many of my projects and this enthusiasm for shape is shared by my students. From anatomy I often make a leap to either a physical or a mathematical model in order to understand function. This model is in turn tested both against its inspiration and as a predictive tool.

I like to share knowledge on biomechanics and for years wrote a column on biomechanics for Natural History magazine.


Luigi Piazzi - Department of Chimica e Farmacia,  University of Sassari


Luigi Piazzi is a benthic ecologist at the Department of Chimica e Farmacia of the  University of Sassari and adjunct professor at the Master Degree in "Land and Environment Management". He is graduated in Biological Science and has a PhD in Marine Ecology. Expert scientific diver, he is teacher of the International School of Scientific Diver. His principal research interests lie in the field of:
"    Ecology of macroalgae and seagrasses
"    Ecology of coralligenous reefs
"    Ecology of alien species
"    Ecological quality indices
Recent publications:
Piazzi L., Balata D., Ceccherelli G. 2016. Epiphyte assemblages of the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica: an overview. Marine Ecology 37: 3-41
Piazzi L., Balata D., Bulleri F., Gennaro P., Ceccherelli G. 2016. The invasion of Caulerpa cylindracea in the Mediterranean: the known, the unknown and the knowable. Marine Biology 163: 161. doi:10.1007/s00227-016-2937-4
Piazzi L., Bianchi C.N., Cecchi E., Gatti G., Guala I., Morri C., Sartoretto S., Serena F., Montefalcone M. 2017. What's in an index? Comparing the ecological information provided by two indices to assess the status of coralligenous reefs in the NW Mediterranean Sea. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 27: 1019-1100.
Piazzi L., Gennaro P., Atzori F., Cadoni N., Cinti M.F., Frau F., Ceccherelli G. 2018. ALEX index enables detection of alien macroalgae invasions across habitats within a Marine Protected Area. Marine Pollution Bulletin 128: 318-323

Maria Pia Morigi - Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Bologna


- Development of acquisition systems for Digital Radiography and 3D Computed Tomography with X-ray beams of various energies. These techniques are used not only for applications in the medical field, but also for non-destructive testing on objects of interest in the industrial and Cultural Heritage fields.
- Development of innovative dosimetric systems for high energy electron beams used in Intra Operative Radiation Theraphy (I.O.R.T.).
- Application of multispectral imaging in the field of Cultural Heritage.


Matteo Bettuzzi - Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Bologna


Digital diagnostics with X-ray.

Computerized tomography applied to medicine, industry, to the natural sciences and cultural heritage. Development, operation, measures and data processing of systems.

Saul Ciriaco - Shoreline & WWF MPA Miramare


Environmental Consultant at Miramare MPA since 1994, has developed skills on scuba monitoring activities and GIS analysis.
Works and is Vice President of Shoreline Soc Coop (, a private company involved in MPA Management and scientific marine researches.



Miramare has been one of the first Italian MPAs to be officially established (decree of 12.11.1986), and it is entrusted to the Italian Association for WWF for Nature. It is also a UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve.
Miramare MPA is located in the Gulf of Trieste (Northern Adriatic, Italy), around a natural promontory that commands Grignano bay, on which the Castle of Miramare is placed. It includes a coastline of 1.700 meters and an offshore area of 120 hectares, divided into a core zone (30 hectares) and a buffer zone (90 hectares), subsequently established with an ordinance issued by Trieste Harbour Office.Since the beginning, Miramare has taken shape as an excellent training site for researchers and students, where the research is developed for improving the management of the area as well as for verifying the effectiveness of management choices.
The Reserve provides a natural site, ideal for measuring and comparing the status of environments in disturbed and undisturbed areas. Therefore the scientific activities are mainly focused upon a systematic monitoring of chemical-physical and biological parameters, enabling the Reserve's staff to check seasonal variations in the community of biological resources and to record any anomaly affecting it.

Web Site:
Telephone: +39 04022447
Conservation, management of protected areas, GIS specialist
Via Beirut 2-4
34151 - Trieste (Italy)

Lisa Faresi - ARPA FVG


Lisa Faresi is graduated in Marine Biology at department of Biology of Trieste.  She is a benthic biologist in the Regional Agency for the Environmental Protection (section Marine-Coastal and transitional Water). Her principal activity interests lie in field of sampling and monitoring of:

  • macrobenthic community of soft and hard bottom
  • fish fauna
  • physical and chemical parameters of water column

Expert scientific diver and member of the Italian Association of Scientific Divers.


Publication relevant to Reef Research:
Faresi L., Bettoso N., Aleffi F. 2006. Benthic macrofauna of a submarine cave on the Istrian peninsula (Croatia). Annales Ser. Hist. Nat. 16, 9-16.
Borme D., Cibic T., Ciriaco S., Falace A. , Faresi L., Gordini E., Kaleb S., Odorico R., Poloniato D. 2011. Trezze in northern Adriatic sea: a preliminary study of S. Pietro and Bardelli rocky outcrops. Biol. Mar. Medit. 18(1),240-241.
Faresi L., Bettoso N., Ciriaco S., Orlando-Bonaca M., Lipej L. 2018. Species-Area Relationship (SAR) for epibenthic fauna on rocky outcrops in the northern  Adritic sea: assessment using photographic technique. Posters at 4th European Congress on scientific diving. Orkney island.

Gianluca Franceschini - ISPRA Chioggia


Fishery biologist at the National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA), my principal interests are: impact of fishing gears on marine ecosystems, biogenic reefs, use of remote devices (ROVs, UAVs, AUVs) in environmental monitoring.


Publication relevant to Reef Research:

Fortibuoni T, Borme D, Franceschini G, Giovanardi O, Raicevich S (2016) Common, rare or extirpated? Shifting baselines for common angelshark, Squatina squatina (Elasmobranchii: Squatinidae), in the Northern Adriatic Sea (Mediterranean Sea). Hydrobiologia 772:247-259
Franceschini G, Raicevich S, Giovanardi O, Pranovi F (2002) The use of Side Scan Sonar as a tool in Coastal Zone Management Littoral 2002, The Changing Coast, Porto, Potugal, 22-26 September 2002, p 11-14
Giovanardi O, Cristofalo G, Manzueto L, Franceschini G (2003) New data on biogenic reefs (Tegnue of Chioggia) in Adriatic. In: Özhan E (ed) Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on the Mediterranean Coastal Environment, MEDCOAST 03. Middle East Technical University, Ravenna, Italy, 7-11 October 2003, p 1895-1904
Lamberti CV, Gabellini M, Maggi C, Nonnis O, Manfra L, Ceracchi S, Trabucco B, Moltedo G, Onorati F, Franceschini G, Di Mento R (2013) An environmental monitoring plan for the construction and operation of a marine terminal for regasifying liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the North Adriatic Sea. In: Mediterranean Sea: Ecosystems, Economic Importance and Environmental Threats, p 115-133
Mion M, Piras C, Fortibuoni T, Celic I, Franceschini G, Giovanardi O, Belardinelli A, Martinelli M, Raicevich S (2015) Collection and validation of self-sampled e-logbook data in a Mediterranean demersal trawl fishery. Regional Studies in Marine Science 2:76-86
Piras C, Mion M, Fortibuoni T, Franceschini G, Punzo E, Strafella P, Despalatovic M, Cvitkovic I, Raicevich S (2016) A photographic method to identify benthic assemblages based on demersal trawler discards. Fisheries Research 178:142-151
Tosi L, Zecchin M, Franchi F, Bergamasco A, Da Lio C, Baradello L, Mazzoli C, Montagna P, Taviani M, Tagliapietra D, Carol E, Franceschini G, Giovanardi O, Donnici S (2017) Paleochannel and beach-bar palimpsest topography as initial substrate for coralligenous buildups offshore Venice, Italy. Sci Rep 7:1321

Stefano (Nino) Caressa - ...



Rossano Tiozzo (Pezzoli) - Diving Tegnue di Chioggia & Associazione Reef Chioggia