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Sicily Marine Centre, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn 
Messina (Italy

18-21 September 2023

The ISS-SEEA Summer School is open to PhD students and early career researchers working in the fields of marine ecology and biotechnology. The course will be focused on multidisciplinary aspects involving the study of extreme environments, combining pure ecological issues related to adaptations and diversity of marine organisms (from microbes to marine invertebrates and vertebrates) and the exploration of such peculiar environments as sources for biotechnological purposes. In each day, the school will take care to deal with ecological and biotechnological themes, and the relationships between them. The summer school is a unique occasion to enhance cross-disciplinal collaboration, to improve skills and expertise on the knowledge of extreme ecosystems in taxonomy, high molecular approaches, bioprospecting. Professors and researchers will give lectures about their own research, and will share their experience with the students during group discussion sessions. Practical sessions are envisaged, i.e. observation of mesopelagic species, taxonomy, laboratory experience for the treatment of samples for biotechnological purposes (production of bioactive compounds) and observation of the bioluminescence phenomenon. Social events in Messina will be offered during the School to favoring the sharing of experience and the establishment of new scientific collaborations. Remote participation is allowed.


All students will be allowed to present their research through either a short talk or a poster.

Extreme Environments

Deep Sea

19 september 2023

Deep sea represents a peculiar ecosystem characterized by a series of environmental parameters difficult to find in other environments. Deep sea organisms usually face a range of environmental and ecological conditions (light scarcity or absence, high pressures, low oxygen levels, low temperatures, absence of phytoplankton, food scarcity of food, interspecific competition), which over time have adaptively shaped behaviors and the species themselves.


Polar Environments

20 september 2023

The polar environments constitute a reality as remote as it is fascinating. Both the Arctic and Antarctica, due to the peculiar conditions (i.e. low temperatures, dryness, solar radiation) are the subject of numerous researches focused on the exploration of less known environments, on enriching the knowledge of the adaptations of cold-loving organisms, on the possibility of new discoveries useful in biotechnological fields.

Hydrothermal Vents

21 september 2023

Special focus will be addressed to the marine hydrothermal systems, which have attracted the interest ofresearchers due to their enormous ecological and biotechnological relevance. Fromecological perspective, these acidified habitats are useful natural laboratories to predict the effects of global environmental changes, such as ocean acidification at ecosystem level, through the observation of the marine organism responses to environmental extremes. In addition, hydrothermal vents are known as optimal sources for isolation of thermophilic and hyperthermophilic microbes, with biotechnological potential.

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