Biodiversity, conservation and management of marine coastal systems (Prof. Terlizzi)



Prof. Antonio Terlizzi

Tel: (+ 39) 040 558 8829

M Building,  B/16 room
Department of Science of Lifes (DSV)
University of Trieste
via Giorgieri 10, 34127 Trieste, Italy

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SCOPUS AUTHOR: 6701917332




2003 - PhD Basic Ecology (University of Lecce, Italy)

1992 - Msc Marine Biology (University of Napoli ‘Federico II’, Italy)


Current Position

Full Professor in Zoology and Marine Biology at the Department of Life Sciences (DSV), University of Trieste, Italy.


Previous Positions

2011-2016- Associate Professor in Zoology and Marine Biology at the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Technologies (DiSTeBA), University of Salento, Lecce, Italy

2004-2010 - Senior lecturer at the University of Salento, Lecce, Italy

2001-2004 - Lecturer in Zoology at the University of Salento, Lecce, Italy

1998-2001 - Research assistant at the University of Salento, Lecce, Italy

1995-1998 - Research assistant at the Stazione Zoologica ‘A. Dohrn’, Napoli

1994-1995 - Research Grant at the National Council of Research (CNR), Genoa, Italy


Fellowships And Awards

1993 - "Taramelli" National Award for the best marine biology thesis in Italy for the academic years 89/90 and 90/91 announced by the University "La Sapienza" of Rome


The core of my research activity is marine diversity at different levels of biological hierarchy and the quantification of spatial and distributional patterns of species, species assemblages and habitats, mostly in relation to human impacts and mitigation interventions. I have worked in the intertidal and subtidal rocky habitats, mangroves, seagrasses, deep sea and submerged marine caves. The study of marine fouling allowed me to clarify the biological mechanisms determining sexual anomalies in prosobranch molluscs and how such anomalies can be used as a large-scale biomonitoring tool of marine pesticide pollution. I also contributed, with important applied implications, to describe the role played by the nature and complexity of the substrate in determining patterns of invertebrate settlement and recruitment, as well as temporal evolution of sessile assemblages. The grazing activity by echinoids as a potential tool for controlling fouling in aquaculture is also a research topic I developed.

In benthic environments, my research activity concerned the biodiversity of interstitial, vagile and sessile fauna and was focused on how the quantification of changes in spatio-temporal patterns of species assemblages can be adopted in rigorous procedures of experimental monitoring of ecosystem health. Some of the most widespread procedures of experimental design and data analyses in environmental impact assessment have been elaborated and improved by me and, for the first time, extended from the univariate to the multivariate context.

The sources of disturbances I considered are destructive fishing, sewage discharges, harbours and marinas, marine cage aquaculture, offshore gas platforms, human trampling and invasive species. I also contributed to highlight how the institution of Marine Protected Areas can act on benthic biodiversity and how mitigation interventions can influence ecosystem properties of recovery from perturbation events. A crucial point of my activity is to bring together complex experimental designs and an adequate taxonomic definition of the response variables. In this framework, an important component of my study was to focus on the applicability of synthetic indices of biodiversity, on the importance of taxonomy in environmental impact studies and on the choice of appropriate indicators and of the sufficient level of taxonomy in procedures of routine monitoring of spatial and temporal patterns of alfa and beta levels of biodiversity.

More recently, I have been strongly concerned with the definition of a subtle, poorly explored forms of marine pollution, namely the entry of natural substances produced by invasive alien species and the subsequent potential impacts on marine trophic webs. Currently, my research is focusing on the effects of plastic debris in the marine environment, especially on the potential impact on wild fish populations.


Participation with leading role in international (e.g. Life+ SharkLife and Clen Sea Life, FP7 PERSEUS, FP7 CoCoNet) and national (e.g., National Coordinator for PRIN 2009 and PRIN 2012) research projects and consultancies (e.g. ENI, Italian and French Marine Protected Areas, TAP, Marine Strategy Programme) for environmental impact assessment and monitoring.

I am an associate member of the CoNISMa, an Italian Consortium of 34 Universities that promotes research and scientific activities and their applications in the field of Marine Sciences.

I have been member of the EU FP6 network of excellence MARBEF (Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning) and I actively collaborate in the EU EUROMARINE and MARS networks.

I have been member of the IUCN's World Commission on Protected Areas - Marine (WCPA - MMED).

I have active collaboration with the Hopkins Marine Station, University of Stanford (USA) and New Zealand Institute for Advanced Study (NZIAS), University of Auckland.


I teach undergraduate and PhD courses in Zoology, Applied Zoology and Experimental Marine Ecology at the University of Trieste, Italy.

Since 2002 I have tutored 24 Master students, 7 PhD and 2 post doc at the University of Salento, Lecce Italy. I also co-tutored 1 Master student from CNRS-EPHE CRIOBE, France and 3 PhD from University of Coimbra, Portugal, University of the Basque Country, Spain and Universidad de Córdoba, Spain). In 2013 I have been an ordinary members of the committee for the evaluation of a PhD thesis at the University of Oslo (NW). At the University of Trieste, I am currently tutor of 2 PhD in collaboration with the SZN Anton Dohrn and co-tutor of a PhD with Prof. Giulianini.


Since 2001 I have been invited to give scientific seminars in various Italian Universities (e.g. Bologna, Palermo, Naples) and research Institutions (e.g. CNR). Invited seminars were also given during research staying at the University of Auckland (NZ) and University of Oslo (NW).

I have organized 3 international courses of statistics at the University of Salento, for the design and analyses of biological experiments Methods for the assessments of environmental impacts:

1999 - Design and analysis of biological experiments (Faculty: AJ Underwood, MG Chapman);

2000 - Design and analysis of biological experiments: an advanced Course” (Faculty: AJ Underwood, MG Chapman);

2003 - Detecting multivariate changes in biological assemblages: experimental design and data analysis (Faculty: KR Clarke, PJ Somerfield, L Benedetti-Cecchi, MJ Anderson).

I am actively involved in editorial activity of 24 ISI journals as a component of the board of referee, and I am a component of the editorial board of The Italian Journal of Zoology.

I am also involved as reviewer for National (MIUR - Ministry of University and Scientific and Technological Research) and International Research Proposal (Florida State University, CNRS, Agency for Science, Technology and Research - Singapore).

From 2011 to 2014 I have been an Elected member of the Fauna Commission of the Italian Zoological Union (UZI). Since 2012 I am an Elected member of the Benthic Committee of the Italian Society of Marine Biology (SIBM).




Last update: 06-05-2020 - 21:30