Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e dell'Ambiente - Guida degli insegnamenti (Syllabus)


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Seat Scienze
A.A. 2016/2017
Credits 7
Hours 56
Period 2^ semestre
Language ENG
U-gov code SM02 W000016


knowledge of biology and marine ecology, marine zoology and algae diversity. It is highly recommended to have taken the exam in Biology and Marine Ecology.

Development of the course

Theoretical lectures and practical exercises in field will be carried out. The lectures will be given by projecting didactic material in the PowerPoint format and scientific videos about the issues tackled. All the material of the lessons will be made available to students and placed in the Moodle platform Department. Scientific articles will also be made available to students as research material. All communications concerning the educational trip, including the program and list of participants will be posted in the Department website.

Learning outcomes

The course allows students to acquire the knowledge about all major forms of pollution and human impact in marine environment, the responses of communities and marine ecosystems (even in terms of functioning), the method of study and identification of these forms of impact, mitigation tools and strategies to restore degraded ecosystems. It will also present the European rules for monitoring and quality control of marine ecosystems.

Ability to apply the knowledge:
At the end of the course the student will be able to apply the scientific method and the knowledge gained in terms of: identification of the impacts, monitoring and mitigation techniques and restoration of degraded ecosystems in relation to the new European Directive Marine Strategy Framework Directive. This will be critical to create a specific profile for monitoring, conservation and recovery of marine ecosystems.

Soft skills:
The skills acquired during the course and their applications in field will help to improve students' ability to formulate scientific hypotheses, to analyze current problems, the data processing and final evaluation of the results obtained. The individual scientific capabilities and group collaboration will be stimulated through the development of work projects in field with subsequent presentation of the results. 


Marine pollution: vulnerability and pollution of marine ecosystems, different types and sources of marine pollution (organic pollution, chemical, biological, light, acoustic, thermal, exploitation of resources and energy from the sea, introduction of non-native species), critical points of the coastal ecosystems of the Mediterranean and self-purification indicators of the sea.
Eutrophication, dystrophy, mucilage and toxic algae: trophic status indicators and models, strategies for control and for the study of toxic algae.
Pollution due to hydrocarbons: Ecological effects of oil spills, strategies to contain and recover the oil spill. Plastic and microplastic impact on marine life and ecosystems.
Impact of pharmaceuticals and personal care products: sources and potential effects on organisms. Microfuoling and macrofouliung: technological applications of the biofilm, the sampling methods and analysis of microbial biofilm, eco-compatible strategies for biofouling control. The impact of trawling on marine habitats: methods and tools for studying the impact of trawling, direct and indirect environmental effects of trawling, by catch and ghost fishing. The impact of intensive aquaculture: ecological effects of mariculture in the Mediterranean Sea and strategies for studying and mitigate the impacts.
The introduction of non-native species: definition and sources of alien species, alien species in the Mediterranean Sea, the effects of the invasion of alien species and strategies to avoid the impact. Frauds associated with marine food: the case of the Pangasius and Halibut. Global changes and multiple stressors. Environmental Restoration: trans-planting of seagrass and corals, technologies and guidelines for the restoration of coral reefs. Criteria for assessing the quality of the marine environment: biological indicators and biotic indexes, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
Case studies: pollution in the  Mediterranean Sea, eutrophication and mucilage in the Adriatic Sea, the Fukushima disaster, chemical contaminants in the Mediterranean, the incidents of large tankers and the case of Agip Abruzzo and Deepwater Horizon, invasion of alien species in Black Sea, impact of fish farms in the Mediterranean, the
restoration of seagrasses in Gabicce Mare (PU, Italy), the restoration of deep environments, the impact of sunscreens on coral reef.

Development of the examination

Methods for assessing learning outcomes:
The exam consists of an oral test with questions that generally are dealing with the analysis of forms of impact on the marine environment, the identification of methodologies and adequate monitoring and recovery strategies.

Criteria for assessing learning outcomes: 
I will evaluate the student's knowledge of the topics covered in the course, the ability to link the information and identify the correct procedures of analysis, assessment and resolution of proposed problems.
Criteria for assessing learning outcomes: 
On the basis of criteria for learning evaluation a final mark out of thirty will be given. The exam is passed when the final grade is higher than or equal to 18. Students with an excellent preparation can be awarded with the highest mark cum laude (30 cum laude).

Criteria for conferring final mark:
The  marks will be given depending on the number of correct and complete responses, and the level of detail of the proposed topics. The highest mark cum laude will be given if the student demonstrates full competence of the subject, critical thinking and depth of the topics covered.

Recommended reading

Some texts suggested for studying/research:
Slides of the course and scientific articles
R. B. Clark. 2001. Marine Pollution. Oxford
Della Croce N., Cattaneo R., Danovaro R. 1997. Ecologia e Protezione dell’ambiente marino costiero. UTET Università 
Cunnigham, Cunnigham,Saigo. Ecologia Applicata. McGraw-Hill

  • Biologia marina

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