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Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn

Explore the Mediterranean Sea to understand and protect the Global Ocean

Founded in 1872, the SZN is among the most influential research Institutions in the field of marine biology and ecology.

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The SZN carries on advanced research on the biology, ecology and evolution of marine organisms.

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A core activity of the SZN is the higher education and formation of young scientists to lead pure and applied research.

High Education @SZN

Research Departments

The research at the SZN is organized in 5 Departments, three focusing on scientific research: 1) Biology and Evolution of Marine Organisms; 2) Integrative Marine Ecology, 3) Marine Animal Conservation and Public Engagement and two dedicated to technological research 4 Research Infrastructures for Marine Biological Resources, 5) Marine Biotechnology.

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Biology and Evolution of Marine Organisms

Studies the fundamental biological mechanisms that allow animals to deal with the challenges of Life on Earth.

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Ecosustainable Marine Biotechnology

The mission of the Marine Biotechnology Department is to conduct and promote scientific research regarding the possible applications of marine natural products in the biomedical and environmental sectors

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Integrative Marine Ecology

Promotes interdisciplinary research on biodiversity, structure and functioning of marine ecosystems.

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Research Infrastructures for marine biological resources

The Department of Research Infrastructures for marine biological resources (RIMAR) provides high technology services and access to infrastructure and research platforms to the national and international scientific community, as well as support third mission activities such as third-party contracts

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Marine Animal Conservation and Public Engagement

Research activities aim at conservation of large marine vertebrates and correct management and reproduction of marine fauna in controlled environment.

Hot Topics

A summary of the most recent research activities carried out in our laboratories.

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Virus-induced spore formation as a defense mechanism in marine diatoms

Virus-induced spore formation as a defense mechanism in marine diatoms

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Species-specific gamete interaction during sea urchin fertilization

Roles of the egg jelly and vitelline layer

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Sea turtles are now texting their whereabouts directly to the researchers

Loggerhead sea turtles are abundant in the Western Mediterranean.


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Last Publications


International Journal of Molecular Sciences

Potential of Polar Lipids Isolated from the Marine Sponge Haliclona (Halichoclona) vansoesti against Melanoma


Science Advances

Resistance to freezing conditions of endemic Antarctic polychaetes is enhanced by cryoprotective proteins produced by their microbiome


Current Issues in Molecular Biology

Molecular Approaches Detect Early Signals of Programmed Cell Death in Hippolyte inermis Leach


Science of The Total Environment

Effect of biodegradable polymers upon grazing activity of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus (Lmk) revealed by morphological, histological and molecular analyses


Communications Biology

High microbiome and metabolome diversification in coexisting sponges with different bio-ecological traits


Communications Biology

Accelerated nitrogen cycling on Mediterranean seagrass leaves at volcanic CO2 vents


Nature Ecology & Evolution

Evolution of tissue-specific expression of ancestral genes across vertebrates and insects



Developmental toxicity of pre-production plastic pellets affects a large swathe of invertebrate taxa


Frontiers in Neuroscience

Characterization of thyrotropin-releasing hormone producing neurons in sea urchin,
from larva to juvenile


Cell Reports

Evolution of the ribbon-like organization of the Golgi apparatus in animal cells

Member of the
Euromarine Network

SZN - Member of the European Marina Board

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