You are here: HomeStaffList of PersonnelPalummo Valeria

foto sznPh. D. Student
Integrative Marine Ecology Department

Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn - CRIMAC
C.da Torre Spaccata, località Torre Spaccata
87071, Amendolara (CS), Italy

Sicily Marine Centre
Lungomare Cristoforo Colombo (complesso Roosevelt)
90142 Palermo

Tel.: +39 3493574860
E-mail: valeria.palummo(at)szn.it

Curriculum Vitae

Director of Studies: Silvestro Greco
Internal Supervisor: Giacomo Milisenda
External Supervisor: Nunziacarla Spanò (UniMe)
Program: University of Messina, XXXVI cycle

Research Interests

Cold water corals (CWCs) are classified as Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs) and Essential Fish Habitats (EFHs). These ecosystems are also defined as engineering ecosystems because they provide a habitat structure for other species (e.g. feeding, nursery and spawning grounds) of commercial or conservation interest. Moreover, their slow growth rates, longevity and slow recovery, makes them particularly vulnerable to different types of impacts. Their vulnerability, along with the high amounts of associated biodiversity, makes them a key priority for marine ecosystems conservation through specific management actions.
The principal aim of my PhD project is the study of spatial distribution of these vulnerable species in the Central Mediterranean Sea. Through a correlative modelling approach, the presence/abundance data of these species obtained through the use of Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV), environmental variables (e.g. Temperature, Salinity, Bathymetry, Slope, Rugosity etc..) and fishing effort (AIS data) will be put together, to increase the knowledge on the main factors that regulate their spatial distribution. The final results will be a map of suitability and distribution probability, useful also to predict future scenarios. Furthermore, the CWCs associated fish fauna and the impact of different fishing activities (e.g. Trawling and longline) intended both as direct (e.g. entanglement, habitat degradation) and indirect (e.g. hydrodynamic alteration, resuspension of sediment, comparison of the height/width ratio of the species in the impacted and not impacted zones) will be explored.

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