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Foto Adriana Alagna


Integrative Marine Ecology Department

Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn
Sicily Marine Centre
Lungomare Cristoforo Colombo 4521
90149 Palermo - Italia

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Skype: adriana.alagna

Curriculum vitae

Research Interests

Seagrasses are marine flowering plants that provide ecosystem services of global importance. They are now facing widespread regression and efforts to halt and reverse this trend include active transplantation actions.
My scientific interests are focused on the study of seagrass biology and ecology aimed at the development of seagrass rehabilitation methods that exploit the species natural recovery potential. This Nature based Solution approach requires in-depth knowledge of the ecology and life history of the species.
My research addresses the study of patterns and processes of seagrass colonization and recovery with the aim to assess the habitat requirements of early life history stages that are conducive to successful propagule establishment and recruitment, combining mesocosm and field studies. This knowledge allowed to develop a novel restoration method of Posidonia oceanica, the main seagrass of the Mediterranean sea, on artificial rocky substrates. Similarly, the bioadhesion mechanism observed in the roots of juveniles of Posidonia oceanica has been described and used to develop innovative and sustainable seed-based transplantation methods that exploit the seedling’s ability to self-anchor to rocky substrates and make use of ad-hoc designed supporting structure for planting.
As transplanting units have to face an increasingly harsh and less predictable environment once transferred to the field, current and future investigations will be aimed at analysing plant response to multiple stressors related to climate change. Furthermore, future research will explore assisted evolution techniques through the priming approach, with the aim to confer stress-memory to plants and to improve the stress-tolerance of propagules to be used in restoration interventions, enhancing future seagrass rehabilitation strategies. The plant response will be evaluated by analysing morphological, physiological and metabolic variables and through the molecular expression.

Selected Publications

- Alagna A., Zenone A. & Badalamenti F., 2020. The perfect microsite: how to maximize Posidonia oceanica seedling settlement success for restoration purposes using ecological knowledge. Marine Environmental Research 161, 104846. DOI:10.1016/j.marenvres.2019.104846.
- Alagna A., D’Anna G., Musco L., Vega Fernández T., Gresta M., Pierozzi N., Badalamenti F., 2019. Taking advantage of seagrass recovery potential to develop novel and effective meadow rehabilitation methods. Marine Pollution Bulletin 149, 110578. DOI:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2019.110578.
- Telesca, L., Belluscio, A., Criscoli, A., Ardizzone, G., Apostolaki, E.T., Fraschetti, S., Gristina, M., Knittweis, L., Martin, C. S., Gérard Pergent, G., Alagna, A., Badalamenti, F., Garofalo, G., Gerakaris, V., Pace, M.L., Pergent-Martini, C. & Salomidi, M. 2015. Seagrass meadows (Posidonia oceanica) distribution and trajectories of change. Scientific Reports 5, 12505. DOI: 10.1038/srep12505.
- Badalamenti, F., Alagna, A. & Fici S. 2015. Evidences of adaptive traits to rocky substrates undermine paradigm of habitat preference of the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica. Scientific Reports 5, 8804. DOI:10.1038/srep08804
- Badalamenti, F., Alagna, A., D'anna, G., Terlizzi, A. & Di Carlo, G. 2011. The impact of dredge-fill on Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows: Regression and patterns of recovery. Marine Pollution Bulletin 62, 483-489. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2010.12.011


- Alagna A., Baldalamenti F., Musco L., 2023, European patent EP 3 903 569 B1: “DEVICE FOR SUPPORTING, GROWING AND REPLANTING AQUATIC PLANTS FROM SEEDS”, joint ownership Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn (70%) – Italian National Council of Research (30%) .


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