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Merquiol LouisePh. D. Student
Integrative Marine Ecology Department

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Tel.: +33 6 89 97 17 64
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Curriculum Vitae

Director of Studies: Isabella D’AMBRA
Internal Supervisor(s): Maria Grazia MAZZOCCHI, Giovanna ROMANO
External Supervisor: Jonathan HOUGHTON
Program: Open University


Research Interests

Scyphomedusae are gelatinous organisms found in almost all the seas and oceans. They mainly prey on zooplankton and play a key -yet not well defined- role in marine ecosystems and pelagic food webs.
At present, understanding this role is urgent because scyphomedusae interfere with several human activities along the coasts (fisheries, farming, tourism, industries) and their number appears to be increasing, likely due to fishery pressure, eutrophication, climate change, increase of structures at sea.
In the Gulf of Naples, data about the ecology of scyphomedusae are fragmented and outdate, which does not facilitate the understanding of a potential increase of their abundance and its effect on the ecosystem and their interactions with human activities. My goal is to define their dietary composition in the Gulf of Naples by using a combination of gut contents and biomarkers analysis (stable isotopes and fatty acids), which are biochemical conservative tracers that will allow to identify prey of scyphomedusae. Defining the dietary composition of scyphomedusae in this ecosystem will provide key information to aid to determine their impact on planktonic communities and therefore trophic interactions with fish and potential effects on fisheries.

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