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Rizzo CarmenResearcher 

Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn
Sicily Marine Centre
Dipartimento di Biotecnologie Marine Ecosostenibili (BLUBIO)
Villa Pace - C.da Porticatello 29, 98167 Messina – Italia

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Contatto Skype: Carmen Rizzo

Curriculum vitae
Carmen Rizzo - Scopus Preview

Research Interests

Dr Rizzo's research activity is focused on the study of marine microbial communities associated with different matrices, from both temperate and extreme environments, such as marine hydrothermal vents, polar environments and deep-sea environments. Particular attention is paid to the study of prokaryotic populations associated with marine invertebrates and vertebrates (porifera, coelenterates, annelids, molluscs, fish). Initial research activities involved the isolation of hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria from biotic and abiotic matrices (water, sediment and benthic filter-feeding organisms), the development of a screening pipeline to identify the production of biosurfactants, the application of extraction techniques and preliminary chemical characterisation, and of experimental tests to assess their efficacy in the degradation and removal of hydrocarbons and heavy metals. Subsequently, she investigated the production of exopolysaccharides from Antarctic bacteria, and evaluated their biotechnological potential, such as cryoprotective action, emulsifying activity, and heavy metal chelating activity. She also investigated the production of antimicrobial compounds by bacteria and algae, showing activity against pathogens of relevance to human health and aquaculture. The research activities currently carried out cover different areas of bioprospecting and are mainly aimed at the isolation of bioactive molecule-producing microorganisms with specific functions useful in industrial and non-industrial fields, such as medical and environmental recovery.
In the field of microbial ecology, she investigates the functional and diversity profiles of bacterial communities in relation to different contaminants, with a focus on bacteria adapted to extreme environments, and symbionts. She has recently added to her research lines the study of luminous bacterial communities in deep environments, the assessment of functionalised membranes for the monitoring of chemical contamination and the use of fish waste and discards for the extraction of high-value biomolecules, such as chitin and chitosan.
She improved her skills by spending several research periods in Germany (KIT, Karlsruhe), in Portugal (CCMAR - Centro de Ciências do Mar, Universidade do Algarve Campus de Gambelas (Faro) and in Greece at the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), Heraklion Crete. Carmen Rizzo actively collaborates/has collaborated with researchers from Greece (HCMR), Portugal (CCMAR), Norway (NIBIO), Germany (KIT), Poland (Institute of Oceanology of the Academy of Sciences).
She is a Research Associate at the National Research Council, Institute of Polar Sciences. She is currently involved in national and international research projects.


SZN Unit Leader. PRIMAR Potential Role of Sea Ice Change in controlling Mercury in Coastal Antarctic Areas (Italian Antarctic Research program PNRA0000090).
Principal Investigator. MORPHEUS HuMan fOotprint elucidation in the subarctic region of the Pasvik River by PHarmacEutical and microbial multidrUg resiStance detection. INTERACT TA/RA Call for 2024 n° 1015.
Project Component. PUFFIN Prokaryotic commUnities at the southern edge of the Arctic: a Focus on antibiotic resistance in lakes of the Melrakkaslétta Peninsula (Iceland). INTERACT TA/RA Call for 2024 n° 871120.
Project Component. EuFish_SustainableGrowth - European fisheries enhancement through "Omic" characterization and innovative seafood production from underutilized fish species (Bando “Eranet Cofund on Blue Bioeconomy- Unlocking the potential of aquatic bioresources (BlueBio) Call 2021.
Project Component. MYCAPE Enhancement of Sicilian shellfish farming in the area of Capo Peloro lagoon, Line of Intervention No.1 Conservation and enhancement of the breeding of endemic shellfish species in the Messina area (Mytilus spp.), 2022-2023. (Measure 2.51 PO FEAMP 2014-2020).
Principal Investigator. BlueHealthy: BacteriaL and virUsEs as contaminants of Emerging concern in CALabrian marine environmenTs: new tools for tHeir occurrence, distribution and dynamics, CRIMAC project (2021- 2025).

Selected Publications

• PAPALE, M., FAZI, S., SEVERINI, M., ... GIUDICE, A.L., CARUSO, G. (2024). Structural properties and microbial diversity of the biofilm colonizing plastic substrates in Terra Nova Bay (Antarctica). Science of the Total Environment, 943: 173773. (DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2024.173773)

• LO GIUDICE, A., PAPALE, M., AZZARO, M. RIZZO, C., (2024). Prokaryotic diversity in the sponges Mycale (Oxymycale) acerata (Kirkpatrick, 1907) and Dendrilla antarctica (Topsent, 1905) from two distant Antarctic marine areas: South Cove at Rothera Point (Adelaide Island, Western Antarctic Peninsula) and Thetys Bay (Terra Nova Bay, Ross Sea). Deep–Sea Research II 216, 105391. (DOI: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2024.105391)

• LO GIUDICE, A., PAPALE, M., RIZZO, C., GIANNARELLI, S., CARUSO, G., ASPHOLM, P.E., MAIMONE, G., AZZARO, M. (2024). First report on pollutant accumulation and associated microbial communities in the freshwater sponge Spongilla lacustris (Linnaeus, 1759) from the sub-Arctic Pasvik River (Norway). Water Environ Research, 96:e11039. (DOI: 10.1002/wer.11039)
• CALOGERO, R., ARCADI, E., FABIANO, F., RIZZO, C., ROMEO, T., GRECO, S. (2024). PCB bioremediation potential of thermophilic strains from shallow hydrothermal vent (Vulcano Island). Journal of Water Process Engineering, 61: 105330.(DOI: 10.1016/j.jwpe.2024.105330)

• PAPALE, M., GIANNARELLI, S., AZZARO DI ROSAMARINA, M., GHEZZI, L., LO GIUDICE, A., RIZZO, C. (2024). Chemical and microbiological insights into two littoral Antarctic demosponge species: Haliclona (Rhizoniera) dancoi (Topsent 1901) and Haliclona (Rhizoniera) scotti (Kirkpatrick 1907). Frontiers in Microbiology, 15: 1341641. (DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2024.1341641)

Book Chapters

Floris R., Rizzo C., Lo Giudice A. (2018). Biosurfactants from marine microorganisms. Bacteriology, 2-18.

Lo Giudice A. Rizzo C. (2015). Protocols for Investigating Hydrocarbon-Oxidizing Bacterial Communities in Polar Seas and Ice. In: McGenity T.J. et al. (Eds.), Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology Protocols, Springer Protocols Handbooks, DOI 10.1007/8623_2015_147.

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