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tanyaPhD Student
Dipartimento di Biologia ed Evoluzione degli Organismi Marini (BEOM)

Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn
Villa Comunale
80121 Naples - Italy
Tel.: +39 3288896765
E-mail: tanya.alessandro(at)szn.it ; tanyaalessandro(at)outlook.com
Skype: tanyaalessandro

Curriculum Vitae


Director of Studies
: Rossella Annunziata
Internal Supervisor: Maria Ina Arnone
External Supervisor: Kristin Tessmar-Raible
Program: Open University, XXXVIII cycle

Research Interests

In the marine environment, possibly more than in the terrestrial, marine organisms are influenced by fluctuations following not only diurnal, but also monthly and semi-monthly period lengths, all potentially affecting growth, propagation and temporal distribution of marine communities in the Oceans. These factors impact the global biogeochemical cycles that are ultimately linked to climate regulation. Thus, understanding how and to what extent physiology and behavior of marine organisms are influenced by environmental factors is one of the most important challenges in the light of climate change and increasing photo-pollution. Daily rhythms of vertical migration in echinoderm larvae are known since decades and experiments investigating the influence of light on sea urchin larvae revealed that plutei utilize light to direct their swimming behavior. However, a detailed study of the effect of light-dark alternation on echinoderm larval physiology and behavior and of the mechanistic basis underlining these responses is missing. The aim of this project is to explore the molecular basis of diel rhythms in echinoderm larvae using multidisciplinary approaches including transcriptomics, mathematical modeling, gene perturbation and behavioral analyses. The representatives of the two main echinoderm groups presenting different larval types (the Echinozoa sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus and the Asterozoa sea star Patiria miniata) will be exploited to explore the ability of larvae with different morphologies to adapt and cope with periodicities in the marine environment.

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