Visiting Researchers

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Simone D'Alessandro

 

Currently I am a post-graduate student with an International Post-degree Scholarship funded by the University of Rome 'La Sapienza', the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Regione Lazio.

I am collaborating with Prof. Mariani, and Dr. Francesco Colloca (Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Italy) to assess elasmobranch biodiversity in the Southern Mediterranean using environmental DNA.

Having completed a Master by Research using Stable Isotope Analysis to investigate trophic ecology in Antarctic communities, I am also eager to explore the potential of marine environmental DNA metabarcoding for reconstructing food webs.

I am firmly convinced that, thanks to the recent advent of environmental DNA analysis, metabarcoding datasets are useful to infer predator-prey links among taxa inhabiting a certain area. This could provide a powerful biomonitoring tool for trophic webs structure, whose functioning and resilience can be altered by changes in primary and secondary production, over-harvesting and climatic shifts.