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Visiting Researchers

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Giulia Maiello, MSc


Hi! I am a PhD student at the University of Rome Tor Vergata and I am collaborating with the Mariani lab group to explore the fantastic world of environmental DNA! My PhD aims to investigate the possibility of using DNA metabarcoding to reconstruct the composition of catches obtained from bottom-trawl fishing vessels. I am working on the Mediterranean Sea and the final goal of my project is to associate novel monitoring methods based on eDNA metabarcoding with the activity of fishermen at sea to have a more comprehensive understanding of the distribution of species across the oceans, in particular exploited stock, in order to implement management policies to reverse the stock depletion and moving towards more sustainable fishing practices.

The two aspects of biology which I am most interested in and fascinated by are evolution and marine animals. During my studies, I have always tried to combine them: I did my undergraduate in Biology and my master degree in Marine biology at the University of Rome ‘la Sapienza’. My master thesis was about the coevolution of corallivorous gastropods and corals on which they feed, analysing the DNA of gastropod’s gut contents.

My love for the marine environment goes beyond science: I’m a scuba diver and I love to draw all the beautiful creatures I see under the water. I have also volunteered several times for associations that aim to protect our seas: cleaning the beaches and sea floors, organizing citizen awareness campaigns and participating in environmental projects in schools.

If you want to know more or you have questions don’t hesitate to contact me via email or social media; I love sharing ideas and experiences with people!


Russo, T., Maiello, G., Talarico, L., Baillie, C., Colosimo, G., D'Andrea, L., Di Maio F., Fiorentino F., Franceschini S., Garofalo G., Scannella D., Cataudella S. & Mariani, S. (2021). All is fish that comes to the net: metabarcoding for rapid fisheries catch assessment. Ecological Applications, 31(2), e02273

Linda Albonetti, BSc


Hi everyone! Currently I am a marine biology master student at the University of Bologna, and I am doing my thesis project with Prof. Stefano Mariani, Prof. Tommaso Russo and Prof. Alessia Cariani, to assess elasmobranch biodiversity in the Tyrrhenian Sea using environmental DNA.

During my time in the Mariani group, I would like to improve my laboratory and bioinformatic skills and expand my knowledge about applications of genetics and genomics to conservation and fishing management.

I am convinced that advances in DNA sequencing technology and bioinformatics have significant potential to strengthen biological monitoring in the ocean. In recent years, through primer optimisation and sampling refinement, several studies have shown that eDNA metabarcoding is a powerful tool for the study of elasmobranchs, applicable to various ecological contexts and conservation goals.

I am excited to study the diversity of elasmobranchs because I really love sharks and I have done a lot of dives with these incredible animals. Out of science I am a surfer, a scuba diver, and a lifeguard. I also love to take underwater photos and videos and you can find them on my Instagram profile.

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Simone D'Alessandro


I currently am a post-graduate student at Heriot-Watt University, but I have spent one year at the MarianiLab, to learn about the fascinating opportunities afforded by eDNA studies.

During that time, I have generated the following publication:

D'Alessandro S. & Mariani S. (2021) Sifting environmental DNA metabarcoding data sets for rapid reconstruction of marine food webs. Fish & Fisheries,

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