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CODE 87089
SEMESTER 2° Semester


The Analysis and Conservation of Marine Biodiversity course provides the elements for the analysis of biodiversity and the understanding of the problems related to the conservation of species in marine environments. The course also illustrates the main investigation methodologies for measuring and monitoring biodiversity and provides the skills necessary to independently develop an effective sampling/monitoring plan in the evaluation of natural or anthropogenic variations in the marine environment.



The course provides the elements for the definition and analysis of biodiversity as well as its applications in technology and life sciences. Specifically, the course illustrates the study methodologies and tools used in the field to measure biodiversity, the statistical techniques to be applied in data analysis and the strategies for biodiversity conservation


The teaching aims to develop the critical skills and transversal skills necessary to understand and independently manage complex issues concerning biodiversity in the marine environment. Specifically, the course illustrates the study methodologies and tools used in the field to measure biodiversity, the statistical techniques to be applied in data analysis and the strategies for the conservation of biodiversity

Specifically, the student will be able to:

• Understand the concept of biodiversity in all its facets and declinations

• Acquire the skills necessary to carry out qualitative and quantitative estimates of biodiversity in all marine environments

• Recognize and explain conservation issues in the marine environment

• Identify priorities for action within conservation programs in the marine environment

• Formulate and develop a coherent monitoring plan, based on the use of appropriate sampling methodologies and statistical tests, to analyze marine biodiversity

• Select the best techniques to identify species through classical morphological methods or by applying molecular techniques based on the study of DNA


The teaching is divided into 40 hours of frontal lessons, delivered through multimedia presentations, and 16 hours of practical activities (development of a sampling/monitoring plan and analysis of data relating to biodiversity with the R software). Attendance at lessons is not mandatory but is strongly recommended. There are no field trips planned.

Please refer to the specific AulaWeb application for the course for any updates due to changes in the health and epidemiological situation


The course program includes the discussion and analysis of the following topics:

• General definitions (species, populations, communities, etc.)

• Coexistence between species (interaction networks, parasites and parasitoids, predators and prey, etc.) and methods to quantify interactions

• Conservation of biodiversity (birth of the discipline and problems in the marine environment)

• Differences between conservation in marine and terrestrial environments

• Biodiversity and public opinion

• Conservation strategies (IUCN Red List, Nagoya Protocol, etc.)

• The human footprint (ecological and global extinctions)

• Main sampling methodologies for the analysis of biodiversity in the marine environment

• Main statistical analyzes used for biodiversity analysis

• Sampling design

• Quantification of sampling effort

• The concept of species

• Molecular techniques applied to the study of biodiversity

• Phylogenetic taxonomy and DNA analysis (barcoding, metabarcoding and environmental DNA)

• Cybertaxonomy


There are no specific textbooks. All the material necessary for learning is contained in the Power Point presentations. The slides used during the lessons and any other teaching material will be provided to the students during the course



Class schedule

The timetable for this course is available here: Portale EasyAcademy



The exam consists of an oral test, aimed at evaluating the knowledge of the fundamental elements of the subject and the ability to make connections between the various topics. The preparation of a monitoring plan of your choice, regarding marine organisms and environments, is required, which must be prepared in written form and delivered to the teacher before the exam. The monitoring plan will be discussed with the teacher during the exam and will be part of the evaluation process.


Details on how to prepare for the exam and the degree of in-depth study required for each topic will be provided during the lessons, topic by topic. The exam will mainly focus on the topics covered during the lectures and will aim to evaluate the level of knowledge achieved and the ability to manage issues relating to the analysis and conservation of biodiversity in the marine environment. The ability to present the topics clearly and with correct terminology will also be assessed


Constant and regular attendance at lectures and related laboratory exercises is strongly recommended

Students who have a valid certification of physical or learning disability filed with the University and who wish to request compensatory tools, dispensatory measures or other measures for lessons, assignments and exams, should speak to both the teacher and Professor Sara Ferrando (, contact person for the Department for Disabilities