My first experience with marine ecology research was while developing my end-of-degree project at the Department of Marine Sciences and Applied Biology at the University of Alicante. But, during my master’s degree in the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria was when I could reaffirm my interest in scientific research. I develop my master’s thesis in the Institute of Aquaculture and Sustainable Marine Ecosystems. The project was a positive challenge, for the fact that it was my first time working with stable isotopes and genetics.
Following this path, I have just started my PhD on the subject of the conservation and restoration of Mediterranean marine forests for assessing the risk of harmful microalgal blooms, under the supervision of Luisa Mangialajo (U. of Cote d’Azur) and Mariachiara Chiantore (U. of Genova).
Cystoseira species are considered some of the most important ecosystem-engineers, forming marine forests that provide refuge and food for many invertebrates and fishes, sustaining food webs and maintaining the biodiversity of coastal Mediterranean ecosystems. However, declines in Cystoseira species are reported over many Mediterranean and Atlantic locations due to several human impacts (coastal urbanization, overfishing, wastewater release, pollutants, climate change…). Macroalgal forest are suffering a shift to less complex communities of macroalgae or even to barren grounds, such shifts can affect the whole ecosystem, improving potentially harmful algal blooms that have been expanding in recent decades through temperate regions and Mediterranean Sea.