Eugenio Di Franco
Noise pollution, Marine ecology, Stress, Fish juveniles, Physiology
Image analysis, Statistical software (R), ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), Spectrofluorometry, Dot Blot, Otolith shape
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I've obtained my master degree in Marine Biology at the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis. During this master degree I had the chance to do two long internships (6 months each). The first one was focused on assessing the physiological status of the Pacific Ocean corals reefs and try to relate these statuses with different environmental variables (temperature, depth, salinity...) and was conducted in collaboration with the oceanographical expedition TARA Pacific. The second one had for objective to understand how protection measures present inside different Mediterranean MPAs could modulate the relation between the complexity of the benthic substrate (rugosity and heterogeneity) and the richness of the fish community (total biomass and species richness).
My studies, my internships and the people I met during this journey made me want to continue working in the research field.

Following this path, I started my PhD on the subject of the Impact of anthropogenic noise on the development and settlement abilities of coastal fish juveniles, under the supervision of Paolo Guidetti and Patricia Pierson. Since the industrial revolution, human activities at sea never ceased to expand, with an increase in associated impacts (pollution, overfishing, habitat degradation...). Among these impacts, noise pollution is a relatively new issue with potential impacts ranging from individual cells to entire ecosystems and now recognised in many national and international legislations. Therefore, there is an urgent need to understand the potential impact of noise produced by human activities on marine communities.

As such, complementary field and laboratory experiments (visual censuses, stress biomarkers, otoliths analyses...) will be conducted to assess the effect of noise pollution on a critical life stage in coastal fishes, the post-settlement larvae. Diplodus sargus, will be used as a model species due to it's ecological and economic importance. Effects on post-settlement larvae of this species could have severe economic impacts and ecological effects encompassing the species and scaling up to whole ecosystem functioning.