My PhD is part of an European Project: Monitoring of Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas (MMMPA); a Marie Curie Fellowship. The MMMPA consortium includes 5 Universities, 1 Research centre, 5 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and 3 enterprises in several countries around the Mediterranean Sea. Ten early stage researchers and four experienced researchers are involved to study different aspects of marine biodiversity (e.g. coralligenous assemblages, coastal lagoon, fishery, marine forests, etc.). MMMPA project aims to train researchers in the management of MPAs, equipping them with a flexible set of skills essential within a wide range of professional environments, including public administration, local authorities, industry and academia.
The goal of my PhD thesis is:
1) assessing the evolution of Cystoseira forests, a genus of habitat forming macroalgae, in the MPAs involved in the project;
2) developing a monitoring protocol of marine forests at Port-Cros National Park, in order to create a replicable tool useful also for other MPA managers;
3) trying to restore Cystoseira forests where they disappeared (e.g. on artificial barriers) or where they are degraded, through propagules and/or the transplantation of adult plants collected in pristine forests.