Elena Desiderà
Conservation ecology, Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), Marine biodiversity assessment and monitoring
Underwater visual census (UVC), Aural analysis of underwater audio recordings, QGIS (Quantum Geographic Information System)
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I am a Ph.D. student working on the project “The effects of protection on the reproductive biology of the Dusky grouper, Epinephelus marginatus (Lowe, 1834).


My Ph.D. is jointly supervised (co-tutelle) by Professors Carlotta Mazzoldi (University of Padova, Italy) and Paolo Guidetti (University Nice Sophia Antipolis, France). For my project, I will also collaborate with Dr Lucia Di Iorio, belonging to CHORUS research group (Grenoble INP Foundation – GIPSA-lab, Grenoble, France). The study will be carried out at the Marine Protected Area (MPA) of Tavolara – Punta Coda Cavallo (north-western Sardegna, Italy).

My research focuses on evaluating the effectiveness of Tavolara MPA in protecting dusky groupers’ spawning aggregations. The MPA efficacy evaluation will be based on the comparison between protected vs non-protected spawning grounds. Using complementary techniques, I am collecting data about i) historical local fishery and knowledge of the species, ii) Dusky grouper populations demography and iii) reproductive activity, iv) spawning-related sound production patterns.


This project will provide multifaceted key information about dusky grouper reproductive biology, sound production and behavioural patterns. It will have major implications for evaluating the effectiveness of Tavolara MPA in protecting the most vulnerable life stage of this valuable endangered species.