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PiccardoPhD Student
Biology and Evolution of Marine Organisms Department

Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn
Villa Comunale
80121 Naples – Italy

DSV-University of Trieste
Via L. Giorgieri, 10
34127 Trieste - Italy


E-mail: manuela.piccardo(at)phd.units.it
Skype: manuela piccardo
Website Unitrieste: http://dsv.units.it/en/research/researchareas/researchgroups/27707

Curriculum Vitae

Director of Studies: Paolo Sordino
Internal Supervisor: Paolo Sordino
External Supervisor: Antonio Terlizzi
Program: XXXIII cycle

Research Interests

During last years I have focused on marine litter. Plastic pollution is considered one of the most dangerous threats for the safety of aquatic systems due to its persistence, ubiquity and variable nature. I’m interested in studying the behaviour of plastic particles once in the environment and their possible effects on biological system. The smallest fraction of marine litter, i.e. nanoplastics (NPs), seems to be particularly alarming. During my PhD I will perform an ecotoxicological study to test the effects of NPs of different size, composition and type, on the teleost Danio rerio as model system. First, I’ll investigate biodistribution and bioaccumulation in target organs and tissues in order to evaluate the potential adverse effects through the analysis of a wide battery of molecular and cellular biomarkers. I’ll focus on the catalytic activity of some enzymes involved in the oxidative stress and on the expression of genes related to the metabolism of fatty acids. Metabolomics and genetic analysis will allow us to investigate possible deterioration of the nutritional values of the fish flesh with consequences on human consumption.

While marine litter will be the centrepiece of my future three years research, I pursue other scientific interests related to the environmental impact assessment by studying the interactions between human activities (generators of different types of disturbance) and the natural ecosystems.

Book chapters

Piccardo, M., Felline, S. & Terlizzi, A. in Proceedings of the International Conference on Microplastic Pollution in the Mediterranean Sea 115–120 (2018). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-71279-6

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