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Photo ThomasPh. D. Student
Department of Sustainable Marine Biotechnology

Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn
Villa Comunale
80121 Napoli - Italia

Tel.: +33 0679758774
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Skype: Thomas VIEL

Curriculum Vitae

Director of Studies
Internal Supervisor(s): Dr Valerio ZUPO and Dr Loredana MANFRA (ISPRA, associated to SZN)
External Supervisor: Dr Mariacristina COCCA (IPCB – CNR)
Program: Biology XXXVII Cycle, University of Naples Federico II

Research Interests

Plastics are materials that are an integral part of our lives. It is estimated that the massive production of this material was around 6,300 million tonnes in 2015 and that around 8 to 14 million tonnes enter the ocean each year. In response to this problem, EU strategies have been put in place to reduce the release of plastics into the oceans, such as promoting recycling, reuse of plastics and the use of biodegradable plastics. Regarding the latter, very little data on their biodegradability and toxicity in the marine environment is available and little is known about their impact on marine invertebrates when in contact with them, especially when ingested (Manfra et al. 2021).
This PhD aims to answer these questions and a multidisciplinary approach is used integrating chemical, ecotoxicological, biotechnological, molecular, and ecological aspects. The degradation of five biodegradable polymers, BPs, at different depth level of water column simulated in mesocosms will be studied. The analysed BPs are poly(L‐lactic acid) (PLA), poly(ε‐caprolactone) (PCL), poly(hydroxyalkanoates) (PHA), poly(butylene succinate) (PBS), poly(butylene succinate-co-butylene adipate) (PBSA). Regarding the marine organisms studied, these target species have different feeding strategies, and they play essential roles in coastal ecosystems. Studies will be carried out on the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, the shrimp Hippolyte inermis and two ascidians Ciona robusta & Botryllus schlosseri, the isopod Idotea baltica. Morphological effects at different stages as well as molecular effects using RNA-seq and Real Time qPCR approaches will be performed to monitor polymer-induced gene expression variations.

Selected Publications

Esposito, R.; Ruocco, N.; Viel, T.; Federico, S.; Zupo, V.; Costantini, M. Sponges and Their Symbionts as a Source of Valuable Compounds in Cosmeceutical Field. Mar. Drugs 2021, 19, 444. https://doi.org/10.3390/md19080444

Mutalipassi, M.; Esposito, R.; Ruocco, N.; Viel, T.; Costantini, M.; Zupo, V. Bioactive Compounds of Nutraceutical Value from Fishery and Aquaculture Discards. Foods 2021, 10, 1495. https://doi.org/ 10.3390/foods10071495

V. Zupo and T. Viel. Ocean Acidification alters the composition of decapod crustacean communities associated to Posidonia oceanica beds (2020). Bulletin of Regional Natural History (BORNH), Bollettino della Società dei Naturalisti in Napoli. ISBN: 000-000.

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