You are here: HomeStaffList of PersonnelCardini UlisseCardini Ulisse

Integrative Marine Ecology Department

Genoa Marine Centre (GMC)
Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn–National Institute of Marine Biology, Ecology and Biotechnology
Villa del Principe, Piazza del Principe 4, 16126 Genoa, Italy

E-mail: ulisse.cardini(at)szn.it
Contatto Skype: ulisse.cardini
Web: www.marinesymbiomes.eu

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

Symbioses with microorganisms play an essential role in the health and physiology of diverse marine organisms. However, environmental stressors such as climate change increasingly threaten the physiological function of the metaorganism (the assemblage of all participants in the symbiosis, forming an ecological unit). My research investigates the biogeochemistry of host-microbe interactions, as well as the physiological and ecological consequences of these dynamics. I am mainly interested in the carbon and nitrogen cycles and I focused so far on the physiology of two different model systems: the photosynthetic coral symbiosis, and the chemosynthetic lucinid clam symbiosis. A key goal of my work is to provide a mechanistic understanding of how host-microbe interactions lead to peculiar metabolisms of the metaorganism, and of how these contribute to nutrient cycling and ecosystem functioning. I use a combination of underwater fieldwork for sample collection and incubation experiments with living organisms. Nutrient and oxygen measurements, acetylene reduction assays and stable isotope probing are used to quantify fluxes. I perform manipulation and mesocosms experiments to disentangle the role of environmental conditions in shaping the functioning of the metaorganism. By integrating across biological scales and maintaining an environmental context, my work will help determine the capacity of symbiotic marine organisms to shape their ecosystems and to withstand and adapt to a changing marine environment.

Selected Publications

Petersen JM, Kemper A, Gruber-Vodicka H, Cardini U, van der Geest M, Kleiner M, Bulgheresi S, Mußmann M, Herbold C, Seah BKB, Antony CP, Liu D, Belitz A, Weber M (2016) Chemosynthetic symbionts of marine invertebrate animals are capable of nitrogen fixation. Nature Microbiology, 2:16195

Cardini U, van Hoytema N, Bednarz V, Rix L, Foster RA, Al-Rshaidat MMD, Wild C (2016) Microbial dinitrogen fixation in coral holobionts exposed to thermal stress and bleaching. Environmental Microbiology, 18:2620–2633

Cardini U, Bednarz V, van Hoytema N, Rovere A, Naumann MS, Al-Rshaidat MMD, Wild C (2016) Budget of primary production and dinitrogen fixation in a highly seasonal Red Sea coral reef. Ecosystems, 19:771–785

Cardini U, Bednarz VN,Naumann MS, van Hoytema N, Rix L, Foster RA, Al-Rshaidat MMD, Wild C (2015) Functional significance of dinitrogen fixation in sustaining coral productivity under oligotrophic conditions. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 282:20152257

Cardini U, van Hoytema N, Al-Rshaidat MMD, Schuhmacher H, Wild C, Naumann MS (2015) 37 Years later: revisiting a Red Sea long-term monitoring site. Coral Reefs, 34:1111

Bednarz VN, van Hoytema N, Cardini U, Naumann MS, Al-Rshaidat MMD, Wild C (2015) Dinitrogen fixation and primary productivity by carbonate and silicate reef sand communities of the Northern Red Sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 527:47-57

Bednarz VN, Cardini U, van Hoytema N, Al-Rshaidat MMD, Wild C (2015) Seasonal variation of N2 fixation and O2 fluxes associated with two dominant zooxanthellate soft corals from the Northern Red Sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 519:141-152

Cardini U, Bednarz VN, Foster RA, Wild C (2014), Benthic N2 fixation in coral reefs and the potential effects of human-induced environmental change. Ecology and Evolution, 4:1706-1727

Cerrano C, Cardini U, Bianchelli S, Corinaldesi C, Pusceddu A, Danovaro R (2013) Red coral extinction risk enhanced by ocean acidification. Scientific Reports, 3:1457

Garrard S, Hunter R, Frommel A, Lane A, Phillips J, Cooper R, Dineshram R, Cardini U, McCoy S, Arnberg M, Rodrigues Alves B, Annane S, de Orte M, Kumar A, Aguirre-Martínez G, Maneja R, Basallote M, Ape F, Torstensson A, and Bjoerk M (2012) Biological impacts of ocean acidification: a postgraduate perspective on research priorities. Marine Biology, 160:1789-1805

Book chapters

Plass-Johnson JG, Cardini U, van Hoytema N, Bayraktarov E, Burghardt I, Naumann MS, Wild C (2015) Coral Bleaching. In: Armon RH, Hänninen O (eds) Environmental Indicators. Springer Netherlands, pp 117-146

Meyer FW, Cardini U, Wild C (2015) Ocean Acidification and Related Indicators. In: Armon RH, Hänninen O (eds) Environmental Indicators. Springer Netherlands, pp 723-742

Press and outreach

Group website. Regularly updated. Link: www.marinesymbiomes.eu

Using the unusable. How genomes uncovered evidence for nitrogen fixation in chemosynthetic symbionts of marine clams and nematodes. Blog post on the Nature Microbiology Community. October 2016. Link: https://naturemicrobiologycommunity.nature.com/users/20090-ulisse-cardini/posts/11924-using-the-unusable

BMC Ecology Image Competition 2016: selected (out of >140) among the ‘Unique interactions’. August 2016. Link: https://bmcecol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12898-016-0090-z

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