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Donnarumma photoPhD Student
Department of Integrative Marine Ecology (EMI)

Tel.: +39 081 5833340
Fax: +39 081 7641355
E-mail: vincenzo.donnarumma(at)szn.it
Skype: vinc050392

Curriculum Vitae



Director of Studies: Dr. Raffaella Casotti
External Supervisor: Dr. Linda Amaral-Zettler
Advisor: Dr. Erik Zettler
Program: SZN-Open University, XXI cycle

Research Interests

The project I will carry out until March 2019 will be on the study of prokaryotic communities, mainly bacterial, living associated with microplastics (<5mm). This will be under the supervision of my Director of Studies (DoS) Dr. Raffaella Casotti and my external supervisor and advisor, respectively Dr. Linda Amaral-Zettler and Dr. Erik Zettler. Microplastics represent an emerging contaminant in the marine environment whose danger becomes increasingly evident, due to its high concentrations and ubiquity. The threat represented by microplastics is mainly related to its possible role in the accumulation of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and biomagnification in the trophic web. The concentration of microplastics in particular is considered a quality index of the marine environments, also in accordance with the Marine Strategy Framework Directive 2000/60/EC (indicator n°10). Recent studies have shown that microplastics harbour a rich microbial community, so-called "plastisphere" (Zettler et al., 2013), distinct and different from bacterial communities free-living in the surrounding sea water.
The aim of my MPhil project is the characterization of microbial communities (mainly bacterial) associated with microplastics in the Gulf of Naples, and is part of a larger project funded by SZN (MicroMARE) which also includes the study of the effects of microplastics and microbial communities associated with them on marine model organisms with Dr. Anna Palumbo as co-P.I. Research activities will use surface water sampling tools such as the Manta Net to retrieve microplastics from the seawater. The bacterial communities will be visualized and analyzed using microscopy (trasmitted light and scanning) and DNA sequencing (High Throughput Sequencing techniques). The results of this project can then be used for local, continental and also global surveys to raise awareness about this issue which has also strong implications for the human health.

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