University of Catania, Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences
Every year, several non-indigenous species (NIS) are reported for the first time in the Mediterranean Sea, crossing biographic barriers beyond their natural range as a result of several human activities. Some of these species, that represent one of the greatest threats (together with habitat denstruction, pollution and overfishing) to biodiversity, can have negative effects on the environment, economy, and/or human health. Hence, understanding the dynamics of colonization of NIS is particularly challenging in the marine environment, and empirical evidence to guide management is often lacking. On this regard, knowledge on biological and ecological aspects of NIS, and on successful monitoring techniques and tools like species distribution models and citizen science is of utmost importance.
Francesco Tiralongo, an ichthyologist mainly interested in the study of coastal fish communities, with focus on cryptobenthic and benthic fish. I am also engaged in the study and monitoring of rare and non-indigenous fish in Italian waters, and I am the scientific manager of the AlienFish project, which also include the use of citizen science. Another line of my research is fisheries science. I am also engaged in the study of biological and ecological aspects of elasmobranchs.