National Geographic Society awards UNIBO researcher
Arianna Mancuso, research fellow and PhD student at University of Bologna, was awarded an Early Career Grant to investigate the effects of climate change on sea life, starting from mollusks, the most vulnerable organisms.
Her project, called Shell Warm, will be funded with a grant of $5000 by the National Geographic Society.
The Italian researcher works at the Marine Biology and Fisheries Laboratory at the Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences based in Fano (PU). Her study aims at evaluating the impact of increased temperatures and sea acidification on sea organisms in the Mediterranean Sea.
“Global heating is a serious threat for sea ecosystem biodiversity”, said UNIBO researcher. “Increased temperatures lead to changes in water chemistry, with an impact on distribution, amount and development of several species”.
With regard to this, mollusks are among the most vulnerable species, with climate change having negative effects on the formation of their shells. The observation of this phenomenon is the focus of the activities included in the Shell Warm project.
“The project” said Arianna Mancuso “will be carried out at a natural lab: the underwater crater of Panarea island, which emits carbon dioxide emissions that acidify the surrounding water, thus showing us what could happen in the sea in the future”.
Researchers from the UNIBO Marine Biology and Fisheries Laboratory will put some mollusks into the underwater crater to investigate their reaction to increased acidification and temperatures of the sea.