Prof. Antonella Penna


The laboratory of Biotechnology and Environmental Biology of the University of Urbino covers different research topics in the marine field.

РThe Unit of Chemical Oceanography deals with  the Eutrophication and Mucilage processes affecting the Northern Western Adriatic Sea. Eutrophic outbreaks are mainly due to the Po river discharges with nutrient loads, the particular hydrodynamic system and local riverine discharges. Mucilage production is a complex phenomenon characterized by the gelatinous masses appearing from the deep layers to the surface of the eastern-western Adriatic coasts.

– The Unit of Molecular Ecology investigates many aspects of the Ecology of Marine Microrganisms:

  • Molecular phylogeny and taxonomy of marine microalgae with particular effort to harmful species.
  • Phylogeography, population genetic of main phytoplankton groups in the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Composition and abundance of phytoplankton and phytobenthos species using molecular quantitative real time PCR approaches.
  • Developing of innovative molecular methods for the identification and estimation of toxic microrganisms in the water column and sediments.
  • Study of silicon metabolism in marine diatoms.
  • Safety food: new molecular approaches for detection of biotoxin contamination in seafood¬† in natural and aquaculture systems.