The course aims to train graduates with a strong foundation in various fields:
- marine biodiversity, from microorganisms to megafauna, from genetic to ecosystem level;
- Interaction between marine organisms and anthropic activities;
- conservation and management of marine resources and ecosystems;
- productive activities, such as fishing and aquaculture and their sustainability;
- Interdisciplinary methods and approaches to the study of marine biology.
After an initial core training providing common background preparation, the course is divided into two learning paths, one focussed on biodiversity and management of marine systems, the other on aquaculture and health of farmed organisms. The two paths are flexible, allowing to personalize learning paths based on students’ needs and career goals. The common initial training is comprised of 7 courses, providing a strong foundation in marine biodiversity, marine study methods and analytical approaches, ecology of a range of marine habitats, human impacts on the marine environment, and adaptation potential of marine systems to global changes. The two subsequent learning pathways are comprised of 4 out of 8 possible advanced courses, to develop specific areas of expertise.
14 out of 16 offered courses are taught in English, providing foreign students access to the full degree program and Italian students with the opportunity to learn in a stimulating international context and to enhance their language skills.
The course is completed by a 9-month internship period, during which students will carry out a research activity at the laboratories of the University, including the Hydrobiological Station, or at laboratories of affiliated public and private research centres, both in Italy and abroad. The final examination consists in the defence of the thesis.
Typically, one third of the class time is practical and many courses include full-day practical classes and field visits. The frontal teaching activities are held in the classrooms of Palazzo Grassi, while the laboratory activities take place in the educational laboratory of Palazzo Grassi, in the computer room and in the laboratories of the Hydrobiological Station. Field-based activities and excursions, visits to local production companies, and seminars offered by Italian and foreign researchers complete the training. The diverse laboratory activities provide students with direct experience of analysis of biological samples, the design of experiments, the analysis and interpretation of a variety of biological and ecological data. Field activities provide students with direct experience of the local lagoon and marine environments, with training in field sampling and experimental set up, and with observations of the organisms in their environment. Visits to aquaculture facilities, the local fish market and a boarding experience on fishing boats will allow the student to have a direct experience of production activities related to the sea. The teaching methods are diverse, including among others: group work, problem solving activities, discussion of scientific papers, development of the experimental design of research projects, and creative presentations.
Institutional website of the course of study