Umberto D'Ancona Hydrobiological Station

The University of Padova began its activities in Chioggia at the Hydrobiologic Laboratory, which was set up in 1940 in two state-owned two-storey buildings in the north-eastern quadrant of the island of San Domenico.
In 1942, during World War II, the University of Padova (at the time the Institute of Zoology, which merged with the Department of Biology in 1984) was granted free, perpetual use of the buildings, thanks to the foresight and perseverance of Prof. Umberto D'Ancona. Here, D'Ancona carried out pioneering research on the ecosystems of the Venetian Lagoon and northern Adriatic sea, the natural stocks of commercial valuable species, and the reproductive biology of several teleost species. Profs. Bruno Battaglia, Armando Sabbadin and Riccardo Brunetti are among the many researchers who succeeded D'Ancona in the management of the laboratory. Together with their Padova’s colleagues, they promoted, even in hard times for research, the knowledge of the biology and ecology of lagoon and marine species, the protection and management of natural populations, and the breeding and farming of new fish species.

On the 5th February 2011, academic and local authorities attended the ceremony to name the Hydrobiologic Laboratory in honour of Prof. Umberto D'Ancona, who not only founded it, but was also one of the most brilliant naturalists of the 20th century.
The larger (450 m2) of the two buildings, making up the Hydrobiologic Laboratory, has always been used for research work; while the other (250 m2), in the past home of the caretaker, is currently a practical guesthouse, accommodating up to 10 persons. Visiting scientists and external collaborators should contact technicians of the Hydrobiologic Laboratory.


The Hydrobiologic Laboratory is an integral part of the Department of Biology of the  University of Padova and its supervisor is Dr. Carlotta Mazzoldi.