The Hydrobiological Station was set up in 1940 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 Hydrobiological Station, 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 colleagues in Padova, they promoted, even during 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.