Banner Sergio Rossi

Networking Friday with Sergio Rossi (Università del Salento)

On September 11th, 2020, 1-2 PM UTC, we dived in the marvellous underwater worlds with Sergio Rossi, Associate Professor at the DiSTeBA (Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche ed Ambientali) at the Università del Salento and Visiting Professor at the Universidade Federal do Ceará. He talked about Marine Forests and their Role in the Oceans. The moderator was Eduardo Pereira, Assistant Professor at the University of Minho and a member of IB-S (Institute for Bio-sustainability) and ISISE (Institute for Sustainability and Innovation in Structural Engineering).

What is an engineer? A person that solves problems for the community, giving tools and services that improve our lives. A tree or a coral are ecosystem engineering species, they benefit the community, and give also essential ecosystem services to the humans. In the case of the forests of the sea (Marine Forests – MFs): kelp forests, seagrasses, coral reefs, sponge grounds, gorgonian forests, hydrothermal vent associated fauna, etc.) their role is giving shelter and food to other species, promote the reproduction and life cycles of many organisms, transform the hydrodynamics and recycle nutrients, immobilize carbon and promote the biomass of fisheries, create physical barriers against wave action and be biodiversity hotspots…they enhance complexity and functionality that is essential for a healthy community in the benthos and also in the plankton. We are losing the engineers of the sea. Complex systems are vanishing, due to bottom trawling, excess of nutrients, urbanization, overfishing, dredging…and, during the last two-three decades, also due to the acceleration of the impacts of climate change. Twenty years ago, the marine restoration programs to recover MFs were still in a blossom state, applied only in particular places with non-optimized methods. In the decade of the Oceans (2021-2030), a new perspective on the recovery of the ecosystems and the associated biodiversity is flourishing, with new and consolidated protocols that ensure the success in large scale programs. However, most of the society still sees the marine restoration as a distant target from the economic point of view, even if we are aware of the importance of the needed regeneration of our oceans. Sergio Rossi clearly demonstrated that nature-based solutions recovering eco-engineering species may be also a very interesting business opportunity.

Relevant links:


Sergio Rossi

Sergio Rossi

Sergio Rossi is a research scientist specializing in marine natural resources and biological oceanography. He is Associate Professor at the DiSTeBA, Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche ed Ambientali in the Università del Salento, and Visiting Professor at the Universidade Federal do Ceará. He is also invited researcher at the Environmental Science and Technology Institute (ICTA-Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain). His lines of research are elated with Marine Biodiversity and Global Change can be synthesized as:

  1. Studying the role of environmental and biological factors of the water column on the distribution, nutritional condition and survival of benthic organisms to increase the knowledge and tools for coastal management.
  2. Studying the physiology and trophic ecology of benthic in front of global change.
  3. Underwater mapping and distribution of benthic suspension feeders through remote and deep diving techniques (Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) crossing experimental information with seascape methods to understand energy fluxes in the benthos, carbon sink role of the benthic suspension feeders and the anthropogenic impacts on benthic populations.
  4. Conservation and restoration research on marine biodiversity in coastal areas. 5) Marine ecosystem services and environmental education, studying aspects of natural ecosystem and resource management.

He also developed third-generation biofuel (marine microalgae) applied protocols, using all the above-mentioned knowledge and my network to make a realistic approach to this energy alternative. Lastly, but just as important, his job as a scientific journalist, reflected in his collaborations with several journals and magazines, demonstrates my strong commitment with scientific outreach (also reflected in eco-thrillers and books for kids). Oceans in decline (Springer-Nature, Copernicus series) and The forgotten continent: visions about Antarctica (Tusquets) are critical essay books that are a strong examples of my efforts to communicate science to a wide audience in a rigorous, but easily comprehendible way.


Eduardo Pereira

Eduardo Pereira

Eduardo Pereira holds a PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Minho and the Technical University of Denmark. As Assistant Professor at the University of Minho and a member of IB-S (Institute for Bio-sustainability) and ISISE (Institute for Sustainability and Innovation in Structural Engineering), he is specialized in the development and design of smart cementitious composites and structures for severe environments. He is currently coordinating from ISISE the Structured Project NEXT-SEA (Monitoring and Management of Coastal Ecosystems in a Scenario of Global Change), which deals with the development of new generation materials and structural systems for the construction of autonomous biomimetic and bio receptive artificial reefs, with self-monitoring and self-repairing. He is also a member of the OMARE team, in the context of which he is responsible for the development of spatial information systems, decision support and management of coastal systems in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), as well as the design and monitoring of a pilot area in the park that will include prototypes of multifunctional artificial reefs.

He is also collaborating with the GOAP (Global Ocean Accounting Platform) created in the context of the statistical division of ESCAP – United Nations for next generation sustainable development models for the Oceans, Oceans Accounting. He is involved in the IB-S hub of the AIR Center (Atlantic Interactions Research Center), which is developing a partnership between the Atlantic countries to promote their sustainable development centred on the Atlantic. Over the past 15 years, he has participated in numerous research and innovation projects together with Industry, supervised several Master and PhD students, and co-authored more than 100 scientific publications, including indexed scientific books and journals.


This session would not have been possible without the introductions and constant support from Ozilea Menezes and Marcelo Soares from LABOMAR. They both are very, very effective “serial networkers”.

We will continue with the Networking Fridays during the next months. More information about future sessions as well as presentations and videos from previous sessions can be found here. Twitter Hashtag: #netfridays. Expect some very exciting afternoons, or mornings or evenings, depending on where you are…

If you need any additional information please send an email to Jose Luiz Moutinho.

Sergio Rossi

More Info

Curriculum Vitae

Personal information

Family name, First name: Rossi, Sergio
Researcher unique identifier: ORCID 0000-0003-4402-3418
Date of birth: 19 September 1969
Nationality: Italian
URL Google Scholar


2002: PhD, University of Barcelona/ Ecology/ Barcelona, Spain
1993: Bs.C, Universitat de Barcelona/ Barcelona, Spain

Current position(s)

2016-Present: Associate Professor (Zoology & Marine Ecology) – Università del Salento – ITALY
2016-Present: Visiting Researcher (Marine Ecology) Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) / Environmental Science and Technology Institute (ICTA) – SPAIN
2018-Present: Visiting Professor (Marine Biology and Ecology) Universidade Federal do Ceará (UFC) / Labomar-BRAZIL

Previous positions

June 1996- Oct 2002: PhD at Institut Ciencies del Mar (CSIC) & Ecology Department (UB), Spain
Nov 2001-Feb 2004: Post Doc at Institut Ciencies del Mar (CSIC), Spain
March 2004-March 2005: Scientific Manager at Praesentis, Inc & Argo Maris, inc (ROV), Spain
April 2005-Nov 2006: Post Doc at Institut Ciencies del Mar (CSIC), Spain
Dec. 2006-Aug.2007: Post Doc at Observatoire Oceanologique de Banyuls-sur-Mer (CNRS), France
Sep 2007-April 2008: Post Doc at Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals –UAB, Spain
May 2008-June2013: Assistant researcher at Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals UAB, Spain
July 2013-Nov 2016: Associate Researcher at Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals UAB, Spain

Fellowships and awards

June 1996-Dec 1999: MEC-FPI PhD Fellowship, Spain
Dec 2006-Aug 2007: Post Doc MEC (Spanish) Fellowship, France
Sep 2007-April 2008: Post Doc Beatriu de Pinós Contract, Spain
May 2008-June 2013: Ramón & Cajal contract, Spain
July 2013-July 2016: EU Marie Curie-International Outgoing Fellowship Mexico & Spain
Aug 2016-Nov 2016: P-Sphere (Marie Curie COFUND) contract, Spain
Year 2012: I3 Award for Excellence in Research (Ramón & Cajal award, 120.000€), Spain

Supervision of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows

Post Doc Advisement (2009-2018) Georgios Tsounis, Lorenzo Bramanti, Nadine Shubert, Marcelo de Oliveira Soares, Luciana de Souza Queiroz
PhD Advisement (already defended 2005-2016 ) Georgios Tsounis, Andrea Gori, Claudio Fuentes-Grünewald, Luciana de Souza Queiroz, Francyne Elias-Piera, Núria Viladrich, Martina Coppari, Juanita Zorrilla-Pujana, David Ulises Santos-Ballardo; (in process) Miguel Mallo, Caroline Costa Lucas, Marta Mammone, Jadson Lima, Carolina Bracho, Daniele Arduini, Silvia Fraissenet, Jacopo Borghese

Master Degrees supervised: 19
Undergraduate students supervised: 42

Teaching activities

Master Courses (more than 700 teaching hours)
Benthos Ecology (Universitat de Barcelona, 2002-2007);
Ocean Climate Change (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 2008-2010);
Past, Present and Future Ocean Global Change (UAB, 2008-2012);
Marine Protected Areas Management (UAB, 2008-2013);
An overview of Marine Anthropogenic Impacts (Universidade Federal do Ceará-Brazil, 2012);
The marine coastal systems in front of global change (UFC-Brazil, 2015-2020);
Functional ecology of cnidarians (Università del Salento-Italy, 2015-2016);
Applied Zoology for Conservation and Management (Uni Salento-Italy, 2017-Now);
Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function (Uni Salento-Italy, 2019-Now);
Marine Animal Forests of the World (UFC-Brazil, 2020);
Marine Biology (Uni Salento-Italy, 2020).

Organisation of scientific meetings

Euromarine Work Group “The marine animal forests of the world: challenges, frontiers and the role of science in its management and Conservation ANFORE” (May 2018)

Institutional responsibilities

2016–Present Commission for studies for Environmental Sciences, DiSTeBA, Un Salento/Italy
2008–2016 Graduate Student Advisor committee, UAB / ICTA / Spain
2009–2011 Member of the Doctorate in Environmental Sciences Committee, UAB / ICTA / Spain
2009–2012 Member of the Master in Environmental Sciences Committee, UAB / ICTA / Spain
2008–2010 Organizer of the Internal Seminars of the ICTA, UAB / ICTA / Spain

Reviewing/Tribunal/Panels/Editorial activities

2008–Present Member of 15 PhDs tribunals (UB, UAB, Uni Salento, UFC, Uni Cagliari, Uni Sfax)
2008–Present Scientific Evaluator of the ANEP/Spain; CNPq/Brazil; FONCYT/Argentina ; FONDECYT/Chile, CONYCIT/Mexico; NSC/Poland
2003–Present Reviewer of 51 Scientific Peer-Reviewed Scientific Journals
2018–Present Expert advisor IPBES-AICHI Target 10 (Coastal zones, coral reefs and mangroves)
2017 Editor in chief of the Springer-Nature Major Reference Book “Marine Animal Forests: the ecology of benthic biodiversity hotspots”;
2020–Present Editor in chief of the Springer-Nature Book “Perspectives on the Marine Animal Forest of the World

Memberships of scientific societies

Member of the Excellence Research Group “GEPOC” (2008-2012) and “MERS” (2013-Present)

Major collaborations

Sergio Rossi has more than 120 effective collaborators all over the World.

Scientific production/project collaboration

Sergio Rossi has more than 130 scientific publications (published or in press). In more than 80% of these publications, he is the first, second or last author. Sergio Rossi’s H factor is 30 (SCOPUS) and his i10 index is 86 (Google Scholar). More than 80% of Sergio Rossi’s scientific publications are in the 1st quartile of the specific branch of knowledge. He has been PI, Co-PI or partner in 31 Scientific Projects, 3 Technological Projects, 11 Scientific Outreach and Networking Projects.

Scientific outreach production

Sergio Rossi a scientific journalist with more than 120 papers and 12 published books. The last one is Oceans in Ddecline (2019, Springer-Nature, Copernicus series).