Primary Supervisor: Prof Paulo Gavaia
Co-Supervisor: Prof M. Leonor Cancela
Alessio received his Bachelor degree in biological sciences from the Polytechnic University of Marche (UNIVPM), Ancona, Italy in 2015 (thesis on the presence of endocrine disruptors in the apex predators of the Mediterranean Sea). On March 2018 he graduated in Marine Biology from the UNIVPM, defending a thesis on the effect on the immune response and stress induction of an innovative food formulation using insect meal as substitutional ingredient in the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).
SCIENTIFIC WORK EXPERIENCE
Alessio’s interest in science is about fish biology and physiology in particular the reproductive biology and early development. He got to learn the basics about aquaculture at the Hellenic Center for Marine Research (H.C.M.R; Greece), where he also received some training in laboratory techniques used to investigate the reproductive maturity and quality of the fish gametes, and gained practical experience in the husbandry of several farmed fish species.
During his master’s thesis Alessio gained some expertise in fish nutrition, in particular on the production of live food, and the maintenance of aquatic organisms. He also learned several histological and molecular biology lab techniques.
Following his master’s, he joined the Comparative, Adaptive and Functional Skeletal Biology Lab (BIOSKEL) at the Centre for Marine Sciences (CCMAR) in Faro within the scope of an Erasmus Traineeship project aiming at evaluating the effect of experimental diets on growth, survival and early skeletal development in the Senegalese sole, and later as a research fellow to work in the ALGARED+ project aiming at screening for skeletogenic activity of microalgae extracts in zebrafish. During these 6 months, he got to master several methodologies used for the study of the skeleton (e.g. bone-specific staining techniques, morphometric analysis of bone structures, bone marker gene expression and imaging of zebrafish transgenic lines).
For the next 3 years, Alessio will be a PhD student of the BioMedAqu ITN programme at the University of Algarve studying compounds from marine organisms with osteogenic and mineralogenic potential using zebrafish and farmed fish species as models for both pharmaceutical and aquaculture applications.
Alessio is an experienced rescue scuba diver and have participated in a coral reef restoration project at the Maldives, gaining experience in marine ecology and conservation. He has also worked as a fisheries observer for the ICCAT bluefin tuna campaign in 2017 and gained experience in fisheries management.
He has worked as a photographer and video maker, expertise that he also brings into his personal interest for marine wildlife and recreational diving. He speaks Italian (native speaker) and English, and is learning Spanish and Portuguese.