Espositori 2020

Are sustainable fishing methods possible in the Mediterranean Sea?

Are sustainable fishing methods possible in the Mediterranean Sea?

In the Mediterranean Sea one of the main impacts of commercial fishing is the phenomenon of bycatches of non-target species which produces significant effects on fish stocks but also on marine vertebrates such as sharks, cetaceans and turtles, for which it represents one of the main threats. Two EU-funded research projects of the University of Siena aim to reduce interactions between dolphins, turtles and fishing activities, using acoustic and luminous deterrents to reduce their mortality and avoid economic damage to fishermen. The most innovative aspect of these proposals concerns sculpted marble blocks used as marine barriers to prevent marine coastal trawling.


Università di Siena

Letizia Marsili was born in Siena (Italy) on the 8th of July in 1965. She graduated in Biological Sciences in 1988 and she completed her PhD in 1995 with the following Thesis “Ecotoxicological and morphometric studies in different species of Mediterranean cetaceans”. Her Post-PhD was about the analysis of non-destructive biomarkers in order to evaluate the health status of different species of marine mammals in the South-West Atlantic area and after that she received the ICRAM fellowship on marine mammal ecotoxicology. She is an Associate Professor of Siena University and she is in charge of “Residue Analysis” and “Cell Cultures” laboratories in the Department of Physical Sciences, Earth and Environment. She is currently teaching “Environmental Risk Assessment Techniques” in the master degree in “Ecotoxicology and Environmental Sustainability” and she is also teaching “Ecology” in the bachelor degree in “Biological Sciences”. She was also teacher of “Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Techniques”, “Monitoring Techniques of Marine and Terrestrial Enviornments”, “Nature Conservation” and “Applied Ecology” in the same University. Since 1988 she is studying the effects of xenobiotic compounds (HCB, DDTs and PCBs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the marine environment in particular in the Mediterranean Sea, even if she has been working also on ecotoxicological research in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. She published several manuscripts both on the development and the validation of non-lethal sampling tools and the application of biomarkers of exposure and effects for environmental contaminants to study marine mammals. In order to assess the interspecies and gender susceptibility of different cetaceans to different environmental contaminants she has developed and validated the “in vitro” system of fibroblast cell cultures of cetaceans. She has also developed statistical models for the evaluation of toxicological hazard of organochlorines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in species “at risk”. At the moment she is evaluating the immune system status of the different cetacean species using specific enzymes, trying to establish how much the environmental contamination caused by immunosuppressant substances is affecting these animals’ different pathologies. She has been working for 10 years (1998-2008) in the ecotoxicological monitoring of ENI’s on-shore and off-shore extracting activities in the Mediterranean Sea. This research made possible the implementation of applicative protocols for the use of biomarkers in the evaluation of ecotoxicological risk in oil extraction areas either on land (on-shore) and in the sea (off-shore). The environmental quality was estimated using biomarkers as a diagnostic/prognostic tool. The expertise acquired with these projects contributed and will contribute to: a) European emergency of management model on costs/benefits for contamination reduction, recovery of degraded ecosystems and sustainable development of marine environment; b) provide a relevant input to the most important convention of the field (e.g. OSPARCOM, HELCOM, Barcelona and Bucharest Convention)

All the experimental investigations, using laboratory organisms, (crustaceans and fish) and field bioindicators, (crustaceans, fish, reptiles, birds and small mammals) have allowed the development and the validation of an integrated strategy (biomarkers and residue levels) of biomonitoring of terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems related to onshore and offshore hydrocarbons extraction activities. She has also been studying the effects of synthetic granulate used for recreational activities in particular she evaluated the presence of PAHs and trace elements in synthetic football fields, focusing on the risk linked to the exposition (particles and high-temperature evaporation) to these contaminants for the athletes.

She has been involved in several coastal marine ecotoxicological monitoring based on animal bioindicators (Carcinus aestuari, Mugil cephalus, Dicentrarchus labrax, etc.) and vegetal bioindicators (phanerogams), in particular she used Posidonia oceanica for evaluating the potential ecotoxicological impact linked to coastal human activities.
In 2014 she received the national scientific qualification as an Associate Professor in Ecology. By Decree of 2 March 2007 of the Ministry of Environment and Protection of Land and Sea, she is appointed member of the Director Board of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park (PNAT).
Since 2009 she is the representative of PNAT and Siena University for the technical-scientific committee of “Osservatorio Toscano dei Cetacei”, now “Consulta della Biodiversità” of Tuscany region and she is one of the managers of Cetaceans and sea turtles Stranding Network. She has been member of the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) as Italian delegate since 2003. In 2017 she was nominated member of the scientific committee of Maremma Regional Park and she is member of the Stranding Work Table of Ministry of Environment. To date is author and co-author of 350 scientific papers of which 150 are published in national and international journals. According to CITATION DATABASES 2018 of ISI WEB OF SCIENCE these papers were cited 1724 times in International Publications with Impact Factor. She has been relator and co-relator of approximately 80 students since 1989. She is referee of international journals as Marine Ecology Progress Series, Environmental Science and Technology, Environmental Pollution, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Chemosphere e Science of the Total Environment. She is member of several national (SITE, SIBM, Tethys) and international (SETAC, ECS, EEIU) scientific associations. On the 7th March 2015 She has been awarded with the international prize “La Mimosa d’Oro” by Associazione Donne Ambientaliste on the 25th Edition with the following statement “... for the scientific commitment, enthusiastic dedication and for the outstanding skills aimed at ensuring the biodiversity protection in the Mediterranean Sea and to the health protection of all the people that are living on its coasts”. Letizia Marsili is involved in an intense communication activity on ecotoxicological topics of the effects of contaminants on the Mediterranean fauna. She has been also taken part of several local (50News Versilia, RTV38, Siena TV, Canale 3 Toscana, Radio Siena) and national (WIP Radio, Il Caffè - Rai 1, Linea Blu - Rai 1) radio and television shows about contamination of Mediterranean Sea. On the same topic she released interviews on several national and local magazines and newspapers. She was selected in 2018 from “Donna Moderna” magazine between the top 100 women in Italy for the “Donne come Noi” book. She was also been one of the performers of some documentaries such as “Il Re del Mare” by Osservatorio Toscano dei Cetacei, realized by Artescienza s.a.s. and Laboratorio Probabile bellamy in 2010; “The secret world of Pain” (episode 11 of 15) realized by BBC Horizon in 2010-2011; “I Cetacei” in the APP of Museo dell’Accademia dei Fisiocritici of Siena in 2015.

COORDINATORE E RESPONSABILE DEL GRUPPO DI RICERCA “MonitorAGgio TossicologIco DELl’Ambiente MArino E TerREstre - ConServazIone dElla NAtura” (MAGIA DEL MARE – SIENA) di cui fanno parte:
Enrica Franchi (Prof. a contratto e Project Manager) – Stefania Ancora (Tecnico Laureato D, responsabile del Laboratorio Analisi Elementi in tracce) – Laura Carletti (Tecnico con mansioni sia di Lab. che amministrative) – Guia Consales (Dottoranda) - Ilaria Ceciarini (Dottoranda) – Carlo Amico (Contrattista) – Cecilia Mancusi (ARPAT e Dottoranda) – Alessandra Neri (Dottoranda)
Il Gruppo “MAGIA DEL MARE – SIENA” è responsabile di 2 Laboratori:
Il Laboratorio “Analisi dei Residui” e il Laboratorio “Colture cellulari”, entrambi sotto la responsabilità della Dr. Letizia Marsili (ved. Pdf Laboratori). Nel Lab. Colture cellulari vi è la responsabilità tecnica di Laura Carletti (Tecnico C5)
dal 01-03-2016 a oggi



Pescatori e tartarughe marine: facciamo luce in mare. Prof.ssa Letizia Marsili:

EVENTO FINALE Facciamo luce in mare! (Prima parte):
EVENTO FINALE Facciamo luce in mare! (Seconda parte):


VIRTUAL STUDIUM "La simbiosi uomo delfino tra antiche leggende e moderne malattie, con la prof.ssa Letizia Marsili":


GEO&GEO "Le nidificazioni della tartaruga comune Caretta caretta":

La delicata condizione degli ecosistemi marini tra plastica, mascherine e cambiamento climatico:

Dati aggiornati il 16/06/2024 - 10.50.57