clean sea

6th Bilateral Seminar Italy-Japan
2nd Marine NanoEcoSafety Workshop

Palermo, Italy, 17-20 November 2014


Invited Speakers' Biosketches

Maria Byrne (Sydney, NSW, Australia)


Dr. Maria Byrne is the Professor of Marine and Developmental Biology at the University of Sydney, Australia. Prof. Byrne obtained her bachelors degree from the National University of Ireland, Galway and her doctorate from the University of Victoria, Canada. This was followed by postdoctoral positions at the Smithsonian Marine Station in Florida and back at NUIG. Research in the Byrne Laboratory investigates the biology of marine and freshwater invertebrates with a focus on the Echinodermata and the Mollusca. Current projects involve species from tropical and temperate Australia. Using a multidisciplinary approach we addresses major paradigms in evolution, development and biology. She is currently Director One Tree Island Research Station of The University of Sydney.

Representative web link.

Laura Canesi (Genoa, Italy)


1984: Degree in Natural Sciences, Genoa University; 1989: Ph.D in Marine Environmental Sciences, Genoa University; 1994-1998: Researcher at the Faculty of Pharmacy, Urbino University; 1998-2005: Associate Professor of Physiology at the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Urbino University; 2005- present: Associate Professor at the Faculty of Sciences (now School of Sciences) of the Genoa University. The scientific activity has mainly concerned the physiological responses of marine organisms, from cellular to organism level, to both endogenous and environmental stimuli, utilizing as a prevalent model organism the bivalve Mytilus. The study of the responses to environmental stressors in marine mussels enlightened different mechanisms involved in the physiological regulation of functions by extracellular signals at the cellular and tissue level. Basic knowledge on the physiology of these organisms and the possibility to evaluate their health status in different environmental conditions allowed for the participation in the last few years to both national and European research projects.

Representative web link.

Gary N. Cherr (Bodega Bay, CA, USA)

Gary N.

Ph.D. Zoology, University of California. Dr. Cherr’s laboratory investigates cell functioning during fertilization and early development in marine and estuarine organisms, and the effects of pollutants and environmental stressors. The systems utilized in the laboratory include gametes and embryos from algae, molluscs, echinoderms, and fishes. Since these systems exhibit temporally and mechanistically distinct cellular events during development, they can be used to discern the mode of action of pollutants at the subcellular levels. A major emphasis is placed on the effects of pollutants on cytoskeletal dynamics, intracellular ion activities, and cell-extracellular matrix interactions during fertilization and development. The laboratory is also involved in isolation and identification of pollutants in complex mixtures and investigates structure/function relationships of the pollutants using the above biological systems. Dr. Cherr is Chair of the State of Washington Biomonitoring Science Advisory Board, and is on the State of California’s Marine Bioassay Protocol Review Committee. He is currently Director of the Bodega Bay Marine Laboratory.

Representative web link.

Richard Handy (Plymouth, United Kingdom)


Richard is a Professor of Environmental Toxicology at The University of Plymouth and Director of the Ecotoxicology Research and Innovation Centre at the University, . He did his PhD on fish ecotoxicology and trace metal physiology at the University of Dundee, under the supervision of Brian Eddy and stayed at Dundee as a NERC fellow working on trace metals, before further post-doctoral positions at Heriot-Watt and then Edinburgh University. He moved to Plymouth in 1996, and has maintained interests in the fundamental biology of trace metal homeostasis and osmoregulation in animals, including humans. The ecotoxicology aspect is a strength of his laboratory, and recognises that environmental pollution, as well as changes in environmental chemistry generally, can alter the physiology of animals; and if this goes unchecked it will lead to poor health of the organisms and physiological dysfunction. Richard is interested in mechanistic aspects of ecotoxicology, and works mainly on fishes that lend themselves to such whole organism biology. His laboratory also uses a range of in vitro models, and comparative aspects with mammals/humans. He is also an experienced animal welfare officer, interested in diagnostics and tools like histopathology to measure organism health.

Representative web link.

Jérôme Labille (Aix-en-Provence, France)


Dr Jérôme Labille has a Ph.D. in Environmental geosciences. He is a research Scientist at French National Scientific Research Center CNRS. His researches in CEREGE lab (Aix en Provence, France) concern the physical behaviour in aqueous environment of sub-micrometric particles from natural or anthropic origin. He is expert in the dynamic of aggregation, dispersion and deposition of natural colloids and manufactured nanoparticles in aquatic systems and in saturated porous media. His current researches focus mainly on the interfacial physicochemical mechanisms that govern the release, fate and exposure of manufactured nanoparticles in the environment through the lifecycle of the related nano-products. In 2007- 2009 Dr. J. Labille coordinated the French Research Program EC2CO NANOALTER “Aging of commercialised nanomaterials. Fate and toxicity of the byproducts.” Since 2008, he has been a member of the International Consortium for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (GDRI iCEINT). Since 2012, He has been a member of the steering Committee of the French LabEx SERENADE which stands for Laboratory of Excellence for Safe(r) Ecodesign Research and Education applied to NAnomaterial DEvelopment. Since 2013, Dr J. Labille coordinates the FP7 ERA-NET SIINN program NANOHETER “Fate of engineered nanoparticles in the water column under natural conditions. Role of the heteroaggregation with naturally occurring suspended matter”.

Representative web link & link.

Heather Leslie (Amsterdam, Netherlands)


PhD in Zoology, Oregon State University, Dissertation title: Advancing the science of marine reserves: From field experiments to tools for marine conservation planning. Peggy and Henry D. Sharpe Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Biology Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology & Institute for the Study of Environment and Society Brown University. Dr. Heather Leslie is a leading expert in the field of marine litter and microplastics. From her background in ecotoxicology and analytical chemistry she explores interdisciplinary approaches to studying complex environmental pollution problems such as marine litter, collaborating with social scientists and engaging stakeholders such as policy makers and businesses. Heather's research includes analytical method development for the plastic particulate fraction of marine litter and understanding the sources and impacts of plastic micro- and nano-particulates on the marine environment. She is the coordinator of the FP7 project CleanSea (

Representative web link.

Niall McDonough (Oostende, Belgium)


Niall McDonough (PhD 1998) originally trained as a marine biologist, with research interests in aquaculture, fisheries and marine resource management. He has previously held management roles with the Environmental Change Institute at NUI Galway (Ireland), the Centre for Marine Resources and Mariculture at Queens University Belfast (UK), and with the Irish Marine Institute. As Head of the Marine Board Secretariat, Niall oversees the implementation of all Marine Board strategic activities and projects, including management of the Secretariat staff and the Marine Board budget. Niall represents the Board in external panels and has responsibility to communicate with major European and international partners. He is Series Editor of the European Marine Board Position Papers.

Representative web link.

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