Community changes in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea after the opening of the Suez Canal

Internship position (12 ECTS)
The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 has triggered the largest marine alien invasion in the world: the so-called “Lessepsian migration”. Hundreds of tropical species have settled in the Mediterranean Sea, especially its easternmost sectors. The project “Historical ecology of Lessepsian migration” ( addresses this phenomenon with the aim to determine the pre-impact baseline conditions and how the invasion has progressed with time. Students can participate by analyzing the content of sediment cores extracting and identifying remains of organisms with hard skeletal parts (e.g., molluscs, echinoderms, ostracods, sponges, foraminiferans,…). They will then analyze the variation in species composition and structure down-core to determine the past community states. The internship has a main focus on molluscs, but candidates with a strong interest in other taxa can benefit from the extensive partner network of the project. Please, contact me to inquire further on this topic.
Previous experience in morphospecies segregation and species identification of the target taxon is an advantage. Alternatively, it is recommended to have a genuine interest in learning about diagnostic characters and identification techniques of the target taxon.
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Paolo Albano
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Reference Number: RP-47581