I am broadly interested in the field of mesozooplankton ecology, with particular focus on the ecology of copepods, their ecophysiological characteristics and their trophic role in marine food web. My research so far has involved field studies, mesocosm and laboratory experiments with main areas of investigation:
Copepod feeding physiology (functional response and prey selection). "Bottom-up" effects on copepod reproductive performance. Structure and functioning of marine planktonic food web under climate change scenarios
Zooplankton and fish larvae abundance and assemblage structure in relation to mesoscale hydrological structures and biological parameters
The key role of mesozooplankton as prey for small pelagic fish
I am currently investigating how zooplankton and ichthyoplankton communities are affected by the North-South environmental gradients in the Red Sea. To explore species diversity of larval fish I use an integrative approach, combining morphological characteristics and DNA barcoding. In parallel, I am engaged in experimental laboratory work, testing the effects of different environmental stressors (e.g., temperature, UV) on the physiology of zooplankton species in the Red Sea.