Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Coastal Sea Research

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.03.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Biology   
2.20.00  Engineering sciences and technologies  Hydrology   

Code Science Field
B003  Biomedical sciences  Ecology 

Code Science Field
1.06  Natural Sciences  Biological sciences 
2.07  Engineering and Technology  Environmental engineering  
Coastal marine ecosystems, marine ecology, biodiversity, physiology, biogeochemistry, physical oceanography, climate change, plankton, benthos, nekton, microbes, trophic interactions, long-term studies, modelling, anthropogenic pressures, pollution, bioinvasion, nature conservation
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on July 22, 2024; A3 for period 2018-2022
Data for ARIS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender , archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  596  14,700  13,026  21.86 
Scopus  654  16,613  14,655  22.41 
Researchers (38)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  04650  PhD Oliver Bajt  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2020 - 2024  441 
2.  34210  PhD Nina Bednaršek  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2021 - 2023  66 
3.  32146  PhD Arne Bratkič  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2023 - 2024  58 
4.  13407  PhD Branko Čermelj  Biology  Researcher  2020 - 2024  187 
5.  16383  PhD Vesna Flander Putrle  Biology  Researcher  2020 - 2024  227 
6.  50562  PhD Ana Fortič  Biology  Researcher  2020 - 2024  51 
7.  22617  PhD Janja France  Biology  Researcher  2020 - 2024  226 
8.  26087  PhD Mateja Grego  Biology  Researcher  2020 - 2022  139 
9.  54679  Jena Jamšek  Biology  Junior researcher  2020 - 2024 
10.  55095  Ana Jančar Lovrič    Technical associate  2021 - 2024 
11.  34499  PhD Katja Klun  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2020 - 2021  128 
12.  58174  Tanja Kobal  Biology  Junior researcher  2023 - 2024 
13.  28331  PhD Tjaša Kogovšek  Biology  Beginner researcher  2020  123 
14.  11600  PhD Nives Kovač  Biology  Researcher  2020 - 2024  290 
15.  33372  PhD Matjaž Ličer  Physics  Researcher  2021 - 2024  157 
16.  11069  PhD Lovrenc Lipej  Biology  Researcher  2020 - 2024  1,076 
17.  55811  Ana Lokovšek  Biology  Junior researcher  2021 - 2024  10 
18.  18338  Tihomir Makovec    Technical associate  2020 - 2024  389 
19.  05226  PhD Vlado Malačič  Hydrology  Researcher  2020 - 2022  366 
20.  04642  PhD Alenka Malej  Biology  Retired researcher  2020 - 2024  704 
21.  27504  PhD Borut Mavrič  Biology  Researcher  2020 - 2024  357 
22.  11360  PhD Patricija Mozetič  Biology  Head  2020 - 2024  426 
23.  54508  Živa Muhič    Technical associate  2021 - 2024 
24.  51831  Neža Orel  Biology  Junior researcher  2020 - 2024  23 
25.  20398  PhD Martina Orlando Bonaca  Biology  Researcher  2020 - 2024  412 
26.  20320  PhD Boris Petelin  Hydrology  Researcher  2020 - 2024  133 
27.  34474  PhD Valentina Pitacco  Biology  Researcher  2020 - 2024  80 
28.  15367  PhD Andreja Ramšak  Biology  Researcher  2020 - 2024  327 
29.  57003  Petra Slavinec  Biology  Junior researcher  2022 - 2024  15 
30.  33151  PhD David Stanković  Biotechnology  Researcher  2020  121 
31.  29618  PhD Tinkara Tinta  Biology  Researcher  2020 - 2024  175 
32.  38171  PhD Domen Trkov  Biology  Researcher  2020 - 2024  95 
33.  03764  PhD Valentina Turk  Biology  Retired researcher  2020 - 2024  413 
34.  39120  PhD Timotej Turk Dermastia  Biology  Researcher  2020 - 2024  63 
35.  50564  Borut Umer  Hydrology  Junior researcher  2020 - 2022 
36.  51986  Ivano Vascotto  Biology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  19 
37.  31481  PhD Martin Vodopivec  Biology  Researcher  2020 - 2024  88 
38.  56176  Leon Lojze Zamuda    Technical associate  2021 - 2024  26 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0105  National Institute of Biology  Ljubljana  5055784  13,476 
Healthy, productive, and resilient oceans and seas significantly contribute to the prosperity of society. Changing oceans are characteristic of the Anthropocene era that poses poorly known risks to ecosystem services. Climate change, combined with other anthropogenic pressures (i.e. pollution, eutrophication, urbanisation, bioinvasion, fisheries) have multifaceted impacts on marine coastal ecosystems like the northern Adriatic, where those impacts couple with the intrinsic natural variability. Both structural and functional elements of biodiversity play a fundamental role in maintaining and defining healthy marine systems. So, the central goal of the interdisciplinary programme 'Coastal Sea Research' is to provide a deeper understanding of the biodiversity and its underlying mechanisms of the northern Adriatic ecosystem. This will be achieved through: i) advanced studies across all organisational levels – from genes to entire ecosystems spanning both the pelagic and benthic realms; ii) identifying the drivers of change affecting the marine environment and biodiversity; and iii) addressing societal needs that in balance with nature conservation safeguard healthy seas. In particular, we aim to further our understanding of the functional ecology of phytoplankton based on the functional traits and genetic characteristics of ecologically important species. We will study the diversity and biochemical aspects of microbial networks and their interactions with other organisms, organic matter, and with artificial substrates. In addition, we will investigate the impacts of recurrent jellyfish blooms on the pelagic ecosystem, paying particular attention to non-native (invasive) species. We will continue long-term surveys of coastal fish assemblages, the benthic flora and fauna, mesopredators, and habitats along the Slovenian coast. Tropicalisation, bioinvasion, coral bleaching, and the regression of benthic vegetation related to different stressors are additional topics this study will cover. Genomic analyses will yield the composition of communities, as well as trophic, symbiotic, and phylogenetic relationships. We will also consider the impacts of climate change and local urban and economic development scenarios (in particular maritime traffic). Both natural and anthropogenic inputs from the atmosphere, rivers, and human activities will be analysed to gauge their impact on the biogeochemical cycles. Plastic pollution and other emerging contaminants will also be considered. We will explore the biotechnological potential of jellyfish organic mass, microorganisms, and healing mud from marine and extreme hypersaline environments. By testing methods for seafood traceability, we aim to foster the safe trading of marine products. The outcome of the programme will provide a solid knowledge base that can serve as the foundation for future scientist – decision-maker partnerships, and will contribute to the ocean literacy of society through several outreach activities.
Significance for science
The mission of our research team is to explore marine ecosystems to create breakthroughs in knowledge in order to understand changes in the sea. With this mission in mind we aim to provide a deeper understanding of the structural and functional elements of the northern Adriatic ecosystem that undergoes substantial changes. Besides, through the interdisciplinary approach to develop scientifically based solutions, we aim to address important socio-economic issues that are subject to global or regional/local environmental perturbations. This touches on the relatively new concept of translational ecology. It aims to translate scientific results that extend beyond theory or opportunistic applications into use-driven, actionable science, thus bridging the gap between research and practice (e.g., resource managers, stakeholders, decision makers). The progress of translational ecology is dependent on the development of a solid ground on the science side of science–practitioner partnerships, in which we believe to contribute throughout our programme by combining knowledge and state of the art methods and techniques used in marine sciences. This research programme will provide observations of a changing level of biodiversity in the northern Adriatic across a range of scales that range from genes to ecosystems to supply information on the functional biodiversity. Our work on plankton, coastal fish, benthic communities and habitats will yield several Essential Biodiversity Variables such as genetic diversity, species distribution, population abundance and structure, functional traits, taxonomic diversity and interactions, secondary production of selected functional groups, disturbance regime, and habitat structure. EBVs have been proposed as key biological state variables that allow detection of biodiversity change that originates from long-term processes or persistent perturbations, and are in support of many conventions and assessments. Through genomics we intend to uncover community compositions as well as trophic, symbiotic, and phylogenetic relationships. Methods based on HTS sequencing generate large amounts of data that will be managed using advanced bioinformatics approaches. Inventories of marine microbiomes, plankton, and the benthos, from omics results will be deposited in publicly accessible databases and shared among the European research infrastructures and projects where we take part (LifeWatch and Assemble Plus). Culture collections of selected microalgae and microbes will be maintained to ensure validated local strains for their physiological and biotechnological exploration. The outcome of the programme will provide a significant advancement of the state-of-the-art in a variety of fields, particularly with regard to the marine plastics problem, including the detection, chemical identification, and ecological impacts of plastics. We aim to turn some of the negative effects of artificial and natural environmental threats into benefits by exploring their potential uses in wastewater treatment, bioremediation, and aquaculture solutions. Moreover, the biotechnological potential of the jellyfish-microbiome that causes microorganisms to synthesise enzymes and other compounds is largely unexploited and may lead to unforeseeable biological, medical, or pharmaceutical applications. Our work will also lead to new insights on how to use empirical data in ecological and oceanographic models to yield possible warning systems for coastal zones and projections for future climatic scenarios.
Significance for the country
One of the main challenges currently faced by Slovenian society with regard to its marine environment and ecosystems is to find a balance between economic prosperity and the preservation of higher ecosystem services on a relatively short coastline along the edge of a small and vulnerable marine basin. There are existing guidelines set forth to achieve this balance, both on a global (Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG14 and the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, 2021-2030), European (Blue Growth strategy and various directives), and national level (Slovenian Development Strategy 2030 and Slovenian Smart Specialisation Strategy – S4). As scientists we should strive to support their application and implementation through research and fostering science–stakeholder partnerships. The programme will provide guidelines and recommendations for stakeholders on how to mitigate and reduce the anthropogenic impact in the northern Adriatic and similar coastal systems worldwide. Scientific progress in the fields of aquaculture and biotechnology will create possibilities to facilitate Blue Growth. Our programme directly contributes to the stated goals for achieving Blue Growth, provides additional know-how and improved access to information about the sea (operational oceanography, new biological observation systems based on omics tools), contributes to risk assessment and security (forecasting, provision of information by large observational infrastructure to search and secure operations at sea), and it is in line with several national research priorities, regional strategies and conventions (BlueMed, EUSAIR, Barcelona Convention). The development of ecological indices and Essential Biodiversity Variables will strengthen our capability to assess the environmental status of marine waters following Marine Strategy Directive (2008/56/EC), which will help decision-makers to maintain or achieve Good Environmental Status. Biodiversity research of benthic communities and habitats in marine protected areas as well as studies of the impact on sea level rise in exposed low-lying coastal areas lend support to managers of protected areas to formulate regional plans of coastal protections. This will help decision-makers achieve the Aichi Target 11 of the Convention on Biological Diversity according to which at least 10 % of coastal and marine areas must be protected by 2020. Right now, less than 3% of Slovenian coastal and marine areas are protected. Our work on seafood traceability, toxic agents and harmful algal blooms, the nutritional value of farmed fish when using ‘nonconventional’ fish feed, the risks associated with invasive species and the spread of diseases in natural fish populations and aquaculture will directly contribute to some of the priorities mentioned in S4, namely a sustainable food production and the transition to a circular economy. Aquaculture production is projected to increase by more than 30% globally by 2030, which can have negative consequences for the marine environment that need to be assessed. Collaboration with different companies in the capitalisation of our results will offer solutions for a variety of sea-connected industries: aquaculture companies, tourism (thermal, wellness), fisheries, and ports. The promotion of our work through outreach activities (open door events, researcher nights) and other dissemination strategies (social media, popular science publications and newsletters, website) will raise awareness in the general public about the importance of scientific exploration. The training of pedagogic workers and stakeholders, the supervising of pupils and students during internships, and the education of experts will widen their perspectives in the labour market.
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