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 
Coastal marine ecosystems, complex interactions, climate drivers, anthropogenic pressures, combined stressors, biodiversity, plankton, benthos, microbes, biogeochemistry, circulation, modeling
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (33)
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  2015 - 2019  439 
2.  13407  PhD Branko Čermelj  Biology  Researcher  2015 - 2019  183 
3.  16383  PhD Vesna Flander Putrle  Biology  Researcher  2015 - 2019  227 
4.  50562  PhD Ana Fortič  Biology  Junior researcher  2017 - 2019  51 
5.  22617  PhD Janja France  Biology  Researcher  2015 - 2019  222 
6.  30856  PhD Neli Glavaš  Biology  Researcher  2015 - 2016  68 
7.  26087  PhD Mateja Grego  Biology  Researcher  2015 - 2019  139 
8.  34499  PhD Katja Klun  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2016 - 2019  115 
9.  28331  PhD Tjaša Kogovšek  Biology  Beginner researcher  2015 - 2019  123 
10.  30857  PhD Neža Koron  Biology  Beginner researcher  2015  53 
11.  34503  PhD Maja Kos Kramar  Biology  Junior researcher  2015 - 2016  15 
12.  11600  PhD Nives Kovač  Biology  Researcher  2015 - 2019  290 
13.  11069  PhD Lovrenc Lipej  Biology  Researcher  2015 - 2019  1,074 
14.  18338  Tihomir Makovec    Technical associate  2015 - 2019  387 
15.  05226  PhD Vlado Malačič  Hydrology  Researcher  2015 - 2019  366 
16.  04642  PhD Alenka Malej  Biology  Retired researcher  2015 - 2019  704 
17.  27504  PhD Borut Mavrič  Biology  Researcher  2015 - 2019  356 
18.  11360  PhD Patricija Mozetič  Biology  Head  2015 - 2019  424 
19.  51831  Neža Orel  Biology  Junior researcher  2019  23 
20.  20398  PhD Martina Orlando Bonaca  Biology  Researcher  2015 - 2019  411 
21.  20320  PhD Boris Petelin  Hydrology  Researcher  2019  128 
22.  34474  PhD Valentina Pitacco  Biology  Researcher  2015 - 2019  80 
23.  15367  PhD Andreja Ramšak  Biology  Researcher  2015 - 2019  326 
24.  33223  PhD Lucija Raspor Dall'Olio  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Junior researcher  2015  18 
25.  33151  PhD David Stanković  Biotechnology  Beginner researcher  2017 - 2019  119 
26.  30853  PhD Iva Talaber  Biology  Researcher  2015 - 2016  25 
27.  29618  PhD Tinkara Tinta  Biology  Researcher  2015 - 2018  173 
28.  38171  PhD Domen Trkov  Biology  Junior researcher  2015 - 2019  94 
29.  03764  PhD Valentina Turk  Biology  Researcher  2015 - 2019  413 
30.  39120  PhD Timotej Turk Dermastia  Biology  Junior researcher  2016 - 2019  62 
31.  50564  Borut Umer  Hydrology  Junior researcher  2017 - 2019 
32.  51986  Ivano Vascotto  Biology  Junior researcher  2018 - 2019  18 
33.  31481  PhD Martin Vodopivec  Biology  Junior researcher  2015 - 2017  86 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0105  National Institute of Biology  Ljubljana  5055784  13,277 
Marine biota and the ecosystems of coastal areas are exposed to a combination of multiple drivers that operate over a broad range of spatial and temporal scales. Moreover, anthropogenic stressors drive changes that are embedded into natural variability. Robustness and resilience are key characteristics of a healthy ecosystem determining how much a system can be perturbed without change becoming essentially irreversible. Diversity and the mechanisms that maintain it are crucial aspects of the adaptive capacity of resilient systems; therefore we need an understanding of the ecosystem structure and functioning. Our main objectives are: to improve fundamental scientific understanding of the coastal sea, to address issues relevant to data gathering along with development of an efficient observation system and so to provide information, and to understand the impacts of human activities, therefore collectively contributing the scientific knowledge necessary for informed decision making. Research topics are grouped under three interlinked themes: understanding coastal ecosystem functioning and characterisation of its structural components, understanding the interactions of human activities with coastal ecosystems, developing and improving our descriptive and predictive capabilities using conceptual, empirical and numerical models. Our research will address the role of phytoplankton in the cycling of organic matter, the primary production and the physical-biological relationships with emphasis on photoacclimation. Further research will focus on the fate of the newly synthesized organic matter under different environmental conditions and the responses of bacterial community to natural and anthropogenic perturbations. In the benthic environment special attention will be devoted to multidisciplinary research into biogenic formations which are characterized by outstanding biodiversity richness. Studying the possible impact of benthic filtrators on plankton and the population dynamics of the meroplanktonic jellyfish will advance our knowledge of benthic-pelagic interactions. We will continue our research into the anthropogenic links to phenomena such as marine snow, mucilage events, algal and jellyfish blooms and the effects of selected contaminants. Biogeochemical, microbial and photochemical transformations of natural compounds and selected pollutants in the water column and in sediments will be investigated. Among specific anthropogenic stressors we will focus also on the impacts of maritime transport and ports. With new approaches we will upgrade circulation models, while process oriented modeling will focus on the sediment resuspension and transport due to maritime traffic, waves and currents, and the modeling of jellyfish population dynamics, dispersal and connectivity.
Significance for science
Assessed in monetary terms, ecosystem services provided by coastal seas are among the highest on Earth and the dependence of humans on diverse marine resources is growing. On the other hand seas, in particular coastal and enclosed seas, are changing at an increased rate in response to many different drivers. Increasing our knowledge of marine ecosystems and interactions between humans and seas is thus fundamental for future human welfare. Although knowledge of the marine environment has steadily increased, some processes remain poorly understood. In particular the role of biodiversity and, specifically, microbial life and the complex interactions among its biological, physical and chemical processes need further research and the blending of research methods from different disciplines. Many questions can only be answered through multidisciplinary methodologies, encompassing the molecular level with genomics approaches to state-of-the-art observing systems at sea, and integrating an ecological, physical and biogeochemical ecosystem approach. We propose such a multidisciplinary approach including modelling of processes. This will help elucidate the mechanisms and driving forces of coastal ecosystem dynamics including some harmful phenomena (eutrophication, HAB, mucilage, massive jellyfish outbursts, impacts of pollution and other human activities such as maritime transportation). With our research programme we will contribute to the understanding of the structural characteristics and processes of the coastal and semi-enclosed seas characterized by considerable but changing freshwater inputs and anthropogenic pressures. A characteristic circulation pattern, the physical environment, urbanization and its northernmost position in the Mediterranean Sea make the ecosystem under study (the northern Adriatic) particularly vulnerable to climate change and other stressors. The results of our analyses of long-term fluctuations will help to assess whether signals of global changes translate into modifications of coastal ecosystems and affect different trophic levels. Our research results will provide vital information about the resilience of ecosystems to regime shifts due to interaction of stressors from anthropogenic activities and climate change. The results will also contribute to the understanding of biogeochemical cycles in the marine environment and the functioning of coastal ecosystems.
Significance for the country
Like other coastal countries, Slovenia faces challenges on how to ensure marine ecosystem resilience but at the same time allow sustainable uses of a healthy sea. Coastal tourism, maritime transportation, infrastructure development, fisheries and aquaculture are highly relevant economic sectors that have different environmental quality requirements and are in need of relevant information for their development. Among the priorities of the Slovenian Smart Specialisation Strategy are a healthy environment and food (incl. blue technology), and development of new materials and technologies. Our research programme contributes to several identified Slovenian priority areas: a healthy marine environment and support of international, EU and national efforts to implement environmental objectives for clean, productive and biologically diverse seas as well as development of new methodologies and act as driver for blue technology (new observation systems, genomic and biotechnological methods). The programme is interdisciplinary and includes aspects from ecology, physics, molecular biology and biochemistry with applications in technology. Specifically, research carried out within the programme contributes to the assessment of marine biodiversity and the identification of threats. It focuses on dynamics and the degradation of organic matter in polluted (municipal waste waters, riverine inputs, fish farms) and unpolluted marine environments. Research into toxic phytoplankton contributes to better management of mussel farms and helps protect human health. Physical models developed within the programme are used for assessment of environmental impacts with applications for users such as the main Slovenian port of Koper. National and EU marine policy supports the stewardship of marine resources and ecosystem-based management which apply ecological science to natural resource activities. Research carried out within the programme assists in the implementation of this concept in the marine environment, providing new insights into coastal ecosystem functioning. In coastal areas, the study of benthic habitat types and diversity along with development of an assessment methodology seem to be promising biological tools in addition to the assessment of plankton and chemical indicators and oceanographic parameters. The development of integrated coastal observation systems and merging these systems with data communication and management with modelling facilitates marine assessment and improves our prediction capabilities. We focus on research support for ecosystem-based management, marine observation capabilities and marine forecast. Understanding critical coastal processes and interactions enables the stewardship and responsible use of the marine environment. Our results will be applicable in the field of environmental monitoring and for the development of new remediation technologies. Introduction of new findings into education, outreach and public dissemination activities contributes to marine literacy across all population groups.
Audiovisual sources (1)
no. Title (with video link) Event Source
1.     Research programme video presentation 
Most important scientific results Annual report 2015, interim report, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2015, interim report, final report
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