2023 Coral Reef Fishes Workshop - MaRHE Center, Maldives

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Davide Seveso

Dec 12, 2022, 2:49:27 PM12/12/22
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Dear Colleagues,


The MaRHE Center of the University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy), would like to announce the opening of registrations for the Workshop "CORAL REEF FISHES: IDENTIFICATION, ECOLOGY, AND CHALLENGES IN A WARMING OCEAN" which will be held at MaRHE Center (Marine Research and High Education Center, www.marhe.unimib.it), on the island of F.Magoodhoo in the Republic of Maldives between 23-31 MARCH 2023.

The upcoming edition will be led by Dr. Davide Seveso (University Milano-Bicocca), Prof. Giovanni Strona (Joint Research Center, European Commission, Ispra, Italy) and Prof. Valeriano Parravicini (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes and CRIOBE, Perpignan, France).


The workshop program includes both daily theoretical lessons, data analysis and result presentations in the classroom, and practical field activities through SCUBA diving in different reefs of the southern part of Faafu Atoll (Maldives). The workshop is aimed at both students (enrolled in bachelor or master's degree courses or in a PhD course) and graduates in the scientific field. A diving license is required. After completion of the workshop, participants will be provided with a certificate of practice and knowledge on coral reef fish ecology through the international virtual certification *Open Badge* issued by the University of Milano-Bicocca.




Click here for the full program and registrations and write to davide...@unimib.it or worksho...@unimib.it for info.


Below, you can find a brief description of the workshop content:


Coral reefs are one of the most biodiverse and beautiful environments on the planet. In this tropical environment, fish communities are a key and vital component for maintaining ecosystem balance and health. They colonize any habitat, modifying it, and are in turn affected by it. Although coral reefs represent less than 1% of the surface of the oceans, they are home to about 25% of known fish species. The fish fauna associated with coral reefs thus represents a fascinating system in terms of richness, complexity and biodiversity, especially in the coral reefs of the Indo-Pacific, where more than 4000 species live overall. In particular, in the coral reefs of the Maldives, which represent about 5% of the area occupied by all the world’s coral ecosystems, more than 1100 species of fish have been recognized, with a variety of shapes, colors and behaviors that reflect the extreme complexity of the reef ecosystem. These multitudes of traits are used by fish to feed, prey, defend themselves or “communicate” and interact with each other and with other organisms, by creating symbiotic association. In addition, the coral reef fish community is also characterized by complex ecological interactions and trophic relationships that generate intricate food webs and ecological networks, whose balances are essential to maintain to support the high ecological functionality of the reef ecosystem. However, also the fish fauna is strongly affected both directly and indirectly by the climate change and the warming of the oceans which are modifying the structure and functionality of the habitat in which they live. The fish fauna thus constitutes an excellent model for studying the state of health of coral reefs and their biogeographical pattern. Furthermore, considering that the survival of many coastal human communities largely depends on tropical fish, the study and description of a fish community can provide useful information for the management of all human activities involving the sea, from fishing to tourism. 

The skills acquired in the field of fish biology and ecology can therefore be used both in the sectors related to the protection and conservation of ecosystems, in the fields of fisheries management and tourism, as well as obviously the fields of academic application. 

At the end of this theoretical-practical course, the student will acquire notions to:

  1. Identify the main families, genera and species of tropical fish associated with the reef habitat of Maldives and Indian Ocean. 
  2. Examine the trophic structure of a reef fish community. 
  3. Understand and describe the temporal and spatial variations (nyctimerial rhythms, reef zonation) of fish communities. 
  4. List the main patterns and processes that influence the structure of a fish community. 
  5. Investigate the impact of climate change related stressors on a fish community.
  6. Design and carry out visual census operations, for the study and monitoring of fish communities. 
  7. Analyze community structure data using taxonomic and functional indices

Thank you in advance for your consideration

Best Regards

Davide Seveso




Davide Seveso, Ph.D
Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences (DISAT),

University of Milano – Bicocca
P.zza della Scienza 1, 20126, Milano, Italy
MaRHE Center, Magoodhoo, Faafu, Maldives
Ph.: +390264482953
mobile: +393398368222





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