Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn | Assemble+

Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn


Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn  (SZN) was founded in 1872 as a privately owned and operated marine biological research station where scientists and students from all over the world could perform their research on fresh material or even living marine organisms without bother. The SZN provided the facilities and its staff took care of logistics and assistance. At present, the SZN is a publicly owned research institute operated by the Ministry of Research and Higher Education (MIUR).

SZN provides access to species-rich Mediterranean ecosystems including seagrass beds and a shallow high-CO2–low pH volcanic cold seep. Model taxa include microalgae, seagrass, echinoderms, cephalopods, ascidians (Ciona intestinalis), Amphioxus and marine turtles. The mission of SZN is research on the biology and ecology of marine organisms, the study of their biodiversity, the analysis of fundamental biological processes and their potential biotechnological applications. Marine life is studied in close connection with the evolution and the dynamics of the marine ecosystems. SZN undertakes research in the field of marine bioresources with particular reference to the biotechnologies addressed to the exploitation of molecules of marine origin for industrial processes, for the pharmaceutics, nutraceutics and other fields of interest. SZN is organized in two research sections and one section focused on RTD and service provision. SZN includes the main facilities at HQ in Naples, a benthic ecology lab at Ischia Porto, and a marine turtle recuperation and research centre at Portici.


Main Services

Marine ecosystems
Biodiverse Mediterranean (rocky and soft-bottom) benthic and pelagic ecosystems including seagrass beds, steep drop-offs and near-shore submarine canyons; LTER sites where plankton is sampled and enumerated weekly, and metadata in real-time; a natural high-CO2 – low-pH cold seep (forecasting future community structure); heavy-metals-impacted sites and pristine ones for comparative studies.

Provision of Biological resources and culture collections
SZN hosts an extensive scientific collection of preserved specimens including numerous type specimens of organisms collected and described in the Gulf of Naples since SZN’s foundation. The collection is accessible virtually here.

Marine models include: microalgae (diatoms: Chaetoceros, Leptocylindrus, Phaeodactylum, Pseudo-nitzschia, Skeletonema; and dinoflagellates: Ostreopsis), seagrass (Posidonia oceanica), echinoderms (e.g. Paracentrotus), cephalopods, ascidians (Ciona intestinalis), Amphioxus and marine turtles (only for veterinary and conservation research).

Microalgae include genetically modified diatom cultures and cell lines for research and biotech.

Access to ecosystems
The Environmental Access & Sampling Unit (MEDA) maintains three coastal research vessels (2 at Naples; 1 at Ischia) with ROV, SCUBA, WaveGlider and oceanographic equipment. The Unit provides access to monitoring buoys, LTERs for sampling and data, and mesocosms.

Access to marine environments

Posidonia beds, LTER MareChiara for monitoring of environmental data, phyto-, zoo- and bacterioplankton, Biota on rocky and sandy substrata, a high-CO2 volcanic marine site.

Main marine model organisms 

Amphioxus, Caretta, Ciona, cephalopods, copepods, sea urchins, Posidonia, planktonic microalgae

Technology platforms
…are organised into service Units within the research services department RIMAR.

  • The Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics Unit MB&BI provides Sanger and NGS sequencing, RT-PCR and high throughput robotic sample processing.
  • The Microscopy & Bioimaging Unit AMOBIO offers assisted access to SEM and TEM (GEOL 6600F; LEO 912AB), processing and sectioning services, elemental analysis, confocal microscopy, live imaging, digital imaging and microinjection. The Flow Cytometry Platform provides cell analyses based on three excitation sources, high-throughput cell sorting and recovering, and other cellular-level manipulations and measurements.
  • The Service MOTax in the Organism Maintenance & Breeding Unit MaRe offers taxonomic identification services of marine organisms offers assisted access to culture and experimental facilities, including aquarium tanks, climate-controlled rooms, indoor mesocosms and bioreactors.
  • The Environmental Access & Sampling Unit MEDA offers biochemical analysis of environmental samples.
  • Other platforms in the research sections include those for electrophysiology, cell culture, toxicology, biological analysis and in-situ hybridisation.

Experimental facilities
The Unit MaRe within the department RIMAR offers assisted access to culture and experimental facilities, including aquarium tanks, climate-controlled rooms, indoor mesocosms and bioreactors.

Training and education
Service staff will provide training in the use of the platforms and technologies and assist, if needed, with experimental design and troubleshooting. Staff provides specialist courses for experts as well as consultancy.

E-infrastructures and associate services
MEDA provides access to databases generated at the LTER stations, monitoring buoys and mesocosms. Bioinformatics support became operational in 2017.

Supporting facilities
SZN is organised in to two research sections, which are focussed on RTD and service provision. The sections manage specialised research laboratories. Visiting scientists can be hosted in these laboratories and have access to the platforms and services through the lab management. Users wishing to work independently have access to dedicated TA labs equipped with standard equipment and disposables; technical staff liaises access to the services. Amenities include a lunch restaurant as well as conference and lecture facilities for up to 80 persons. SZN provides no in-house lodging, but numerous restaurants, hotels and B&Bs are in walking distance of SZN. Administration assists with hotel reservations.

Villa Comunale
80121 Napoli NA
Parent Member Country: 

Website developed and maintained by Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) | Privacy Policy