Three University of Malta (UM) academics from the Department of Biology and seven UM postgraduate students attended the 42nd Mediterranean Science Commission (CIESM) Congress between 7 and 11 October in Cascais, Portugal, according to a press release sent to Business Malta.
CIESM is the largest association of Mediterranean marine scientists, as the press release says. Its congresses take place every three years and are the main forums where scientists from the Mediterranean and the Black Sea and the adjacent Atlantic present the results of their latest research and exchange ideas.
The three UM academics are Professor Patrick J. Schembri, Julian Evans and Leyla Knittweis and the topics treated by them and the students included the history of invasion of a non-indigenous species of Foraminifera in Maltese coastal waters, the ecology of an alien alga colonising Maltese coasts, the habitats and biodiversity of the deep-sea — 200m to 1000m — around Malta, the discards resulting from the trawl fishery in the Malta Fisheries Management Zone and the management of litter from Fish Aggregation Devices used in the dolphinfish lampuka fishery.
Extended abstracts of the projects presented by the UM representatives will be published in the proceedings of the CIESM Congress.
Moreover, the UM Department of Biology strives to be a centre of excellence in marine biological research, which is fundamental because the University of Malta is part of the European University of the Sea (SEA-EU), which is a consortium of European universities with a maritime tradition funded by the European Commission through its “European Universities” initiative.