Phytoplankton ecology






Head of the research group:

Assoc. Prof. Patricija Mozetič, PhD, biology graduate


Dr. Janja Francé, biology graduate

Dr. Vesna Flander Putrle, biology graduate

Timotej Turk Dermastia, young researcher


Milijan Šiško, biology graduate, technical associate




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§ Study of the role of phytoplankton in the pelagic carbon cycle: defining the ecological characteristics of phytoplankton upon biomass, abundance, taxonomic, pigment and size structure

§ primary production measurements

§ phytoplankton physiology: photosynthetic (P-E) parameters, photoacclimation processes, physiological response in relation to physical properties of water column

§ trophic relationships in pelagic ecosystems: top-down contro by zooplankton

§ study of the ecology of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs), identification of toxic phytoplankton species

§ analysis of time series, detection of regime shifts, impacts of climate change and effects of eutrophication through application of different statistical approaches

§ implementation of European legislation in the field of water protection on national level: development of methodologies for the assessment of ecological and environmental status of the sea using phytoplankton

§ expert solutions/judgments for the implementation of national monitoring programmes on the basis of EU directives

§ performing national monitoring programmes

§ Quality Assurance: participation in intercalibration exercises for determination of chlorophyll a in seawater, validation of the fluorometric method for determination of chlorophyll a



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On-going projects:

BALast water MAnagement System for Adriatic Sea protection (BALMAS, IPA Adriatic Cross-border Cooperation Programme, 2013-2016)

Sensing toxicants in Marine waters makes Sense using biosensors (SMS, EU FP7, 2013-2017)

Best practices for action plans to develop integrated, regional monitoring programmes, coordinated programmes of measures and addressing data and knowledge gaps in coastal and marine waters (ACTIONMED, 1. 11. 2015 – 28. 2. 2017)



Formal (projects’ partners) and informal (publications) cooperation with domestic and foreign institutions:

- Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, Split, Croatia

- Center for Marine Research of the Ruđer Bošković Institute (CIM), Rovinj, Croatia

- Ruđer Bošković Institute, Division for Marine and Environmental Research, Zagreb, Croatia

- University of Dubrovnik, Institute for Marine and Coastal Research, Dubrovnik, Croatia

- OGS National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics, Division of Oceanography, Sgonico (TS), Italy

- University of Trieste, Department of Life Sciences, Italy

- ARPA FVG Friuli Venezia Giulia, Palmanova (UD), Italy

- CNR - ISMAR, Venice, Italy - Stazione zoologica Anton Dohrn of Naples, Italy

- Institute »Jožef Stefan«, Department of Environmental Sciences, Ljubljana

- Institute for Water of the Republic of Slovenia, Ljubljana

- Slovenian Environment Agency, Ljubljana

- Administration of the Republic of Slovenia for Food Safety, Veterinary Sector and Plant Protection, Ljubljana

- Veterinary Faculty, University of Ljubljana 

- Institute of Physical Biology, Ljubljana





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FAO/IOC/UNEP Training Workshop on the Statistical Treatment and Interpretation of Marine Community Data, Split, Croatia, 1990; Patricija Mozetič

IOC-Danida Training Course on the Taxonomy and Biology of Harmful Marine Microalgae, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, 1996; Patricija Mozetič

Advanced Phytoplankton Course, Taxonomy and Systematics, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Naples, Italy, 1998 (Patricija Mozetič), 2015 (Janja Francé)

► QUASIMEME Workshop on The Analysis of Chlorophyll a in Seawater, MUMM, Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences, Oostende, Belgium, 2002; Vesna Flander Putrle

UNEP-MAP First course of training for technical operators on Coastal Water Eutrophication Monitoring Programme (MED-POL. Phase III), Cesenatico, Italija, 2003; Janja Francé

IOC-Training Course on the Biology of Harmful Marine Microalgae«, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, 2010; Janja Francé

► Workshop on Phytoplankton Pigment Analyses, DHI, Hørsholm, Denmark, 2010; Vesna Flander Putrle

Certificate of Proficiency in Identification of Harmful Marine Microalgae; Janja Francé

National expert in the intercalibration group MedGIG (implementation of the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC), 1st phase 2005 2007; Patricija Mozetič

National expert in the intercalibration group MedGIG (implementation of the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC), 2nd phase 2008 2011, 3rd phase 2013- ; Janja Francé