Janja Francé

france janja color france janja blue

Senior Research Associate


+386 (0)5 9232 934

E-mail address:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Areas of interest:

Toxic phytoplankton species and harmful algal blooms

National monitoring program of coastal sea quality




I was born in 1975 in Koper, Slovenia. I finished the undergraduate study of biology at the University of Ljubljana in 2001. Since 2002, when I obtained the position of a graduate student at Marine Biology Station Piran, I’ve been involved in the study of phytoplankton ecology. For my Master thesis completed in 2005, I have extensively studied the ecology of dinoflagellates, especially those that are considered as harmful or toxic. Under the supervision of dr. Patricija Mozetič, I defended the thesis entitled “The ecological characteristics of planktonic dinoflagellates (Dinophyceae) in the Gulf of Trieste with an emphasis on toxic species”. For my PhD thesis, I’ve broadened my interest to the whole phytoplankton community with the scope of analyzing long-term series of data in order to detect trends or shifts over certain time-periods of biological parameters, such as phytoplankton biomass, community and group abundance, and species composition. I obtained the PhD in 2009 with the thesis entitled “Long-term structural changes of the phytoplankton community of the Gulf of Trieste (northern Adriatic)”. In my present research, I focus on different aspects of the phytoplankton ecology, from pelagic primary production, seasonality and long-term changes in phytoplankton community, its role in the food web, to eutrophication and evaluation of the ecological status of the sea.



• 08.-13.06.2003: UNEP-MAP »First course of training for technical operators on Coastal Water Eutrophication Monitoring Programme (MED-POL. Phase III)«, Cesenatico, Italy

• 15.-19.06.2009: GEOHAB Modeling workshop, Galway, Ireland

• 16.-26.08.2010: IOC training course on the biology of harmful marine microalgae, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark  






• Sensing toxicants in Marine waters makes Sense (SMS), EU FP7 OCEAN 2013.1, 2013-2016

• Ballast water management for Adriatic Sea protection (BALMAS, Adriatic IPA Crossborder Cooperation 2007-2013), 2013-2016

Trecorala - TREzze e CORalligeno dell’ALto Adriatico: valorizzazione e gestione sostenibile nel Golfo di Trieste; CBC Programme Italy-Slovenia, 2012-2014

• Marine debris removal and preventing further litter entry (MarineClean, EU CIP Eco-Innovation), 2011-2014, nosilka projekta

• Collaboration Slovenia – Croatia 2006-2007: Harmful marine microalgae (HAB) in the Adriatic Sea: methodology, monitoring and mitigation of harmful blooms«





 Toxic phytoplankton species and harmful algal blooms are still my primary area of interest. In 2010 I attended the “IOC-Training Course on the Biology of Harmful Marine Microalgae” at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. By successfully passing the exam I obtained the “Certificate of Proficiency in Identification of Harmful Marine Microalgae”


• I’ve been involved in monitoring program of toxic phytoplankton species at mariculture areas for many years







• I’ve been also involved in national monitoring program of the quality of coastal sea, and from 2014 onwards I’m leading the monitoring activities at the Marine Biology Station.


• I’m participating also in the development of methodologies for the assessment of the ecological status of the sea according to Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC) and Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC). I’m the leader of the latter project.


I’m the National expert for phytoplankton in the Mediterranean intercalibration group MedGIG.






1. TAMŠE, Samo, MOZETIČ, Patricija, FRANCÉ, Janja, OGRINC, Nives. Stable isotopes as a tool for nitrogen source identification and cycling in the Gulf of Trieste (Northern Adriatic). Continental Shelf Research, ISSN 0278-4343. [Print ed.], 2014, vol. 91, str. 145-157, doi: 10.1016/j.csr.2014.09.009. [COBISS.SI-ID 27952679]  


2. TALABER, Iva, FRANCÉ, Janja, MOZETIČ, Patricija. How phytoplankton physiology and community structure adjust to physical forcing in a coastal ecosystem (northern Adriatic Sea). Phycologia, ISSN 0031-8884, 2014, vol. 53, št. 1, str. 74-85. http://www.phycologia.org/doi/abs/10.2216/13-196.1. [COBISS.SI-ID 3040847


3. FRANCÉ, Janja, MOZETIČ, Patricija. Preliminary study on vertical migrations of dinoflagellates in a dynamic coastal sea (Gulf of Trieste, northern Adriatic). Acta Adriatica, ISSN 0001-5113, 2012, vol. 53, št. 2, str. 181-188. [COBISS.SI-ID 2691151


Link to COBISS, a Slovenian database containing all my publications