Scientific Committee

Alberto Basset

Alberto is full professor of Ecology and coordinator of the University of Salento research team in the National Biodiversity Future Centre Sustainability at the University of Salento: he is also associate scientist at the Research Institute on Terrestrial Ecosystems of the National Research Council. His main research interests are in biodiversity organization and ecosystem functioning, with a particular focus on aquatic ecosystems. He is author of more than 200 papers in ecological journals. Currently, he is past-President of the European Ecological Federation, President of the Euro-Mediterranean Federation of research networks on lagoon ecosystems, he is member of the board of editors of international journals in ecology, with different levels of responsibilities and is the deeply involved in the European Research eScience Infrastructure on biodiversity and ecosystems ‘LifeWatch-ERIC’, as Head of the Infrastructure’s Service Centre and member of the General Assembly.

Alberto Basset

Alberto is full professor of Ecology and coordinator of the University of Salento research team in the National Biodiversity Future Centre Sustainability at the University of Salento: he is also associate scientist at the Research Institute on Terrestrial Ecosystems of the National Research Council. His main research interests are in biodiversity organization and ecosystem functioning, with a particular focus on aquatic ecosystems. He is author of more than 200 papers in ecological journals. Currently, he is past-President of the European Ecological Federation, President of the Euro-Mediterranean Federation of research networks on lagoon ecosystems, he is member of the board of editors of international journals in ecology, with different levels of responsibilities and is the deeply involved in the European Research eScience Infrastructure on biodiversity and ecosystems ‘LifeWatch-ERIC’, as Head of the Infrastructure’s Service Centre and member of the General Assembly.

Alessandra Saponieri

Alessandra Saponieri, GNRAC affiliated, is a Civil Coastal Engineer cum Laude at the Polytechnic University of Bari (Italy). At the present she is an Associate Professor at the Department of Engineering for Innovation of University of Salento (Italy). She got a Ph.D. in Hydraulic Engineering for Environmental and Territory at the University of Calabria (Italy, 2012) with a thesis in Coastal Engineering. Main research topics deal with experimental as well as numerical applications of beach morphodynamics, swash-zone hydrodynamics, infiltration processes inside beaches, waves-structures interaction, wave energy, coastal monitoring and coastal risk assessment.

Alessandra Saponieri

Alessandra Saponieri, GNRAC affiliated, is a Civil Coastal Engineer cum Laude at the Polytechnic University of Bari (Italy). At the present she is an Associate Professor at the Department of Engineering for Innovation of University of Salento (Italy). She got a Ph.D. in Hydraulic Engineering for Environmental and Territory at the University of Calabria (Italy, 2012) with a thesis in Coastal Engineering. Main research topics deal with experimental as well as numerical applications of beach morphodynamics, swash-zone hydrodynamics, infiltration processes inside beaches, waves-structures interaction, wave energy, coastal monitoring and coastal risk assessment.

Enzo Pranzini

Formerly Full Professor of Physical Geography and Geomorphology, he now teaches Coastal Dynamics and Shore protection at the University of Florence, affiliated to GNRAC. He carries out researches on the causes of coastal erosion, anthropic impact on coastal dynamics, and strategies and techniques to adapt to marine ingression. He is the author of over 300 scientific publications and numerous books, including La forma delle coste (Zanichelli) and editor, with Allan Williams, of Coastal erosion and protection in Europe (Routledge).

Enzo Pranzini

Formerly Full Professor of Physical Geography and Geomorphology, he now teaches Coastal Dynamics and Shore protection at the University of Florence, affiliated to GNRAC. He carries out researches on the causes of coastal erosion, anthropic impact on coastal dynamics, and strategies and techniques to adapt to marine ingression. He is the author of over 300 scientific publications and numerous books, including La forma delle coste (Zanichelli) and editor, with Allan Williams, of Coastal erosion and protection in Europe (Routledge).

Fabio Bozzeda

Dr. Fabio Bozzeda, researcher at the University of Salento, conducted his doctoral studies at the University of Bologna, with a focus on the response of beach ecosystems to flooding events. Subsequently, he worked at the Austral University of Chile, specializing in modeling socio-ecological systems using machine learning approaches. Currently, he is engaged in complex modeling applied to understanding the response of coastal biodiversity to climate change-induced change.

Fabio Bozzeda

Dr. Fabio Bozzeda, researcher at the University of Salento, conducted his doctoral studies at the University of Bologna, with a focus on the response of beach ecosystems to flooding events. Subsequently, he worked at the Austral University of Chile, specializing in modeling socio-ecological systems using machine learning approaches. Currently, he is engaged in complex modeling applied to understanding the response of coastal biodiversity to climate change-induced change.

Guilherme Corte

He is a Professor (Assistant) at the College of Science and Mathematics at the University of the Virgin Islands, USA. As a marine ecologist, he has investigated the beaches of North and South America, the Caribbean, and Australia. His research focuses on the interface between ecological science and the management of biological resources and seeks to provide ecological knowledge to preserve, manage, and enhance natural resources and ecosystems.

Guilherme Corte

He is a Professor (Assistant) at the College of Science and Mathematics at the University of the Virgin Islands, USA. As a marine ecologist, he has investigated the beaches of North and South America, the Caribbean, and Australia. His research focuses on the interface between ecological science and the management of biological resources and seeks to provide ecological knowledge to preserve, manage, and enhance natural resources and ecosystems.

Joao Carlos Marques

João Carlos Marques (1957, Lisbon, Portugal), received a graduate degree in biology from the University of Lisbon in 1980, and earned a PhD in ecology from the University of Coimbra (Portugal) in 1989. Professor Marques was vice-rector for Scientific Research at the University of Coimbra from 2003 to 2007, and Director of the Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre (MARE) and scientific coordinator of MAREFOZ, the advanced laboratory of MARE at Figueira da Foz, from 2016 to 2022. A marine and estuarine ecologist, he has worked on biological and ecological processes in marine and estuarine ecosystems, systems ecology, and ecological modelling. Since 1990, he has coordinated 24 large research projects both funded by the Portuguese Agencies and European Union Programs, and has also participated as a member of the research team in 30 others. Thus far, he has authored or coauthored more than 350 scientific papers in international refereed journals, 7 books, and 28 book chapters (international editions), and supervised (thesis concluded) 51 MSc and 34 PhD students in Portugal and abroad, in addition to supervising numerous post- doctoral works. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Ecological Indicators Journal – Elsevier since 2016, and also of the Environmental and Sustainability Indicators Journal – Elsevier, since 2019. He was the recipient of the Prigogine Gold Medal Award in 2017.

Joao Carlos Marques

João Carlos Marques (1957, Lisbon, Portugal), received a graduate degree in biology from the University of Lisbon in 1980, and earned a PhD in ecology from the University of Coimbra (Portugal) in 1989. Professor Marques was vice-rector for Scientific Research at the University of Coimbra from 2003 to 2007, and Director of the Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre (MARE) and scientific coordinator of MAREFOZ, the advanced laboratory of MARE at Figueira da Foz, from 2016 to 2022. A marine and estuarine ecologist, he has worked on biological and ecological processes in marine and estuarine ecosystems, systems ecology, and ecological modelling. Since 1990, he has coordinated 24 large research projects both funded by the Portuguese Agencies and European Union Programs, and has also participated as a member of the research team in 30 others. Thus far, he has authored or coauthored more than 350 scientific papers in international refereed journals, 7 books, and 28 book chapters (international editions), and supervised (thesis concluded) 51 MSc and 34 PhD students in Portugal and abroad, in addition to supervising numerous post- doctoral works. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Ecological Indicators Journal – Elsevier since 2016, and also of the Environmental and Sustainability Indicators Journal – Elsevier, since 2019. He was the recipient of the Prigogine Gold Medal Award in 2017.

Kyle Emery

"My research is focused on sandy beach ecology and ecosystem connectivity between sandy beaches and adjacent ecosystems. I study the role of wrack in structuring sandy beach invertebrate communities and facilitating ecosystem functions as well as its role in the coastal food web. I am also currently working to incorporate remote sensing methodologies into this research using drone technology and satellite imagery. I am also involved with research on beach invertebrate population genetics, surf zone fish communities, and kelp forest ecosystems."

Kyle Emery, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles

Kyle Emery

"My research is focused on sandy beach ecology and ecosystem connectivity between sandy beaches and adjacent ecosystems. I study the role of wrack in structuring sandy beach invertebrate communities and facilitating ecosystem functions as well as its role in the coastal food web. I am also currently working to incorporate remote sensing methodologies into this research using drone technology and satellite imagery. I am also involved with research on beach invertebrate population genetics, surf zone fish communities, and kelp forest ecosystems."

Kyle Emery, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles

Linda Harris

Linda Harris a spatial ecologist working in coastal and marine systems at the Nelson Mandela University, South Africa. Her work primarily involves mapping biodiversity patterns, ecological processes and ecosystem services for inclusion in spatial prioritization, and doing systematic conservation planning, marine spatial planning, and integrated coastal zone management. This work includes ecosystem classification and mapping, species distribution modelling, and animal movement ecology. She specializes in sandy beach ecology, with a keen interest in ghost crabs and other macrofauna species, and is passionate about advancing land-sea connectivity in conservation and management, especially across the dune-beach-(estuary)-sea interface.

Linda Harris

Linda Harris a spatial ecologist working in coastal and marine systems at the Nelson Mandela University, South Africa. Her work primarily involves mapping biodiversity patterns, ecological processes and ecosystem services for inclusion in spatial prioritization, and doing systematic conservation planning, marine spatial planning, and integrated coastal zone management. This work includes ecosystem classification and mapping, species distribution modelling, and animal movement ecology. She specializes in sandy beach ecology, with a keen interest in ghost crabs and other macrofauna species, and is passionate about advancing land-sea connectivity in conservation and management, especially across the dune-beach-(estuary)-sea interface.

Leonardo Costa

Leonardo (Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro, Brasil) has developed research on coastal ecology and conservation, with emphasis on the aplicaticon of indicador species, umbrella species and flagship species as monitoring and management tools. His bulk of scientific contribution is related with sandy beach research. He also coordinates the conservation organization named "Praia com Vida" in Brazil.

Leonardo Costa

Leonardo (Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro, Brasil) has developed research on coastal ecology and conservation, with emphasis on the aplicaticon of indicador species, umbrella species and flagship species as monitoring and management tools. His bulk of scientific contribution is related with sandy beach research. He also coordinates the conservation organization named "Praia com Vida" in Brazil.

Lucia Fanini

Dr. Lucia Fanini, researcher at the University of Salento, works on sandy beaches since 2003, progressively incorporating the concept of drivers from the Social Ecological Systems approach into her research. She applies her background in ethology to address questions about beach macroinvertebrates’ response to a changing environment, including human-driven impacts. Lucia’s work is focused on the Mediterranean in comparison with oceanic shores, and on the consideration of multi-scale patterns of diversity. Lucia has been chairing the last (pre Covid-19 pandemic) ISBS (2018, Crete, Greece). She established a thematic group of editors for the World registry of Marine Species to address traits of talitroid amphipods, one of the taxa dominant in abundance around sandy shores worldwide.

Lucia Fanini

Dr. Lucia Fanini, researcher at the University of Salento, works on sandy beaches since 2003, progressively incorporating the concept of drivers from the Social Ecological Systems approach into her research. She applies her background in ethology to address questions about beach macroinvertebrates’ response to a changing environment, including human-driven impacts. Lucia’s work is focused on the Mediterranean in comparison with oceanic shores, and on the consideration of multi-scale patterns of diversity. Lucia has been chairing the last (pre Covid-19 pandemic) ISBS (2018, Crete, Greece). She established a thematic group of editors for the World registry of Marine Species to address traits of talitroid amphipods, one of the taxa dominant in abundance around sandy shores worldwide.

Mike Elliott

Mike is the Director of International Estuarine & Coastal Specialists (IECS) Ltd and also the Emeritus Professor of Estuarine and Coastal Sciences at the University of Hull, UK. His wide teaching, research, advisory and consultancy interests include estuarine and marine ecology, policy, governance and management. Mike has published widely, co-authoring/co- editing 20 books/proceedings and >350 scientific publications. He has advised on many environmental matters for academia, industry, government and statutory bodies worldwide and is a member of many national and international committees linking marine science to policy. Mike is a past-President of the international Estuarine & Coastal Sciences Association (ECSA) and is now Vice-Chair of Future Earth Coasts and a Co-Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Estuarine, Coastal & Shelf Science; he currently is or has had Adjunct Professor and Research positions at several universities worldwide.

Mike Elliott

Mike is the Director of International Estuarine & Coastal Specialists (IECS) Ltd and also the Emeritus Professor of Estuarine and Coastal Sciences at the University of Hull, UK. His wide teaching, research, advisory and consultancy interests include estuarine and marine ecology, policy, governance and management. Mike has published widely, co-authoring/co- editing 20 books/proceedings and >350 scientific publications. He has advised on many environmental matters for academia, industry, government and statutory bodies worldwide and is a member of many national and international committees linking marine science to policy. Mike is a past-President of the international Estuarine & Coastal Sciences Association (ECSA) and is now Vice-Chair of Future Earth Coasts and a Co-Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Estuarine, Coastal & Shelf Science; he currently is or has had Adjunct Professor and Research positions at several universities worldwide.

Omar Defeo

Omar Defeo is a Professor in the Marine Science Laboratory (UNDECIMAR) at the Faculty of Sciences (Universidad de la República, Uruguay). His research focuses on the ecology, management and conservation of sandy beach ecosystems and the multifaceted threats they face from various external drivers. He has conducted long-term studies to assess the impact of human activities on invertebrate populations and communities within these vulnerable systems. Defeo's expertise extends to the assessment and management of small-scale fisheries, with a particular emphasis on Latin American countries. His specialization lies in the development of co-management practices aimed at enhancing ecological knowledge and improving the management of harvested species. He recognizes the critical role of markets, climate change, and governance as drivers that significantly influence fisheries sustainability and biodiversity conservation. Defeo has authored over 200 papers in international journals. He has also published a book titled "Ecology of Sandy Shores"; and has contributed to four FAO Fisheries Technical Papers. Moreover, he has provided guidance and mentorship to more than 100 graduate and postgraduate students from Uruguay, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, Chile, and Italy. Defeo was awarded the Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation in 2010 and received the National Morosoli Award in Science and Technology. Additionally, he has been honored with two SCOPUS excellence awards in Uruguay, in 2010 and 2018.

Omar Defeo

Omar Defeo is a Professor in the Marine Science Laboratory (UNDECIMAR) at the Faculty of Sciences (Universidad de la República, Uruguay). His research focuses on the ecology, management and conservation of sandy beach ecosystems and the multifaceted threats they face from various external drivers. He has conducted long-term studies to assess the impact of human activities on invertebrate populations and communities within these vulnerable systems. Defeo's expertise extends to the assessment and management of small-scale fisheries, with a particular emphasis on Latin American countries. His specialization lies in the development of co-management practices aimed at enhancing ecological knowledge and improving the management of harvested species. He recognizes the critical role of markets, climate change, and governance as drivers that significantly influence fisheries sustainability and biodiversity conservation. Defeo has authored over 200 papers in international journals. He has also published a book titled "Ecology of Sandy Shores"; and has contributed to four FAO Fisheries Technical Papers. Moreover, he has provided guidance and mentorship to more than 100 graduate and postgraduate students from Uruguay, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, Chile, and Italy. Defeo was awarded the Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation in 2010 and received the National Morosoli Award in Science and Technology. Additionally, he has been honored with two SCOPUS excellence awards in Uruguay, in 2010 and 2018.

Shinji Sassa

Shinji Sassa is Head of Soil Dynamics Group and Research Director of International Research Center for Coastal Disasters, Port and Airport Research Institute, National Institute of Maritime, Port and Aviation Technology, Japan. His expertise includes the role of geophysical environment in sandy beach ecology and hydro-geodynamics based coastal disaster prevention and mitigation. He is the recipient of numerous distinguished awards, including the Prime Minister’s Commendations for Disaster Prevention Merit, the Commendation for Science and Technology by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Outstanding Research Accomplishment Award, Best Paper Award four times, Best Technical Development Award thrice, National Land Technology Development Award, and several Editor Awards for leading international journals. His Liquefaction Prediction and Assessment Paper was Top-Read Paper in ASCE Most Read Articles 2017. He is currently Principal Coordinator of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) Task Group on Submarine Geohazards, Director of the International Consortium on Landslides (ICL), and Chair of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) Technical Committee on Scour and Erosion.

Shinji Sassa

Shinji Sassa is Head of Soil Dynamics Group and Research Director of International Research Center for Coastal Disasters, Port and Airport Research Institute, National Institute of Maritime, Port and Aviation Technology, Japan. His expertise includes the role of geophysical environment in sandy beach ecology and hydro-geodynamics based coastal disaster prevention and mitigation. He is the recipient of numerous distinguished awards, including the Prime Minister’s Commendations for Disaster Prevention Merit, the Commendation for Science and Technology by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Outstanding Research Accomplishment Award, Best Paper Award four times, Best Technical Development Award thrice, National Land Technology Development Award, and several Editor Awards for leading international journals. His Liquefaction Prediction and Assessment Paper was Top-Read Paper in ASCE Most Read Articles 2017. He is currently Principal Coordinator of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) Task Group on Submarine Geohazards, Director of the International Consortium on Landslides (ICL), and Chair of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) Technical Committee on Scour and Erosion.

Thomas Schlacher

Thomas Schlacher trained as a zoologists and marine ecologists. His diverse interests have lately encompassed: i) carbon linkages between landscape elements; ii) ecological indicators; iii) human impacts on ocean-exposed sandy beaches and dunes, iv) threats to shorebirds; v) deep-sea seamounts and canyons; and vi) the ecological role of habitat complexity.

Thomas Schlacher

Thomas Schlacher trained as a zoologists and marine ecologists. His diverse interests have lately encompassed: i) carbon linkages between landscape elements; ii) ecological indicators; iii) human impacts on ocean-exposed sandy beaches and dunes, iv) threats to shorebirds; v) deep-sea seamounts and canyons; and vi) the ecological role of habitat complexity.