'I applied to (EMBRC's) ASSEMBLE Plus (programme) to collect ascidians species from the marine environment of three access providers: Station Biologique de Roscoff (SBR), The Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences in Eilat (IUI), and Hellenic Centre of Marine Research (HCMR). Ascidians are one of the main components of biofouling: when introduced, they can rapidly grow and become invasive.

My goal is the early identification of non-indigenous species, as well as the identification of possible complex/cryptic/new species, through an integrated taxonomy approach, since exact specific identification is the major difficulty in ascidians studies.

Thanks to ASSEMBLE Plus I had the opportunity to find and collect several non-indigenous species from all the access providers and this amazing experience gave me the opportunity to obtain a huge quantity of data that I will analyse during my PhD.

And more to the point, all the different local teams of researchers were incredibly supportive, playing a fundamental role in the success of the project!'

Federica Montesanto's research Federica Montesanto's research

*ASSEMBLE Plus is funded by Horizon 2020 under grant agreement number 730984