PISCAS – Scientific School

14-18 september 2020

About the School:

The PISCAS Scientific School is organized by IMC Foundation in collaboration with IAS and ISMAR CNR. The school wants to achieve a double objective: on the one hand it is aimed at highly specialized training of researchers variously involved in research in the field of territorial data analysis, environmental and predictive modeling, integration of complex data to support integrated management of the range Coastal and Maritime Spatial Planning, on the other hand provide knowledge of processes and tools applied for maritime spatial planning and implementation of directives on marine strategy to technicians of the regional public administration. The aim of the school is also to present examples of applications of the tools described in other Italian regions and in the Mediterranean concerning both fish farms and shellfish production.
The Scientific School therefore intends to enhance the skills and results of the research of the Science and Technology Park of Sardinia.
The program includes lectures and practical exercises and will encourage the exchange of experiences between experts and school participants.
The school will provide scientific expertise on the issues of Integrated Coastal Management and Maritime Spatial Planning in the context of Integrated Maritime Policy, Blue Growth and other European policies. In particular, it will be oriented towards the definition of the best tools to ensure the development and sustainable growth of aquaculture through coordinated space planning and the increase in the potential of the sites.
The PISCAS Scientific School will take place in 15 to 19 June 2020. Both lessons and practical activities will be held in the facilities and laboratories of the IMC Foundation. The SS is organized over 5 days of which one afternoon dedicated to an event open to the territory.
The contents of the Scientific School can conceptually be divided into three parts:

  1. The Maritime Space Planning (PSM) process in its various phases;
  2. Maritime Spatial Planning Tools and Data Management
  3. Applications of agricultural-scale models in the zoning of aquaculture

The event open to the territory will be organized with the direct involvement of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Service of the Department of Agriculture and Agro-Pastoral Reform of the Sardinia Region, and will be aimed at public administrations, companies, businesses, students, citizens.
In addition to the teachers included in the scientific school’s training program, national and international experts from the aquaculture sector, in particular shellfish farming, and officials from the Fisheries Service who will present regional aquaculture policies will be involved in the open discussion.

The Scientific School is addressed to students, graduates in scientific disciplines of national and / or international origin, PhD students, researchers and public administration technicians. The maximum number of members is 20 students. The Scientific School will be active if the minimum number of 15 students is reached. In the event that the applications received are greater than the number of places available, a list of those admitted will be drawn up, taking into account the chronological order and the curriculum.
In order to increase the number of formats, the lectures will also be open to other students, as auditors, up to a maximum of 35 people.

The application form must be completed, attaching a CV and a copy of the identity document before 31/07/2020.

Participants will receive a notification of acceptance by 14/08/2020.

Selected participants must confirm their presence by providing a copy of the travel ticket or a receipt from the hotel.


Registration form

*Attach your CV to the application (.pdf or .doc format, max 5mb)

*Please attach a copy of your identity card to the application (.pdf or .jpg format, max 2mb)

*The fields marked with an asterisk are required.


The IMC is a research institution whose main objective is to promote scientific research aimed at the proper management of bio-resources and the Mediterranean marine environment.
The IMC role in regional research system aims at bringing scientific and technological solutions in support of sustainable production systems that employ in their processes marine and coastal resources, and at the same time the stimulus of initiatives that can generate wealth and prosperity through the conservation of marine and coastal ecosystems. IMC also makes international scouting of technologies and good practices relevant to local production systems for technology transfer.
In this context, IMC develops research focusing on sustainable aquaculture methods and studies on the reproduction of fish and invertebrates aimed at producing and restocking for the increase in productivity of lagoons and coastal areas.




ISMAR-CNR is based in Venice. ISMAR conducts research in the Mediterranean, oceanic and polar regions, focusing on the evolution of the oceans and their continental margins, submarine volcanoes, faults and slides and their potential impacts on land; influence of climate change on ocean circulation, acidification, biogeochemical cycles and marine productivity and on natural and anthropogenic factors that affect economically and socially on coastal systems from prehistoric times to industrial times. ISMAR has a recognized competence in supporting and promoting observation activities for monitoring the climate, the environment and the oceans, based on the integration of different types of observation techniques (in situ, remote sensing, satellite).

The experience that makes ISMAR the national leader in marine geological cartography, geological and environmental risk assessment, long-term oceanographic time series collection, and interoperable management of marine data, oceanographic modelling for maritime spatial planning and the development of a marine economy based on the ecosystem represents the added value compared to the educational offer of the Scientific School

The specific contribution to the school is linked to the teaching offered by ISMAR researchers.



IAS-CNR is an Institute of 100 people distributed in 5 Sections (Rome, Genoa, Oristano, Palermo, Capo Granitola) with headquarters in Rome. IAS conducts research in following sectors: 1) anthropogenic impacts on the marine ecosystem, 2) cycles biogeochemicals and dynamics of traditional and emerging contaminants, 3) chemical-physical and biological interactions between technologies and the environment marine (corrosion, biodeterioration), 4) effects of global changes on open sea, coastal and lagoon ecosystems, 5) oceanography operational for the management of environmental risk and emergencies from pollution, 6) marine ecology and ecological modeling aimed at conservation of marine ecosystems, 7) development of methodologies for habitat improvement (transplantation and restocking) 8) applications of telemetry and bioacoustics for the study of marine and marine ecosystems transition. Research groups operate in the IAS CNR of Oristano experience in operational oceanography aimed at evaluating the environmental risk (modeling and experimental), in the ecology of marine and lagoon environments and in the interoperable management of databases environmental.

Scientific committee/ Organizing committee

Dr. Stefano Guerzoni
Dr. Andrea Barbanti
Dr. Maura Baroli

The contents of the Scientific School can conceptually be divided into three parts:

Part 1: The Maritime Space Planning (PSM) process in its various phases

Day 1 (4 h presentation + Q&A)

  1. ICZM-MSP in the context of Integrated Maritime Policy, Blue Growth and other EU/Intl. policies
  2. Coast and Sea Uses and MSP: interactions, conflicts, synergies, impacts on the environment
  3. Methodology and key contents of a Maritime Spatial Plan

Practical session (3 h)

  • Transboundary MSP
  • Involvement of stakeholders in MSP
  • Information, data and tools to support planning and decision making (basics)
  • Examples and lessons learnt from European and International MSP projects and Plans
  • Planning the Emilia-Romagna coast and sea: guided exercise (practical session)


Part 2: Maritime Spatial Planning Tools and Data Management

Day 2 (4 h presentation + Q&A)

  1. Organize the MSP Knowlege
  2. Manage and share geospatial information
  3. MSFD alignment

Practical session (3h)

  • Decision support tools
  • Maritime Use Conflict analysis
  • Cumulative Effects Assessment


Part 3: Applications of agricultural-scale models in the zoning of aquaculture

Day 3 – (3 hr presentation + Q&A)

  1. Introductory overview on the selection of allocated zones for aquaculture in the Mediterranean Sea, with a focus on carrying and assimilative capacity issues
  2. Indicators for the assessment of aquaculture-environment interactions
  3. Integrated models for simulating functioning and environmental interactions of marine aquaculture farms

Practical session (3h)

  • simulating seabass and seabream growth in different Mediterranean areas using as input remotely sensed time series of water temperature
  • simulating seabass/bream cage emission and deposition under different hydrodynamic conditions with the FiCIM model


Day 4 –(4 h presentation + Q&A)

  1. Using remote sensing and operational oceanography data for aquaculture site selection
  2. Use of farm scale models in combination with GIS for the selection of space for aquaculture
  3. Examples of applications in the Mediterranean area: Fish farm location in the Bejaia region (Algeria); Expanding the shellfish production in the Emilia Romagna region (Italy)

Practical session (3h)

  • integrating farm-scale model outputs in a spatial multi criteria analysis framework by using R
  • simulating a participatory mapping session with stakeholders



Download PISCAS program in .pdf format

The topics of this Scientific School will be presented by the following experts:

Andrea Barbanti

Research Manager at CNR-ISMAR, develops science-to-policy and research activities that promote blue growth. He is a member of the BLUEMED Project Management Team and coordinator of the BLUEMED political platform. He has been coordinating or involved since 2012 in numerous National and Community projects concerning maritime spatial planning (e.g. RITMARE, ADRIPLAN, MUSES, SUPREME, SIMWESTMED, CO-EVOLVE, PORTODIMARE, PHAROS4MPA), developing and testing approaches and tools for MSP in the Adriatic-Ionian region and in the Mediterranean and support in all aspects of the MSP implementation process. It is National Focal Point for the MSPglobal initiative.

Roberto Pastres

PhD, Associate Professor of Ecology at the Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics. Experience in modelling the interactions between aquaculture and the environment, with particular reference to shellfish growing and cage breeding at sea, and in the development of modelling tools for assessing the local impact of farms on water quality, sediment biogeochemistry and on the community benthic. He currently applies environmental accounting methods, such as Life Cycle Analysis and Energy Analysis, to the assessment of the global impacts of aquaculture activities. Coordinator of FP7 MEDINA – Marine Ecosystem Dynamics and Indicators for North Africa, and H2020 GAIN -Green Aquaculture INtensification in Europe (www.unive.it/gainh2020_eu) projects. He is the author of over 60 scientific publications.

Alessandro Sarretta

PhD in environmental sciences and a post-graduate master’s degree in GIS and remote sensing. He specialized in the development and support of spatial data infrastructures working at the European Commission, JRC (2009-2012), dealing with the implementation of the INSPIRE directive. Since 2012 he has been a researcher at the CNR (at the Institute of marine sciences until 2019, now at the Research Institute for geo-hydrological protection), where he has been involved in various national and European projects dealing with interoperable infrastructures spatial data, Maritime spatial planning and implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. He is involved in various development, support and dissemination activities on topics related to open source software, open data and open science.

Stefano Menegon

PhD in computer science for environmental sciences. Environmental engineer expert in geospatial analysis, geostatistics, environmental and predictive modelling, integration of complex data, data sharing strategies, interoperable infrastructure and collaborative geospatial web applications. He is currently Senior Research-Technologist at CNR-ISMAR. He is working on the design and development of geospatial tools to support ICZM and MSP (Integrated coastal zone management and Maritime Space Planning) activities. In particular, his research interest includes the evaluation of cumulative effects, the analysis of compromise synergies, the socio-economic spatial analysis and the services of the marine ecosystem.

Erika Porporato

Erika M.D. Porporato is a marine ecologist with a PhD in Environmental Sciences. Since 2020 researcher at the IMC – International Marine Centre Foundation. Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice from 2015 to 2020. Since 2019 FAO consultant on aquaculture and expert monitoring reviewer for the Research Executive Agency of the European Commission. She was involved in different national and international projects, organisation of scientific meetings and leading of research expeditions.

She is a researcher interested in diversity and ecosystem functioning, macroecology and species’ response to anthropogenic (aquaculture and fisheries) and environmental alterations, with particular interest in the effects of climate change and multiple stressors. Her current research interests are focused on the Allocated Zones for Aquaculture identification, through the use of satellite data, within the process of the Maritime Spatial Planning.

Daniele Brigolin

PhD in environmental sciences at the Ca ‘Foscari University of Venice in 2008, with a thesis on the sustainability of marine aquaculture. From 2012 to 2017 researcher in ecology at the Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics of the University of Venice. His research interest is on the direct and indirect effects of anthropogenic pressures on the functioning of natural and modified ecosystems. He deals with adaptive management of lagoons and coastal systems of the Mediterranean, in the context of climate change and in relation to different types of pressures and interventions, mainly aquaculture, fishing, morphological interventions and restoration and the assessment of the environmental sustainability of food production, through life cycle assessment. In this context, he currently coordinates the Interreg Italia-Slovenia Bluegrass project.

The Scientific School PISCAS is open to researchers at any stage of their scientific career.

The places are limited to 20 students. 11 places are reserved for people resident or domicilied in Sardinia. To increase the audience, the workshop has no limit of participants.

No registration fees are requested. The participants will benefit from lessons, teaching materials, coffee breaks, lunches and transfers between IMC and the agreed upon Scientific School Hotel at Oristano.


The application form must be completed, attaching a CV and a copy of the identity document before 31/07/2020.

Participants will receive a notification of acceptance by 14/08/2020.

Selected participants must confirm their presence by providing a copy of the travel ticket or a receipt from the hotel.


Registration form

*Attach your CV to the application (.pdf or .doc format, max 5mb)

*Please attach a copy of your identity card to the application (.pdf or .jpg format, max 2mb)

*The fields marked with an asterisk are required.