Conservation Medicine of Aquatic Animals

For the call 2019 click here

The Specialisation course in Conservation Medicine of Aquatic Animal, organized by Dept. Comparative Biomedicine and Food Science (University of Padova) and Dept. Veterinary Medicine (University of Bari), releases a joint degree UNIPD - UNIBA.

It prepares Professionals who possess the skills to manage aquatic animal with a "One Health" approach. One of the goals of the course is to put togheter international excellences in a single context allowing the students to develop a holistic and multidisciaplinary approach in managing data, information and research in the conservation of marine species following the European Directive.

Cultural means will be provided to prepare management plans and conservations plans in protected marine areas, Natura 200 sites o wherever ther're conflicts with men activities.

Lessons will be held on Friday (9-18) and Saturday (9 - 14)  from November to September. Differently the lessons could be organized in residential weeks too. Attendance is mandatory for at least 70% of the total amount of hours.

The course includes an internship or a projectwork. The internship will last 200h (8 ECTS).

the final thesis must be agreed with a professor (2 ECTS).

The didactic and pratical activities fall into these three areas:

  1. Legislation, communication and management;
  2. Ecology and Biology;
  3. Veterinary Medicine.

For info:

Educational offer

  List of the subjects

Introduction to Conservation Medicine: the One Health approach

This course is designed to introduce the student to the core concepts and historical background underlying the emerging discipline of Conservation Medicine and the approach to the practice of ecological health. It will provide a broad overview of the key issues in this field that will be dealt with in further depth and detail in the following course, using relevant examples to illustrate the major problems and challenges. In particular it will explore the inter-disciplinary nature of Conservation Medicine and the role of the biologist and the veterinarian within this framework through seminaries of major experts in the field.

Policies, regulations and management of the conservation marine vertebrates

This course would introduce the student to the legal framework and the international background regulating the conservation of marine vertebrates. In details, main directives, International Conventions and Regional Agreements will be explained focusing on how they could influence single Countries policies and regulation on single species. Furthermore, it will detail main features of marine protected areas, Natura2000 areas and IMMAs. Finally, the course is aimed to describe technical details regarding action plans for single species.

Ecology and conservation biology

This course is aimed to give general details on ecological and biological aspects of the species considered in this Master. Indetails, main principles of data collections, monitoring programmes and data analyses will be given comparing traditional methodologies with innovative approaches and the validation of the latters. The course will give then information on how these data will be used for implementing Conservation Status of single species as well as action plans. Ex situ conservation and management of an Aquarium will be included in the course. The course will be organized in the following modules: Ecology and Conservation of large marine vertebrates; Monitoring marine vertebrates: visual and acoustic methods; New tools: drones, satellites and aerial survey; Evaluation of the Species Conservation Status; Ex Situ Conservation and Aquaria Management.

Anatomy, Pathology and human interaction: known and unknown

The course will give advanced information on anatomy and physiology of marine mammals and turtles through practical experiences. Furthermore, main pathological features in  this species will be detailed through laboratories and practical exercises in order to increase interpretative capabilities during postmortem examinations. Finally, an update on the
most recent advances on viral, bacterial and parasitic infections in these species will be detailed. The course will be organized in the following modules: Anatomy and Physiology; Veterinary Pathology as a tool for marine vertebrate conservation; Viral disease and emerging pathogens; Bacterial diseases; Parasitic diseases; Impact of pollution: heavy metals and organig pollutants; Macro-litter and microplastic; By-catch: problem, extencion and mitigation; Assessing the impact of underwater noise on marine vertebrates:knons and unknowns.

Advances in veterinary and biological analysis

The course will include several modules regarding the recent advances in field and laboratories techniques used to gain evidence-based information during postmortem analyses. In details, an overview on sampling and diagnostic procedures to detect main pathogens, to properly evaluate the effects of pollutants will be considered within postmortem protocols. Furthermore, the correct procedures in carry out a forensic evidence-based approach will be explained. Finally, recent advances in the -omic science will be explained in order to explain the potential role of these techniques within the research and conservation. The course will be organized in the following modules: Field and laboratory techniques; Wildlife crime and forensic investigations; Microbiome, genominc, proteomic, transcriptomic; Ecotoxicological analyses and investigations.

Strandings and environmental disaster management

The course is aimed to detail how manage a stranding event starting from building a functional stranding network. Information on how to work on single vs mass strandings, alive vs dead animals will be explained through practical trainings and experts. Procedures of a correct refloatation, disentanglement ad release will be also showed. Finally, hands-on drills will be organised to face emergencies as oil spills. The course will be organized in the following modules: Stranding networks; Marine Mammals first response and refloatation; Marine Mammals Rescue facilities management; Sea Turtles Rescue Centers; Animal Welfare; Oil spills management; Disentanglement training of large whales.

Veterinary medicine applied to vertebrates

Veterinary medical and surgical procedures will be explained from relevant experts in the field both for marine mammals and sea turtles including veterinary diagnostic imaging. Principles of anesthesia, teleanesthesia and euthanasia will be also explained during the course. Practical cases where veterinary medicine has been applied
for the conservation of aquatic species will be detailed. The course will be organized in the following modules: Veterinary Imaging in Sea Turtles Diagnostic; Sea Turtles Anesthesia and Analgesia; Sea Turtles first Aid and Critical Care; Sea Turtles Medicine; Sea Turtles Surgery; Veterinary Imaging in Marine Mammals Diagnostic; Anasthesia teleanasthesia and Euthanasia in marine mammals.

Project management and communication

The course is aimed to enhance communications skills in conservation of marine species focusing on a correct information towards all stakeholders including general public and medi since a how a correct communication tree could ameliorate all the efforts in this field. Information on project preparation, submission and management will be also
given during this course. The course will be organized in the following modules: Public awarness and public engagement; Communication and Media; Managing and leading conservation project; Education and Museum.



Centro Interuniversitario per la Ricerca sui Cetacei - CIRCE

Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black sea, Mediterranean Sea and contiguous Atlantic Area - ACCOMBAMS

Costa Edutainment - Acquario di Genova

Dipartimento di Biologia - Università degli Studi di Padova