International joint PhD opportunityExternal

News Overview

Contact: Prof. Daniela Basso
E-mail: daniela.basso [at]

The University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy) is seeking PhD candidates for a joint 3-year research projectm in partnership with Universitat de Barcelona (Spain). The project examines Mediterranean bio-construction and the Holocene record of extreme events and climate change.

Candidates should have a MSc degree in aquatic or marine biology, ecology, marine geology, or related fields. The PhD work will entail field work and laboratory analyses. SCUBA-diving is a preferential skill. Good oral and written English skills are required. Previous experience in sclerochronology or carbonate geochemistry will be very useful.  

The PhD student will be supervised by Prof. Daniela Basso in Milano, and will spend six months in the lab of Prof. Isabel Cacho, the joint supervisor, at the Universitat de Barcelona. 

Project summary

Carbonate build-ups are prominent elements of the present European shallow and deep seascapes. Through “habitat engineering” they enhance the three-dimensionality of the seafloor, increase food web complexity, and offer nursery/essential habitat for many different organisms including commercial viable fisheries. Carbonate build-ups are sensitive to human impacts and marine acidification from ongoing climate change. The formation of conspicuous biogenic marine build-ups such as the Coralligène (=algal reef) requires several thousands of years, and records the sedimentological, paleontological and geochemical evidence of local to basin-wide environmental changes, and of historical extreme (intense and short-lived) events.


- To assess the Holocene history of temperate bio-constructions on the Mediterranean shelf

- To explore the Coralligène archive of extreme climate events pre-dating the instrumental record


Candidates are invited to express their interest as soon as possible, sending a motivational letter, a short CV and the contact details of two reference persons (all in one pdf-file) to Prof. Daniela Basso, University of Milano-Bicocca (daniela [dot] bassoatunimib [dot] it), who can also provide more information.  

The formal application procedure will open in May, 2019, at: