Anita Franco

Dr Anita Franco

Senior Fish Ecologist

Faculty and Department

  • Faculty of Science and Engineering
  • School of Environmental Sciences

Summary

Anita joined the University of Hull in 2011 as an Estuarine and Coastal Numerical/Fish Ecologist at the Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Studies (IECS). She has been recently appointed a position in the university REF team as Deputy REF Lead for the Unit of Assessment 14 (Geography and Environmental Studies) to support the development of the university submission to REF 2021.

Before joining the University of Hull, Anita has worked as a post-doc research fellow at the University of Venice (Department of Environmental Sciences; Italy) for six years, developing re-search on the use of fish assemblages as functioning indicators of the transitional water environment.

She was awarded a PhD in Environmental Sciences ("Structure and spatial-temporal dynamics of fish assemblages in the Venice lagoon") in 2004 and a MSc degree (cum laude) ("Environmental stress and reproduction ecology of Zosterisessor ophiocephalus (Teleostei, Gobiidae) in the Venice lagoon") in 2000, bit at the University of Venice.

Book Chapter

Temperate Estuaries: their ecology under future environmental changes

Ducrotoy, J., Elliott, . M., Cutts, N., Franco, A., Little, S., Mazik, K., & Wilkinson, M. (2019). Temperate Estuaries: their ecology under future environmental changes. In E. Wolanski, J. Day, M. Elliott, & R. Ramesh (Eds.), Coasts and Estuaries: The Future, 577-594. Elsevier. doi:10.1016/C2017-0-00731-0

Journal Article

Debunking paradigms in estuarine fish species richness

Waugh, A., Elliott, M., & Franco, A. (2019). Debunking paradigms in estuarine fish species richness. Marine ecology progress series, 613, 125-138. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12883

Can the effects of anthropogenic pressures and environmental variability on nekton fauna be detected in fishery data" Insights from the monitoring of the artisanal fishery within the Venice lagoon

Zucchetta, M., Scapin, L., Cavraro, F., Pranovi, F., Franco, A., & Franzoi, P. (2016). Can the effects of anthropogenic pressures and environmental variability on nekton fauna be detected in fishery data? Insights from the monitoring of the artisanal fishery within the Venice lagoon. Estuaries and coasts : journal of the Estuarine Research Federation, 39(4), 1164-1182. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12237-015-0064-y

Habitat loss and gain: Influence on habitat attractiveness for estuarine fish communities

Amorim, E., Ramos, S., Elliott, M., Franco, A., & Bordalo, A. A. (2017). Habitat loss and gain: Influence on habitat attractiveness for estuarine fish communities. Estuarine, coastal and shelf science, 197, 244-257. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2017.08.043

Report

Report on the species responses to climate-related factors, and their interactions. CERES (Climate change and European aquatic RESources) Project (EU, Horizon 2020 - BG-02-2015 Forecasting and anticipating effects of climate change on fisheries and aquaculture). Deliverable D2.1, April 2018.

Catalan, I., Morales-Non, B., Dominguez, P., Kamermans, P., Auch, D., Reglero, P., …Peck, M. (2018). Report on the species responses to climate-related factors, and their interactions. CERES (Climate change and European aquatic RESources) Project (EU, Horizon 2020 - BG-02-2015 Forecasting and anticipating effects of climate change on fisheries and aquaculture). Deliverable D2.1, April 2018. EU: European Commission

Research interests

Anita is an ecologist with expertise on estuarine and marine fish communities. Her research in-terests regard the structure and functioning of estuarine and marine fish communities, their use and partitioning of resources, their occurrence and distribution in relation with habitat character-istics and human pressures (incl. climate change), and their assessment using indicators of eco-logical and environmental status and condition.

Anita is a quantitative/numerical ecologist, with expertise on experimental design and data analysis and numerical methods in estuarine and marine ecology. As such, she has been involved in a range of studies applying statistical methods to the analysis of e.g. invertebrate colonisation patterns in restored habitats, development of condition indicator for sublittoral rock habitats, time series analysis and modelling of bird habitat use in estuaries, spatial modelling of essential fish habitats in marine areas, environmental impact assessment of offshore windfarms on marine ecology.

In her current position she is responsible for managing and undertaking research projects and provide scientific and technical advice to statutory bodies and the industry on monitoring strategies, the status and condition of marine/estuarine ecological features of interest (including coastal lagoons, fish and shellfish, their essential habitats, fishery, but also benthic ecology and avifauna), on the ecological value of marine habitats in support of marine planning programmes and on the potential risks and impacts to the marine environment of a range of human activities, including offshore wind farms, port developments, gas storage facilities.

• Essential fish habitats and distribution

• Structural and functional ecology of marine and estuarine ecosystems

• Impact of anthropogenic activities on the estuarine and marine environment

• Climate change

• Ecological monitoring, sampling design and impact assessment

• Fish species as indicators of environmental stress / ecological status

• Statistical analysis and ecological modelling

Project

Funder

Grant

Started

Status

Project

Evidence based approach to effect of decommissioning on MPA conservation and ecosystem services

Funder

NERC Natural Environment Research Council

Grant

£157,900.00

Started

1 February 2017

Status

Complete

Project

CERES: Climate change and European aquatic RESources

Funder

EC European Commission

Grant

Started

1 March 2016

Status

Ongoing