Environmental Sciences

Environmental Sciences Experts

Giovanna Romano

Associate Professor
Department of Psychiatry
Union University


Dr. Giovanna Romano got her Master in Biological Science in 1983 at the University of Napoli Federico II. During this period she identified some novel opioid-like peptides generated by the physiological hydrolysis of milk proteins. In the same year she obtained a fellowship at the Stazione Zoologica "A. Dohrn" of Naples in the Laboratory of Biochemistry, working at the caracterization of bioactive peptides in Ciona intestinalis and at the isolation and characterization of the enzyme Acetilcolinesterase in sea urchin sperms (Sphaerechinus granularis). In 1989 she became researcher of the Stazione Zoologica and started a new project with  Dr. Ianora and Dr. Miralto, in the newborn Ecophysiology Laboratory, to study the physiology of reproduction in Copepod with particular attention to the influence of food. These studies led   to the isolation and characterization of unsaturated aldehydes responsible for the negative impact of diatom diet on Copepod reproduction as reported in a Nature paper in 1999. From that point she worked in collaboration with the group of Angelo Fontana (ICB-CNR) to elucidate the metabolism leading to aldehyde production, beside the research of novel bioactive substances produced by the phytoplankton using various kind of biological assays.

Research Interest

Chemical Ecology and Marine Biotechnology. Clarify chemically mediated interactions between phytoplankton and their grazers. Elucidate aldehyde and oxylipin metabolism in diatoms and factors affecting the production of these secondary metabolites that impair reproductive fitness inducing developmental alterations in their grazers. Study the molecular mechanism underlying the effects of diatom-derived oxylipins on developmental processes, using the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus embryos as in vivo model system. Discover potential biotechnological applications of active substances from microalgae and enzymes involved in diatom oxylipin pathways  

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