Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn (SZN)

Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn (SZN)

Research Infrastructure affiliation: EMBRC

Location: Naples and Ischia, Italy

Website address:

Local Access Officers: Dr. Marco Borra (, dr. Andrea Tarallo (



The primary mission of SZN is research on the biology and ecology of marine organisms, the study of their biodiversity, the analysis of the fundamental processes of biology and the potential biotechnological applications. Marine life is investigated in close connection with the evolution and the dynamics of the marine ecosystems. The SZN undertakes novel research in the field of marine bioresources with particular reference to the biotechnologies addressed to the exploitation of molecules of marine origin for industrial processes, for the pharmaceutics, nutraceutics and other fields of interest.


Research and technological development (RTD) at SZN is organized into four Departments: BEOM exploits molecular and genomic approaches to assess cellular- and tissue functioning and development, behaviour and evolution of marine organisms. EMI focuses on marine biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and environmental assessment. BluBiotec pursues blue biotechnological applications of marine biodiversity. RIMAR provides scientific services and carries out RTD to further improve and diversify the service provision.

Biological resources include echinoderms, ascidians (Ciona), cephalopods, copepods, seagrasses (Posidonia) and various microalgae, including genetically modified diatom cultures and cell lines for research and biotech. LTER sites where plankton and benthos are sampled and enumerated. Mediterranean subtidal benthic and pelagic ecosystems including seagrass beds, a natural high-CO2 – low-pH cold seep, heavy-metals-impacted sites near pristine ones to enable environmental impact studies.


The Environmental Access & Sampling Unit (MEDA) maintains three coastal research vessels with SCUBA. It provides access to chemical analytical services. The Organism Maintenance & Breeding Unit (MaRe) offers culture and experimental facilities, including aquarium tanks, climate-controlled rooms, indoor mesocosms and bioreactors. Ascidians, sea urchins and cephalopods are raised from eggs or larval stages to adults. The Molecular Biology Unit (MB&BI) provides Sanger- and NGS sequencing, RT-PCR and robotic sample processing. The Microscopy & Bioimaging Unit (AMOBIO) offers assisted access to electron microscopy (SEM: GEOL 6600F; TEM: LEO 912AB), processing and sectioning services, elemental analysis, confocal microscopy, live-imaging, digital imaging and microinjection. The Taxon Identification Service (MOTax) offers expert taxonomic identification of marine organisms. The Library provides access to ancient literature, archives and taxonomic collections, including type specimens.

Support offered

TA-users have access to lab-space, to standard disposables and administrative and logistic support and to the services in the units listed above, including troubleshooting with, and basic training in, the use of platforms. Other amenities include an in-house cafeteria. SZN does not provide lodging, but restaurants, hotels and B&Bs are nearby. The SZN assists with lodging reservations.

Reimbursement procedures

Download here the guide for reimbursement procedures for travel and subsistence in place at SZN.
Reimbursement procedures will be specified in the User Access Contract. National and institutional rules apply. 
Please contact dr. Andrea Tarallo ( cc: Marco Borra ( for further info.