IFAA 2024, Sponsorship and Patronage

Thank you for your support!

The 13th International Symposium on Fossil Algae has the patronage of the Società Geologica Italiana and Società Paleontologica Italiana, and of the International Fossil Coral and Reef Society. Moreover, we are grateful to the International Association of Sedimentologists for a sponsorship in the framework of the IAS sponsored conference initiative.


CBR16 – when it took place

The campaign initially scheduled for the period from the end of August to the beginning of September was postponed repeatedly due to adverse weather and sea conditions. The scientific staff (D. Basso, P. Bazzicalupo, F. Panizzuti, A. Rosso, f. D’Alpa) went to Marzamemi from 28 October to 4 November 2023 for the last campaign of the project.

The main objective was the collection of coralligenous samples at 50 meters, collection of algae samples for genetics, fluximeter recovery, sediment traps and growth experiment blocks recovery.

Sampling and collection of equipment and material was carried out by Suttakkua Diving members.

Two 250ml bottles of sediment (CBR16_5) were also collected.

Prof. Daniela Basso sulla barca di Suttakkua diving
Prof. Daniela Basso on board of Suttakkua diving vessel
Foto scattata a 47.7 m durante la perlustrazione pre campionamento
Photo taken at 47.7 m during the pre-sampling survey

The main result was achieved with the recovery of 2 coralligenous samples. The algal material for the genetic analyses was also recovered, finally the fluximeter and the sedimentation traps were also recovered. Unfortunately it was not possible to recover the blocks for the growth experiment due to adverse sea conditions.

Dr. Pietro Bazzicalupo e Prof. Daniela Basso observation on the coralligenous sample collected at 47m
Dr. Pietro Bazzicalupo e Prof. Daniela Basso observation on the coralligenous sample collected at 47m
Dr. Francesca Panizuti photographs the samples before the collection
Dr. Francesca Panizuti photographs the samples before the collection
Fluximeter recovered
Fluximeter recovered
Ascent stop during the sample collection
Ascent stop during the sample collection

The samples collected during this specific campaign will be used by Dr. Francesca Panizzuti in the next 3 years for her doctoral thesis on thecalcareous algae Corallinophycidae of the Mediterranean Coralligenus. We are excited and can’t wait to see the first results of this study.

Dr. Panizzuti classify the samples
Dr. Panizzuti classify the samples

SCIENTIFIC PAPER: “Origin and role of non-skeletal carbonate in coralligenous build-ups: new geobiological perspectives in the biomineralization processes”

Mara Cipriani, Carmine Apollaro, Daniela Basso, Pietro Bazzicalupo, Marco Bertolino, Valentina Alice Bracchi, Fabio Bruno, Gabriele Costa, Rocco Dominici, Alessandro Gallo, Maurizio Muzzupappa, Antonietta Rosso, Rossana Sanfilippo, Francesco Sciuto, Giovanni Vespasiano, Adriano Guido

!! SCIENTIFIC PAPER PUBLISHED IN Biogeosciences discussions (EGU) !!

!! The coralligenous build-ups located in Mediterranean shelf in front of Marzamemi (SE – Sicily, Italy) represent useful natural examples to study the relationship between skeletal organisms and non-skeletal components in marine bioconstructions. In this study, scientists characterized two coralligenous build-ups in terms of organisms and sediments involved in their formation. The framework mainly consists of coralline algae and subordinate bryozoans and serpulids. Sponges affect the general morphology of the bioconstructions both interacting with skeletonised organisms and through bioerosion activity.

Scientists understood that the micrite or microcrystalline calcite is present in minor amount than other components that form the build-ups and consists of two types: autochthonous (in situ) and allochthonous (detrital). Moreover, a great amount of sponge live in cavities of the coralligenous build-ups and compete with carbonatogenic bacteria for the same cryptic spaces limiting the production of microbialites. The sharing of a similar relationship between sponges and microbial communities by coralligenous concretion and biotic crusts of particular submarine caves suggests that this competition is not habitat-specific. !!

Keywords: Coralligenous reefs; Sponges; Micrites; Geobiology; Mediterranean.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2023-115

LINK: https://bg.copernicus.org/preprints/bg-2023-115/


CBR15 – when it took place

From 10 to 13 October the second test campaign of the remote-controlled vehicle for coralligenous sampling was carried out. Testing the ultimate updates has been the main objective of the campaign. During the last tests, done in July, several issues mainly regarding power supply emerged and caused frequent ROV power failure. These problems affected the whole test operation during which we were able to extract only one sample. Moreover, the lack of a protective frame for core carrel magazine caused some collisions between barrels themselves and coralligenous build-ups during the anchoring and the tool changing phase. Lastly, throughout post operation inspections, the corer frame main plate and the anchoring plate were found slightly bent due to mechanical stress during transport and core drilling.


In account of power supply problems, a 3 kW-3 Wh portable power station, with an expansion 3 Wh LiFePO4 battery has been used. The total capacity of this power station provides an autonomy of 2 hours at full power. In addition, in order to prevent any impact among core barrel and surrounding build-ups, an anodized aluminium plate has been installed beneath the barrel magazine. Eventually, both the anchoring plate and the skid main plate were replaced by new ones having double the thickness of the old ones. These actions have led to an increase of the vehicle weight (9 kg in air and 5 kg in water) requiring the ROV ballast removal.

During the entire campaign a faulty commercial cable penetrator caused water leaks in the core drill control electronics canister. Due to this, some of the device functions, as the “double tube” mechanism, have been disabled. Nevertheless, several sample operations have been carried out at depth ranging from 30 to 37 meters resulting in 5 core samples.

Figure 1 – Repair work on electronics canister
Repair work on electronics canister.
Figure 2 – One of the core sample brought to the surface
One of the core sample brought to the surface
Figure 3 – ROV on-board view during core operation
On-board view during core operation (ROV)
Figure 4 – ROV on the Marzamemi seafloar
ROV on the Marzamemi seafloor
Figure 4.1 – ROV on the Marzamemi seafloar
Floating in the blue (ROV)

SCIENTIFIC PAPER: “The Bryozoan Margaretta cereoides as Habitat Formerm in the Coralligenous of Marzamemi (SE Sicily, Mediterranean Sea)”

Antonietta Rosso, Gemma Donato, Rossana Sanfilippo, Donatella Serio, Francesco Sciuto, Francesco D’Alpa, Valentina Alice Bracchi, Mauro Pietro Negri and Daniela Basso

!! SCIENTIFIC PAPER PUBLISHED IN Journal of Marine Science and Engineering !!

!! The present study focuses on the epibiosis found on the erect mineralised but flexible species Margaretta cereoides, contributing with some macroalgae to the canopy formation on a coralligenous build-up collected at 36.7 m depth offshore Marzamemi (Ionian Sea, Mediterranean) in the frame of the project CRESCIBLUREEF.

Focusing on bryozoans and serpulids we documented high diversity (species richness) on the investigated substrata. Diversity are higher on M. cereoides than on algae, possibly in relation with the morphology, robustness and persistence of the surface offered by the bryozoan contrasting with the flexible and ephemeral nature of most algae. Bryozoan and even more serpulid epibiont diversity on M. cereoides is also higher than those reported for studied species in the Mediterranean and for Flustra foliacea from North Europe. !!

Keywords: epibiosis, biodiversity, serpulids, build-up, fleshy algae, Ionian Sea

DOI: https://doi.org/ 10.3390/jmse11030590

Link: https://www.mdpi.com/2077-1312/11/3/590