Ivan Guala

Roles: Coastal Ecosystems and Biodiversity Area Research Coordinator.

Ivan Guala is a marine ecologist working in research and monitoring projects focusing on evaluating the conservation of coastal ecosystems and the management of marine bio-resources. His main interests are: identification and implementation of ecological indicators aimed at evaluating the ecological status of the marine environment and the effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas; priority habitats and species of conservation interest; feasibility studies of protected areas; identification of management measures and monitoring protocols to be applied to Marine Protected Areas; transfer of skills and experience in projects of international cooperation.


1998 Master’s Degree in Biology– Sassari University (Italy).

1998-99 Post-graduate training with the Institute of Cybernetics and Biophysics of the National Research Council (CNR) at the International Marine Centre (Italy).


From 2016  Coordinator of Coastal Ecosystems & Biodiversity Area at Foundation IMC International Marine Centre, Torregrande Oristano (Italy).

From 2005  Researcher at Foundation IMC International Marine Centre, Torregrande, Oristano (Italy)

2008-2012  Scientific consultant for monitoring activities in Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas and Natural Parks

2001-2005  Research fellowship at the Anton Dohrn Zoological Station of Naples (Italy)

Fields of interest

  • Benthic ecology
  • Marine Protected Areas
  • Field survey and scientific diving

Selected publications

Farina, S., Quattrocchi, G., Guala, I., Cucco, A. 2018. Hydrodynamic patterns favouring sea urchin recruitment in coastal areas: A Mediterranean study case, Marine Environmental Research, doi: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2018.05.013

Piazzi L., Bianchi C.N., Cecchi E., Gatti G., Guala I., Morri C., Sartoretto S., Serena F., Montefalcone M., 2017. What’s in an index? Comparing the ecological information provided by two indices to assess the status of coralligenous reefs in the NW Mediterranean Sea. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. doi: 10.1002/aqc.2773.

Loi B., Guala I., Pires da Silva R., Brundu G., Baroli M., Farina S., 2017. Hard time to be parents? Sea urchin fishery shifts potential reproductive contribution of population onto the shoulders of the young adults. PeerJ 5:e3067; DOI 10.7717/peerj.3067.

Farina S., Guala I., Oliva S., Piazzi L., Pires da Silva R., Ceccherelli G., 2016. The seagrass effect turned upside down changes the prospective of sea urchin survival and landscape implications. PLoS ONE 11(10): e0164294. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0164294.

Oliva S., Farina S., Pinna S., Guala I., Agnetta D., Ariotti P.A., Mura F., Ceccherelli G., 2016. Determinants of Paracentrotus lividus sea urchin recruitment under oligotrophic conditions: implications for conservation management. Marine Environmental Research, 117: 13-20.

Siliani S., Melis R., Loi B., Guala I., Baroli M., Sanna R., Uzzau S., Roggio T., Addis M.F., Anedda R., 2016. Influence of seasonal and environmental patterns on the lipid content and fatty acid profiles in gonads of the edible sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus from Sardinia. Marine Environmental Research, 113: 124-133.

Loi B., Farina S., Brundu G., Guala I., Baroli M., 2015. Reproductive cycle of Paracentrotus lividus at two Sardinian coastal areas. Biologia Marina Mediterranea, 22(1): 97-98.

Guala I., Nikolić V., Iveša L., Jakl Z., Šijan M., Prvan M., Krstinić P., Brundu G., Di Carlo G., Rajković Ž., 2014. Development of the national monitoring protocol for Posidonia oceanica meadows in Croatia: a pilot project. Proceedings of the 5th Mediterranean Symposium on Marine Vegetation (Portorož, Slovenia, 27-28 October 2014). LANGAR H., BOUAFIF C., OUERGHI A., edits., RAC/SPA publ., Tunis: 80-85.

Piazzi L., Cecchi E., Serena F., Guala I., Canovas Molina A., Gatti G. , Morri C.,  Bianchi C. N., Montefalcone M., 2014. Visual and photographic methods to estimate the quality of coralligenous reefs under different human pressures. Proceedings of the 2nd Mediterranean Symposium on the conservation of Coralligenous and other calcareous bio-constructions (Portorož, Slovenia, 29-30 October 2014). BOUAFIF C., LANGAR H., OUERGHI A., edits., RAC/SPA publ., Tunis: 135-140.

Simeone S., Guala I., Conforti A., Ferrigno F., Tonielli R., De Falco G., 2014. A first insight into the coralligenous assemblages of the Western Sardinia shelf (Italy). Proceedings of the 2nd Mediterranean Symposium on the conservation of Coralligenous and other calcareous bio-constructions (Portorož, Slovenia, 29-30 October 2014). BOUAFIF C., LANGAR H., OUERGHI A., edits., RAC/SPA publ., Tunis: 165-170.

Ferrigno F., Boi S., Cinti M.F., Paliaga B., Guala I., 2014. Spatial and temporal distribution of shallow assemblages in the Marine Protected Area of Capo Carbonara (Sardinia). Biologia Marina Mediterranea, 21(1): 257-258.

Montefalcone M., Cánovas Molina A., Cecchi E., Guala I., Morri C., Bavestrello G., Bianchi C.N., Piazzi L., 2014. Confronto tra due metodologie per la determinazione della qualità ecologica dei popolamenti coralligeni. Biologia Marina Mediterranea, 21(1): 240-241.

Guala I., Brundu G., Vallainc D., Mossone P., 2013. Assessment of conservation status of Posidonia oceanica and anchoring pressure as a tool for a proper management of recreational boating. Biologia Marina Mediterranea, 20(1): 164-165.

Brundu G., Loi B., Baroli M., Frau F., Panzalis P., Bernardi G., Navone A., Guala I., 2013. Change of density and structure of sea urchin population at the MPA Tavolara – Punta Coda Cavallo). Biologia Marina Mediterranea, 20(1): 122-123.

Loi B., Brundu G., Guala I., Frau F., Panzalis P., Bernardi G., Navone A., Baroli M., 2013. Age and growth of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus in Tavolara – Punta Coda Cavallo Marine Protected Area (Sardinia). Biologia Marina Mediterranea, 20(1): 138-139.

Nicora F. Palombo L., Simeone S.,Baroli M., Guala I., 2012. Monitoring populations of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus at the Arcipelago di La Maddalena National Park. Biologia Marina Mediterranea, 19(1): 180-181.

Simeone S., Palombo L., Guala I., 2012. Impact of frequentation on a Mediterranean embayed beach: implication on carrying capacity. Ocean & Coastal Management, 62: 9-14.

Vandeperre F., Higgins R.M., Sánchez-Meca J., Maynou F., Goñi R., Martín-Sosa P., Pérez-Ruzafa A., Afonso P., Bertocci I., Crec’hriou R., D’Anna G., Dimech M., Dorta C., Esparza O., Falcón J.M., Forcada A., Guala I., Le Direach L., Marcos C., Ojeda-Martínez C., Pipitone C., Schembri P.J., Stelzenmüller V., Stobart B., Serrão Santos R., 2011. Effects of no-take area size and age of marine protected areas on fishery yields: a meta-analytical approach. Fish & Fisheries, 12(4): 412-426. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-2979.2010.00401.x

Ojeda-Martínez C., Bayle-Sempere J.T., Sánchez-Jerez P., Salas F., Stobart B., Goñi R., Falcón J.M., Graziano M., Guala I., Higgins R., Vandeperre F., Le Direach L., Martín-Sosa P., Vaselli S., 2011. Review of the effects of protection in marine protected areas: current knowledge and gaps. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation, 34(1): 191-203.

Claudet J., Osenberg C.W., Domenici P., Badalamenti F., Milazzo M., Falcón J.M., Bertocci I., Benedetti-Cecchi L., García-Charton J.A., Goñi R., Borg J.A., Forcada A., de Lucia G.A., Pérez-Ruzafa A., Afonso P., Brito A., Guala I., Le Diréach L., Sanchez-Jerez P., Somerfield P.J., Planes S., 2010. Marine reserves: Fish life history and ecological traits matter. Ecological Appliations, 20(3): 830-839. doi 10.1890/08-2131.1.

Coppa S., Guala I., de Lucia G.A., Massaro G., Bressan M., 2010. Density and distribution patterns of the endangered species Pinna nobilis within a Posidonia oceanica meadow in the Gulf of Oristano (Italy). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, pp. 1-10. doi:10.1017/S002531540999141X.

Garcìa-Charton J.A., Perez-Ruzafa A., Marcos C., Claudet J., Badalamenti F., Benedetti-Cecchi L., Falcón J.M., Milazzo M., Schembri P.J., Stobart B., Vandeperre F., Brito A., Chemello R., Dimech M., Domenici P., Guala I., Le Direach L., Maggi E., Planes S., 2008. Effectiveness of European Atlanto-Mediterranean MPAs: do they accomplish the expected effects on populations, communities and ecosystems? Journal for Nature Conservation, 16: 193-221. doi: 10.1016/j.jnc.2008.09.007.

Roncin N., Alban F., Charbonnel E., Chrec’hriou R., de la Cruz Modino R., Culioli JM., Dimech M., Goni R., Guala I., Higgins R, Lavasse E., Le Direach L., Luna B., Marcos Diego C., Maynou F., Pascual J., Person J., Smith P., Stobart B., Szelianszky E., Valle C., Vaselli S., Boncoeur J., 2008. Uses of ecosystem services provided by MPAs: how much do they impact the local economy? A Southern Europe perspective. Journal for Nature Conservation, 16: 256-270. doi: 10.1016/j.jnc.2008.09.006.

Claudet J., Osenberg C.W., Benedetti-Cecchi L., Domenici P., García-Charton J.A., Pérez-Ruzafa A., Badalamenti F., Bayle-Sempere J., Brito A., Bulleri F., Culioli J.M., Dimech M., Falcón J.M., Guala I., Milazzo M., Sánchez-Meca J., Somerfield P.J., Stobart B., Vandeperre F., Valle C., Planes S., 2008. Marine reserves: Size and age do matter. Ecology Letters, 11(5): 481-489.

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