Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn (SZN) was founded in 1872 as a privately-owned and operated marine biological research station, where scientists and students from all over the world could perform their research on fresh material and living marine organisms. The SZN provided the facilities and its staff took care of logistics and assistance. These days, SZN is a publicly-owned research institute operated by the Ministry of Research and Higher Education (MIUR). SZN provides TA services for ASSEMBLE Plus, and is also the Italian partner

The mission of SZN is research on the biology and ecology of marine organisms, the study of their biodiversity, the analysis of fundamental biological processes and their potential bio-technological applications. SZN undertakes research in the field of marine bioresources, with an emphasis on the biotechnologies addressing the exploitation of molecules of marine origin for industrial processes, for the pharmaceutics, nutraceutics and other fields of interest.

SZN includes the main facilities at the HQ in Naples, a benthic ecology lab at Ischia Porto, and a marine turtle recuperation and research centre at Portici.


  • A variety of Mediterranean subtidal benthic and pelagic ecosystems, including seagrass and Maerl beds
  • A natural high-CO2, low-pH cold seep (as model for future community structure)
  • Heavy metals-impacted sites near highly comparable pristine ones
  • Near-shore deep, steep canyons dropping off into the abyssal
  • Semi-enclosed shallow lagoons

LTER sites between oligotrophic blue water and mesotrophic coastal water where plankton is sampled and enumerated weekly, and metadata in real-time

Ecosystem access

  • Coastal research vessels (On-site service) 
    • Gulf of Naples, Subtidal, Ischia
    • Two vessels complete with crew and equipment.
    • Assistance in sampling, collection of biological material, and in the acquisition of instrumental data
    • Oceanographic equipment
  • Scuba diving facilities (On-site service)
    • Material collection in different coastal environments, installation and maintenance of submerged structures and equipment, recovery, transportation and release of marine animals


Biological resources

Scientific collections of preserved specimens including organisms collected and described in the Gulf of Naples since SZN's foundation. The collection is accessible virtually from there.

  • Marine models organisms (On-site service)
  • Culture collections (On-site service)
    • Skeletonema spp., Pseudo-nitzschia spp.
  • Species collected upon request (On-site service)
    • Sampling and collection of biological material in the Gulf of Naples


Experimental facilities

  • Aquaria and tanks (On-site service)
    • Rearing and provision in closed environment of marine model organism at various stages, including allochthonous species
    • Continuous management and monitoring of tanks, species, materials, activities


Technology platforms

  • Imaging  (On-site service)
    • Sample preparation and technical assistance for optical, electron microscopy, live cell imaging, confocal microscopy, 3D and 4D microscopy, transmission electron (TEM) and scanning microscopes (SEM)
  • Structural and chemical analysis  (On-site service)
    • Sampling and analysis of the main abiotic and biotic variables:
      • Inorganic nutrients
      • Total and dissolved N and P
      • Dissolved oxygen
      • Particulate Organic Carbon (POC)
      • Total suspended solids (TSS)
      • Chlorophyll a
      • Photosynthetic pigments
  • Molecular biology and omics (On-site service)
    • Basic services for molecular biology
    • Qualitative control of nucleic acids
    • Real Time qPCR
    • Digital PCR
    • DNA sequencing (Sanger)
    • Genotyping
    • Automation
    • NGS

Service staff will provide training in the use of the platforms and technologies and assist, if needed, with experimental design and troubleshooting


  • Computing and storage infrastructure (On-site and remote service)
    • High performance computing clusters, network and dedicated storage. Design, implementation and maintenance of dedicated databases and software.
  • Data analysis tools and software (On-site and remote service)
    • NGS data analysis


Expert advice

  • Biological sample identification (On-site service)
    • Phytoplankton and zooplankton identification


Supporting faciltites

  • Library services (On-site and remote service)
    • Access to collection of journal titles, photos, scientific instruments, correspondence, miscellaneous and zoological specimens.


    Amenities include a lunch restaurant as well as conference and lecture facilities for up to 80 persons. SZN provides no in-house lodging, but numerous restaurants, hotels and B&Bs are in walking distance of SZN. Administration assists with hotel reservations.


    Villa Comunale
    80121 Napoli NA
    Liaison officer: Andrea Tarallo (, cc to:

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