Branch office in Palermo

at LUMSA University

Via Filippo Parlatore, 65 - 90145 Palermo

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VAT number 02118311006

Tax code 80054330586

Sede ISMed presso la LUMSA di Palermo


Within the large thematic areas that characterize the scientific mission of the Institute of Mediterranean Studies, also the Secondary School in Palermo follows an interdisciplinary approach, linking multiple and complementary spatial and temporal scales to reconstruct the processes that support the economic, social and environmental functioning of the Mediterranean. In fact, the collaboration of a heterogeneous community of researchers and the availability of scientific instrumentation provides the basis to support socio-political decisions, in order to promote a sustainable and balanced economic growth, a permanent development of available human capital, a rational mobility of factors, an optimal management and protection of the seas in terms of blue growth.

The branch office in Palermo enriches the mission of ISMed with specific features that allow to better translate scientific knowledge to support the implementation of important European Directives on environmental protection in Italy, and contribute to increase awareness of the factors and dynamics of global change from the Industrial Revolution to today, on a Mediterranean scale.

Considering a significantly heterogeneous presence from the disciplinary scientific point of view of the researchers belonging to the Secondary Office in Palermo, also the research dimensions around which the projects of the Secondary Office rotate present a natural heterogeneity.

Economy and territorial gaps

Research on these issues provides new interpretative keys to the study of the dynamics of economic development and territorial gaps, both within a single country (as in the case of Southern Italy) and between different Mediterranean countries. In this perspective, the studies concern the processes of accumulation of physical and human capital, the role of institutions and material and immaterial infrastructures, the use of the environment.

In order to understand the reasons of the gaps in terms of efficiency and productivity, research activities are directed to study the innovative capacity of companies (also in terms of social responsibility), the endowments of territories (such as education, culture, health, emotional well-being), the management of common goods and collective resources.

Human capital represents a fundamental aspect for the growth of every economy and for the development of the entire Mediterranean area. For this reason, special attention will be paid to studies on performance and its determinants.

Internal and international human migration

The research activity aims to analyse, in an integrated perspective, the migratory phenomena and their dynamics. The case of European countries is extremely rich in cues and perspectives, especially in recent years, as emigration, internal migration and return migration coexist and stratify simultaneously. Research activities are developed in a strongly interdisciplinary perspective and aim at collaboration between scholars of demography, statistics, economics, sociology, history and biology. The aim is to understand the reasons for current migratory phenomena and the effects of migratory distribution on international trade and the economic and social transformation of territories.

Information technologies in socio-economic and cultural fields

The use of new technologies is fundamental not only for the development of new and more efficient methods of production of goods and services, but also because it allows research itself to evolve and develop new means of investigation and verification. The application of new investigation methods and new technological tools can certainly outline new interpretative perspectives of socio-economic phenomena in the Mediterranean area. Given the growing availability of open data also for the countries of the southern shore and the diffusion of data coming from digital and social platforms, socio-economic research requires increasingly rich and articulated methods of investigation and data management. Research on these issues, therefore, supports all the research activities of the Institute and at the same time aims at studying the role of information and network infrastructures in the socio-economic development of a country or an area.

Territory, environment and society

Research activities focus on the analysis of the processes that induced the transformation of land and sea environments over a long period of time. The focus of the projects under this line concerns the reconstruction of past climate regimes at various time scales, the study of land/sea interactions and the assessment of the effects of climate change on ecosystems, biodiversity, health and society in the Mediterranean.

The system of archives and scientific results constitute a database for research, environmental protection applications and the assessment of the effects of climate change, which can provide support to decision-makers for the definition of knowledge-based economic, social, environmental and climate policies and for the development of adaptation strategies.

In particular, the study of the structure, functioning and evolution of ecosystems, for the protection and conservation of biodiversity is conducted through a multidisciplinary approach between palaeoecological, long-term ecological research, enhancement of naturalistic collections and development of socio-ecological observation systems.

Biology, Biotechnology and Economic Development

Research in these areas studies studies the sea and marine biodiversity as a resource. The interaction between biology, oceanography, marine and molecular ecology for the analysis of the state, structure and functioning of Mediterranean marine ecosystems and changes in biota allows the study of the marine environment as a factor of economic and social development with particular attention to ecosystem services and protected areas. On the basis of the Community Directives for the conservation of delicate Mediterranean ecosystems, the studies refer to the themes of conservation and management of marine and terrestrial resources and the protection of biodiversity. In addition, phylogenetic analysis and philogeography are used to study the divergence of marine species belonging to different phyla. In this context the application of methodologies, suitably developed on morphological, biomolecular, genetic and biochemical basis for the discrimination of stocks, aimed at the sustainable management of biological resources, the traceability and retraceability of Mediterranean organisms, the identification and characterization of new bioactive molecules for applications in the environmental, health, food, sensory and biomedical fields.

Network of Collaborations:

On the international front, the branch office in Palermo counts on the following collaborations:

  • Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations
  • United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) of the United Nations
  • The Mediterranean science commission (CIESM)
  • The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT)
  • Columbia University (New York, Tunisi)
  • Universidad de Deusto (Bilbao)
  • Istituto Espanol de Oceanografia (IEO Malaga, Vigo, Baleari)
  • Institut National des Sciences et Technologies de la Mer (INSTM)
  • Université de Sfax
  • National Council for Scientific Research of Lebanon (CNRS-L)
  • Marine Biology Research Centre, Tajura, Tripoli, Libya (MBR)
  • Ministry for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Climate Change-Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture (MSDEC-DFA), Marsa, Malta
  • University of Belgrade (Belgrado)
  • École d'Ingénieurs en informatique et prévention des risque (Saint Barthelemy D’Anjou)
  • Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry (Russian Federation)
  • Institute of Molecular Medicine (Russian Federation)
  • Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University (Mosca)
  • LUMSA Università (Roma, Palermo)
  • Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Milano)
  • Università degli studi di Palermo (DEMS, DISTEM, STEBICEF, DiFC)
  • Università di Urbino “Carlo Bo” (DiSPeA)
  • Università degli studi di Firenze (DISEI)
  • Istituto Superiore di Sanità
  • INGV (Pisa, Palermo)
  • Agenzia Regionale per le Protezione dell’Ambiente (ARPA Sicilia)
  • Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale (ISPRA)
  • Stazione Zoologica Italiana Anthon Dorn

Participation in Mediterranean research networks:

  • Towards the definition of a EuroMarine Strategic Agenda Enhancement of Human Resources to support Blue Growth sectors (EHUSEA)
  • European Marine Research Network (EUROMARINE)


Research projecs







Name Position Office Phone Email
Bennici Carmelo Daniele Technician Palermo +390916810761 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Cuttitta Angela Senior Researcher Palermo +390916810761 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Masullo Tiziana Researcher Palermo +390916810761 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Musco Marianna Researcher Palermo +390916810761 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Pipitone Vito Senior Researcher Palermo +390916810761 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Torri Marco Researcher Palermo +390916810761 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.