Publication of Two Further Scientific Studies on Central Mediterranean Sandy Beaches
Two scientific studies on the assemblages of sandy beaches in the Central Mediterranean, both funded by the Research Committee of the University of Malta, have been recently completed. The first study, focusing on the morphology of two psammiphilous (restricted to sandy beach environments) tenebrionid beetles (Phaleria acuminata and Phaleria bimaculata), was published in the Zoomorphology journal, whilst the second study, focusing on the distribution of two Tylos species and its relation with beach sand particle size, is awaiting publication in the Journal of Crustacean Biology. Both scientific studies are a continuation of Dr. Alan Deidun’s (senior lecturer at the IOI-MOC) doctoral research on Central Mediterranean sandy beaches initiated ten years ago.
In the first study, a total of 25 Phaleria spp. populations from sandy beaches on different central Mediterranean archipelagos (Maltese, Pelagian, Egadian, and Aeolian ones) and on the Sicilian mainland were sampled once, over the March–October 2010 period. Heads and legs from a selected number of beetle individuals from each population were used for DNA extraction: a fragment of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit II mitochondrial gene (COII) was amplified for this purpose. The study also involved the use of the geometric morphometrics technique, which is nowadays a standard protocol in morphological research. Geometric morphometrics and molecular analyses gave congruent results, allowing a sound separation of the two species. At the population level, the two Phaleria species showed different patterns. P. acuminata showed a remarkable morphological and molecular homogeneity throughout the sampled area. Conversely, two well-characterized subclades were detected within P. bimaculata – the ‘Tyrrhenian sub-clade’ and the ‘Southern sub-clade.’
In the second study, a total of 32 Central Mediterranean sandy beaches located on the Maltese archipelago, Sicily and different circum-Sicilian islands were sampled for the presence of two Tylos species – Tylos europaeus and Tylos ponticus. The first species is known from just two beaches in the Maltese Islands – Ramla l-Hamra and San Blas in Gozo – whilst the second species is known only from Paradise Bay. The two species were never recorded on the same beach and, although T. europaeus has a preference for fine sand and T. ponticus has a preference for fine-medium sand, differences in the distribution of the two species could not solely explained in terms of differences in sand particle size. The degree of morphological differentiation of the two Tylos species was also investigated.
Both papers will eventually be freely available for download from Dr Deidun’s personal website
. Dr Deidun is deeply grateful to the Research Committee of the University of Malta for making such research possible.
Distribution of the two Phaleria
beetle species sampled in the first study on sandy beaches.Tylos europaeus
, one of the two Tylos species under the spotlight in one of the two scientific studies on sandy beaches just finalised.
06 December 2013
Dr Joseph De Giovanni Awarded Title of Visiting External Professor
During a ceremony, held at the Medical School Auditorium, Dr Joseph De Giovanni M.D., was recently awarded the title of Visiting External Professor of the University of Malta.
In a brief oration, the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, Professor Godfrey LaFerla, said that Dr De Giovanni has distinguished himself in the field of paediatric cardiology and is highly respected both in Malta and abroad. His contribution to this area of study, continued the Dean, includes regular contributions to journals and lectures whilst he also undertakes clinical trials and runs charity workshops in various parts of the world.
Although Dr De Giovanni left these shores to follow a career abroad he always used his position to continue to help, support and promote the University of Malta, and the Medical School in particular, said the Dean.
In 1994, Dr De Giovanni was awarded the National Order of Merit for services rendered to this country. The presentation of this title coincided with the 40th anniversary of Dr De Giovanni’s graduation.
Dr De Giovanni (on the left) with Prof. LaFerla
05 December 2013
Have Your Say About Surveillance in Europe
Researchers from the Department of Cognitive Science in the Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences are leading EU-wide research about the views of citizens towards the cost, convenience, and success of surveillance in the fighting of terrorism and crime. This is part of RESPECT – a 4.3 million Euro collaborative project with researchers from 19 institutions in 16 countries that is co-funded by the European Union within the Seventh Framework Programme.
As part of this research, the team has just gone live with an online survey, and it would greatly assist if you could spare around 15 minutes to participate. The questionnaire is available in all official languages of the European Union and can be found here.
This survey represents a real opportunity for citizens to influence the way things are run, since the results will be taken into consideration when preparing policy briefs to the European Commission about the implementation, use, and limits, of surveillance.
If you would like more information about this survey or the RESPECT project, please visit the project website or contact Dr Noellie Brockdorff, Department of Cognitive Science, Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences.
25 November 2013
Europe’s World is the only independent Europe-wide policy journal, produced in association with some 100-plus leading European think tanks and academic institutions. Since its launch in 2005 it has become the premier ideas platform for new thinking on political, economic and social issues, read by over 100,000 of the most influential decision makers and opinion formers across Europe.
Published every 4 months, Europe’s World’s objective is to stimulate the much needed debate over topical policy issues by encouraging citizens and stakeholders within civil society, media, academia, business and government, to engage in a series of genuine and informed political debates which reach beyond the Brussels village.
To date over 300 authors, including Heads of State, corporate chiefs, top academics, leading NGO activists or policymakers, have contributed articles, firmly cementing Europe’s World’s reputation as a platform for new thinking and ground-breaking ideas.
Europe’s World’s newly extended website, EuropesWorld.org, is designed to further promote debate on the policy challenges facing Europe. It spans articles and reactions to articles published in Europe’s World, but is not limited to the journal since it also features studies and reports from think tanks throughout Europe.
Its aim is to give readers direct access to the latest in policy thinking across the EU, and encourage visitors to submit their own reports and comment on any of the contributions featured on the website.
06 November 2009
Joint Research Centre European Commission: Update
The Future of Harmonised Environmental Information
The press release is available online.
Information and updates on the research carried out by the Joint Research Centre European Commission is available here. Interested persons wishing to seek additional information about visiting the JRC institutes and/or participating in such projects should get in touch with the JRC National.
Dr Maria Attard at the University of Malta
Dr Jennifer Cassingena Harper at the Malta Council for Science & Technology
25 February 2011
New Book Edited by Peter Mayo
A new book edited by Peter Mayo has just been published. It is titled: Learning with Adults. A Reader, and features chapters by various authors: Zygmunt Bauman, Oskar Negt, Ursula Apitzsch, Antonia Darder, Daniel Schugurensky, John Myers, Dip Kapoor, Rosa Maria Torres, Palle Rasmussen, Anna Maria Piussi, D. W. Livingstone, Carmel Borg, Antonia De Vita, Joseph Giordmaina, Asoke Bhattacharya, Marvin Formosa, Lyn Tett, Kaela Jubas, Robert Hill, Cynthia Lee Pemberton, Alexis Kokkos, Eileen Casey White, Jim Elmborg, Didacus Jules, Leona English, Edward Shizha, Behrang Foroughi, Tadi Ruth Modipa, Mae Shaw, Julia Preece, Rosie Meade, Peter Rule, Ali Abdi, Patricia Cranton and Peter Mayo. It also contains a name and subject index.
It is the companion reader to the 2012 publication, co-authored by Leona English and Peter Mayo, Learning with Adults A Critical Pedagogical Introduction. It is published by Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, Taipei and Boston.
For further details and a preview click here.
06 December 2013
10 December 2013