Prof. Joseph A Borg

Prof. Joseph A Borg

Prof. Joseph A Borg


Associate Professor

Room 227
Biomedical Sciences Building
University of Malta
  +356 2340 2850
Obtained BSc and MSc degrees from the University of Malta, and a PhD degree from the University of Plymouth (UK). His teaching interests are in the areas of animal biology, ecology and marine biology. His research activities are mainly focused on ecological assessment and monitoring, with particular emphasis on themes concerning marine ecology. He is involved in research on the ecology of seagrass and algal habitats, and on the environmental impacts of aquaculture. Dr Borg has been carrying out marine environmental surveys since 1991, using scientific diving and other in situ survey techniques, as well as remote sensing procedures.

In 2006 he chaired the Local Organising Committee of the Mediterranean Seagrass Workshop (MSW2006) which was hosted by the Department of Biology (University of Malta). He is currently committee member of the Mediterranean Seagrass Association - Seagrass 2000, a non-profit association that promotes Mediterranean seagrass research, and member of several international working groups dealing with interactions between aquaculture and the environment, and the development of sustainable mariculture. He publishes regularly and acts as reviewer for several leading international marine biology journals. Currently, he is Review Editor for the journal Aquaculture Environment Interactions.
  • Ecological assessment and monitoring
  • Marine ecology
  • Aquaculture-environment interactions
  • Ecology of seagrass and algal habitats
  • Crustacean ecology
  • Anthropogenic impacts on marine and terrestrial habitats

Abadie, A., Pace, M., Gobert, S. & Borg, J.A. 2018, "Seascape ecology in Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows: Linking structure and ecological processes for management", Ecological Indicators, vol. 87, pp. 1-13.

Bonanno, G. & Borg, J.A. 2018, "Comparative analysis of trace element accumulation in seagrasses Posidonia oceanica and Cymodocea nodosa: Biomonitoring applications and legislative issues", Marine Pollution Bulletin, vol. 128, pp. 24-31.

Mangion, M., Borg, J.A. & Sanchez-Jerez, P. 2018, "Differences in magnitude and spatial extent of impact of tuna farming on benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages", Regional Studies in Marine Science, vol. 18, pp. 197-207.

Bonanno, G., Borg, J.A. & Di Martino, V. 2017, "Levels of heavy metals in wetland and marine vascular plants and their biomonitoring potential: A comparative assessment", Science of The Total Environment, vol. 576, pp. 796-806.

Mangion, M., Borg, J.A., Schembri, P.J. & Sanchez‐Jerez, P. 2017, "Assessment of benthic biological indicators for evaluating the environmental impact of tuna farming", Aquaculture Research, vol. 48, no. 12, pp. 5797-5811.

Pace, M., Borg, J.A., Galdies, C. & Malhotra, A. 2017, "Influence of wave climate on architecture and landscape characteristics of Posidonia oceanica meadows", Marine Ecology, vol. 38, pp. e12387.

Maciver, S.K., Evans, J., Borg, J.A., Ramos-Esplá, A.A. & Schembri, P.J. 2016, "Status of the ‘Mangrove tunicate’Ecteinascidia turbinata (Ascidiacea: Perophoridae) in the Mediterranean Sea", Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, , pp. 1-8.

Sanchez-Jerez, P., Karakassis, I., Massa, F., Fezzardi, D., Aguilar-Manjarrez, J., Soto, D., Chapela, R., Ávila, P., Macías, J.C., Tomassetti, P., Marino, G., Borg, J.A., Franičević, V., Yucel-Gier, G., Fleming, I.A., Biao1, X., Nhhala1, H., Hamza1, H., Forcada1, A. & Dempster, T. 2016, "Aquaculture’s struggle for space: the need for coastal spatial planning and the potential benefits of Allocated Zones for Aquaculture (AZAs) to avoid conflict and promote sustainability", Aquaculture Environment Interactions, vol. 8, pp. 41-54.

Arechavala-Lopez, P., Borg, J.A., Šegvić-Bubić, T., Tomassetti, P., Özgül, A. & Sanchez-Jerez, P. 2015, "Aggregations of wild Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus L.) at Mediterranean offshore fish farm sites: environmental and management considerations", Fisheries Research, vol. 164, pp. 178-184.

Jackson, D., Drumm, A., McEvoy, S., Jensen, Ø., Mendiola, D., Gabiña, G., Borg, J.A., Papageorgiou, N., Karakassis, Y. & Black, K.D. 2015, "A pan-European valuation of the extent, causes and cost of escape events from sea cage fish farming", Aquaculture, vol. 436, pp. 21-26.

Vázquez-Luis, M., Borg, J.A., Morell, C., Banach-Esteve, G. & Deudero, S. 2015, "Influence of boat anchoring on Pinna nobilis: a field experiment using mimic units", Marine and Freshwater Research, vol. 66, no. 9, pp. 786-794.

Mangion, M., Borg, J.A. & Thompson, R. & Schembri, P.J 2014, "Influence of tuna penning activities on soft bottom macrobenthic assemblages", Marine Pollution Bulletin, vol. 79, pp. 164-174.

Evans, J., Borg, J.A. & Schembri, P.J. 2013, "First record of Herdmania momus (Ascidiacea: Pyuridae) from the central Mediterranean Sea", Marine Biodiversity Records, vol. 6, pp. e134.

Bonnici, L., Evans, J., Borg, J. & SCHEMBRI, P. 2012, "Biological aspects and ecological effects of a bed of the invasive non-indigenous mussel Brachidontes pharaonis (Fischer P., 1870) in Malta", Mediterranean Marine Science, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 153-161.

Vázquez-Luis, M., Borg, J.A., Sanchez-Jerez, P. & Bayle-Sempere, J.T. 2012, "Habitat colonisation by amphipods: Comparison between native and alien algae", Journal of experimental marine biology and ecology, vol. 432, pp. 162-170.

Evans, J., Borg, J.A. & Schembri, P.J. 2011, "Distribution, habitat preferences and behaviour of the critically endangered Maltese top-shell Gibbula nivosa (Gastropoda: Trochidae)", Marine Biology, vol. 158, no. 3, pp. 603-611.

Borg, J.A., Rowden, A.A., Attrill, M.J., Schembri, P.J. & Jones, M.B. 2010, "Spatial variation in the composition of motile macroinvertebrate assemblages associated with two bed types of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica. ", Marine Ecology Progress Series, vol. 406, pp. 91-104.

Claudet, J., Osenberg, C., 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, Á., Alfonso, 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 Applications, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 830-839.

Borg, J.A., Evans, J. & Schembri, P.J. 2009, "Occurrence of the alien nudibranch Melibe viridis (Kelaart, 1858) (Opisthobranchia, Tethydidae), in the Maltese Islands", Mediterranean Marine Science, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 131-136.

Borg, J.A., Rowden, A.A., Attrill, M.J., Schembri, P.J. & Jones, M.B. 2009, "Occurence and distribution of different bed types of seagrass Posidonia oceanica around the Maltese Islands", Mediterranean Marine Science, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 45-61.

Sciberras, M., Rizzo, M., Mifsud, J.R., Camilleri, K., Borg, J.A., Lanfranco, E. & Schembri, P.J. 2009, "Habitat structure and biological characteristics of a maerl bed off the northeastern coast of the Maltese Islands (central Mediterranean)", Marine Biodiversity, vol. 39, pp. 251-264.

Holmer, M., Hansen, P.K., Karakassis, I., Borg, J.A. & Schembri, P.J. 2008, "Monitoring of Environmental Impacts of Marine Aquaculture." in Aquaculture in the Ecosystem, eds. M. Holmer, K. Black, C. Duarte, N. Marba & I. Karakassis, Springer, Heidelberg, Germany, pp. 47-85.

Panigada, S., Pavan, G., Borg, J.A., Galil, B.S. & Vallini, S. 2008, "Biodiversity impacts of ship movement, noise, grounding and anchoring." in Maritime traffic effects on biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea Volume 1 - Review of impacts, priority areas and mitigation measures, eds. A. Abdulla & O. Linden, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Malaga, Spain, pp. 9-55.

Borg, J.A., Micallef, M.A. & Schembri, P.J. 2006, "Spatio-temporal variation in the structure of a deep water Posidonia oceanica meadow assessed using non-destructive techniques", Marine Ecology, vol. 27, pp. 320-327.

Borg, J.A., Rowden, A.A., Attrill, M.J., Schembri, P.J. & Jones, M.B. 2006, "Wanted dead or alive: high diversity of macroinvertebrates associated with living and 'dead' Posidonia oceanica matte", Marine Biology, vol. 149, pp. 667-677.

Borg, J.A., Attrill, M., Rowden, A., Schembri, P. & Jones, M. 2005, "Architectural characteristics of two bed types of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica over different spatial scales", Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, vol. 62, no. 4, pp. 667-678.

Pergent-Martini, C., Leoni, V., Pasqualini, V., Ardizzone, G.D., Balestri, E., Bedini, R., Belluscio, A., Belsher, T., Borg, J.A., Boudouresque, C.F., Boumaza, S., Bouquegneau, J.M., Buia, M.C., Calvo, S., Cebrian, J., Charbonnel, E., Cinelli, F., Cossu, A., Di Maida, G., Dural, B., Francour, P., Gobert, S., Lepoint, G., Meinesz, A., Molenaar, H., Mansour, H.M., Panayotidis, P., Peirano, A., Pergent, G., Piazzi, L., Pirotta, M., Relini, G., Romero, J., Sanchez-Lizaso, J.L., Semroud, R., Schembri, P.J., Shili, A., Tomasello, A. & Velimirov, B. 2005, "Descriptors of Posidonia oceanica meadows: Use and application", Ecological Indicators, vol. 5, pp. 213-230.

Barbera, C., Bordehore, C., Borg, J.A., Glemarec, M., Grall, J., Hall-Spencer, J., De La Huz, C., Lanfranco, E., Lastra, M., Moore, P.G., Mora, J., Pita, M.E., Ramos Espla, A.A., Rizzo, M., Sanchez-Mata, A., Seva, A., Schembri, P.J. & Vella, C. 2003, "Conservation and Management of northeast Atlantic and Mediterrenean maerl beds.", Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater, vol. Ecosystems 13, no. S65-S67, pp. 65-76.

Borg, J.A., Attrill, M.J., Rowden, A.A., Schembri, P.J. & Jones, M.B. 2002, "A quantitative technique for sampling motile macroinvertebrates in beds of seagrass Posidonia oceanica (L.)Delile", Scientia Marina, vol. 66, no. 1, pp. 53-58.

Dimech, M., Borg, J.A. & Schembri, P.J. 2002, "Changes in the structure of a Posidonia oceanica meadow and in the diversity of associated decapod, mollusc and echinoderm assemblages, resulting from inputs of waste from a marine fish farm (Malta, Central Mediterranean)", Bulletin of Marine Science, vol. 71, no. 3, pp. 1309-1321.

Borg, J.A. & Schembri, P.J. 2000, "Bathymetric distribution of decapods associated with a Posidonia oceanica meadow in Malta (Central Mediterrenean)", Crustacean Issues, vol. 12, pp. 119-130.

Borg, J.A., Howege, H.M., Lanfranco, E., Micallef, S.A., Mifsud, C. & Schembri, P.J. 1998, "The macrobenthic species of the infralittoral to circalittoral transition zone off the northeastern coast of Malta (Central Mediterranean)", Xjenza, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 16-24.

Cormaci, M., Lanfranco, E., Borg, J.A., Buttigieg, S., Furnari, G., Micallef, S.A., Mifsud, C., Pizzuto, F., Scammacca, B. & Serio, D. 1997, "Contribution to the knowledge of benthic marine algae on rocky substrata of the Maltese Islands (Mediterrenean Sea)", Botanica Marina, vol. 40, pp. 203-215.

Borg, J.A. & Schembri, P.J. 1996, "Preliminary data on the occurance and distribution of shallow water marine sponges (Porifera) around Maltese coasts", Xjenza, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 24-28.

  • BIO1070 - Perspectives and Research Methods in Biology
  • BIO1100 - An Introduction to Marine Biology
  • BIO1500 - Introductory Applied Biology
  • BIO2530 - Ecology and Ethology 2
  • BIO3060 - Field Biology - Coastal and Marine Habitats
  • BIO3100 - Marine Biology
  • BIO3110 - Final Year Project in Biology
  • BIO3520 - Natural History of the Maltese Islands
  • BIO3530 - Ecotoxicology
  • BIO3560 - Management of Biological Resources
  • BIO5130 - Topics in Ecosystems and Biodiversity
  • BIO5140 - Ecosystem Goods and Services
  • BIO5150 - Terrestrial and Aquatic Food Production 1
  • BIO5155 - Terrestrial and Aquatic Food Production 2
  • BIO5160 - Maintenance of Natural Living Resources
  • BIO5165 - Research Methods in Applied Biology
  • EMP5008 - Biodiversity Conservation: Theory and Application
  • IMS5026 - The Maltese Natural Heritage
  • SCI3501 - Academic Writing and Statistical Techniques for Scientific Research
  • SPI1303 - Introduction to Landscape and Human Impact
  • SPI1711 - Landscape and Human Impact