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Faunistics and Ecology of the Maltese Islands (FEMI)


This ongoing research project has the following objectives:

i.  The compilation and analysis of existing data on the faunistics and ecology (coastal and marine) of the Maltese Islands with the aim of assessing present knowledge, identifying areas where information is still poor or non-existent, and producing a baseline account as a starting point for further work.

ii.  The detailed study of particular habitats, and of the taxonomy, distribution, habitat relations, biogeographical affinity, basic ecology and conservation status of particular groups of the Maltese fauna. These groups were chosen taking into consideration a number of factors including: intrinsic biological interest, importance in terms of the biogeography of the Maltese Islands, the fact that they have been little studied, the ecosystem services they provide, and their potential for use as biological indicators of environmental quality and habitat type. 
iii.  The assessment of human impact on the natural environment, particularly the biota, habitats and ecosystems, of the Maltese Islands. The aim here is to generate good quality information on which to base policies for the sound management of local biotic resources.

Current work being carried out as part of the FEMI project includes studies on the ecology and behavior of select species, such as the alien crab Percnon gibbesi (click here) and the endemic Maltese topshell Gibbula nivosa (click here), the mapping of the major marine habitat types of the Maltese Islands and the characterisation of particular habitats, such as saline marshlands, coastal rock-pools, rocky shore littoral habitats, sandy and shingle beaches, seagrass meadows, rhodolith beds, deep-water coral and sponge grounds, shallow water pebble and cobble beds, marine caves and the compilation of species lists and updating current knowledge on specific taxonomic groups (e.g. echinoderms).

A list of recent publications can be found here.



Male Percnon gibbesi (photo © Marija Sciberras)

MSc (Research) and PhD application deadlines
Application Deadlines for Academic Year 2017/18 
Giant Glowing Halos around Distant Quasars
Unexpected Giant Glowing Halos around distant quasors
Last Updated: 3 November 2015

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