Ice caves biota from Picos de Europa, Cantabria
Ostracods and copepods in caves from the Basque-Cantabrian Mountains, Northern Spain (collaboration with Carlos Prieto, Department of Zoology and Animal Cell Biology, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Bilbao, Spain)
Slovenia & Austria
Disentagling the carbon distribution in karst aquifers: the significance for vertical extent of groundwater biota (collaboration with Tanja Pipan, Karst Research Institute, Postojna, Slovenia and Thomas Dirnböck from Umweltbundesamt, Austria)
Fossil ostracods from caves sediments
The hypogenic karst complex of Frasassi Caves are located in the Mediterranean region, on eastern slopes of the Apennines in central Italy. The caves are formed in Jurassic and Cretacic limestones, and consist in a dendritic network of superimposed and interconnected levels located at different elevations in the Frasassi Gorge incised by the Sentino River in different steps (Galdenzi & Maruoka, 2003). Within this project we aim to use modern and fossil ostracode assemblages from cave water pools and sediments from the extensive sulfidic, chemioautotrophic subterranean ecosystem of Frasassi Cave System to infer past environmental conditions from the Marche region. Both modern and fossil assemblages show the expected pattern of species diversity after the simulation procedure for taxonomic distinctness, which indicates no major extinction events since the Pleistocene. Extant species display patchy distribution according to habitat heterogeneity within the sulphidic environment. Research project in collaboration with Dr. Alessandro Montanari, Geological Observatory of Coldigioco (Italy) and Tadeusz Namiotko, University of Gdansk (Poland).
Movile Cave (southeastern Romania) (collaboration with Serban Sarbu, USA)
Anchialine cave fauna (collaboration with Serban Sarbu, USA)