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School of Environment and Life Sciences

Professor Stefano Mariani

Chair in Conservation Genetics; Associate Dean Research


I have carried out my studies in my native city, Rome, obtaining a full BSc & MSc degree in Biological Sciences, with a Masters thesis in marine ecology (1997), and a PhD thesis in population genetics (2001). I then moved to the University of Hull to work, for 3 years, as a EU-funded post-doc on fisheries genetics of Atlantic herring.

In 2005 I took up a Lectureship in Fish Population Biology at University College Dublin, where I established a thriving research team, and supervised to completion 8 PhD students. 

In 2011 I moved to Salford as a Reader, first, then Professor in 2013, and established a research programme primarily focusing on seafood biodiversity, fish biology and marine community ecology, underpinned by the use of DNA-based approaches. I have since supervised 6 PhD students to completion and attracted over £1M in competitive extramural funding, primarily from the EU and NERC. 


My interests in population genetics and the sustainability of animal populations provide a basis for my teaching. I contribute primarily to Animal EvolutionMarine Biology, the BSc programmes in Zoology, Wildlife and Marine Biology, and the MSc in Wildlife Conservation. 


Research Interests

Please visit for updates on my group’s ongoing research activities.

Qualifications and Memberships

I am the Chair of the ICES Stock Identification Working Group.

I am a member of the Society for the Study of Evolution and the Fisheries Society of the British Isles.  I am co-editor of the forth-coming book Stock Identification Methods, to be published by Elsevier in 2013.

I was Guest Associate Editor for the International Journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.


Full list available at:


Some recent highlights:

Siegenthaler A., Wangensteen O.S., Benvenuto C., Campos J. & Mariani S. (2018): “DNA metabarcoding unveils multi-scale trophic variation in a widespread coastal opportunist”. Molecular Ecology, DOI: 10.1111/mec.14886.

Cawthorn D.M., Baillie C., & Mariani S. (2018): “Generic names and mislabelling conceal high species diversity in global fisheries markets”. Conservation Letters, 11: e12573.

Boussarie G., Bakker J., Wangensteen O.S., Mariani S., Bonnin L., Juhel J.B., Kiszka J.J., Kulbicki M., Manel S., Robbins W.D., Vigliola L., Mouillot D. (2018): “Environmental DNA illuminates the dark diversity of sharks”. Science Advances, 4: 5, eaap9661.

Bakker J., Wangensteen O.S., Chapman D.D., Boussarie G., Buddo D., Guttridge T.L., Hertler H., Mouillot D., Vigliola L. & Mariani S. (2017): “Environmental DNA reveals tropical shark diversity and abundance in contrasting levels of anthropogenic impact”. Scientific Reports, 7: 16886.

Mariani S., Griffiths A.M., Velasco A., Kappel K., & The Labelfish Consortium (2015): “Low mislabeling rates indicate marked improvements in European seafood market operations”. Frontiers in Ecology & the Environment, 13: 536-540.

Shum P., Pampoulie C., Krinstinsson K., & Mariani S. (2015): “Three-dimensional post-glacial expansion and diversification of an exploited oceanic fish”. Molecular Ecology, 24: 3652–3667.