Claudio Lo Iacono works as senior scientist at the Marine Sciences Institute of the Spanish National Research Council, ICM-CSIC, where he got a permanent position at the end of HABISS Project. Claudio received in 2004 his PhD in sedimentary geology at the University of Naples in Italy, and then worked as a research scientist at the National Oceanography Centre of Southampton, UK. His research implies the use of high-resolution seafloor mapping, video imaging, seafloor samples and benthic landers to understand the spatio-temporal interactions between biotic and abiotic components of Cold-Water Coral reefs on ecologically-relevant geo-forms, such as submarine canyons, seamounts and coral mounds. His research focuses on vulnerable benthic ecosystems, and their interaction with human impacts (marine litter, trawling activities). Claudio’s deep-sea research has been mainly conducted in the Mediterranean Sea and on the NE Atlantic Margin using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). He participated in over 50 oceanographic expeditions and served as Chief Scientist on 10 of them.

Claudio Lo Iacono, PI
Researcher ID: O-6908-2017


Host Institution: ICM-CSIC

The Marine Science Institue ( of the Spanish National Research Conuncil is composed of a staff of more than 300 members. ICM-CSIC covers most of the fields of oceanography and provides a unique setting for conducting interdisciplinary research in the marine environment, such as the type of approach proposed in HABISS, offering many international networking opportunities. The centre, supported by the CSIC International Division and European Programs Department, has extensive experience in hosting foreign researchers, including MCS fellowships and European students from training networks.

Hosting Supervisor

Prof. Pere Puig is a CSIC Research Scientist and Head of the Marine Geosciences Department at the ICM-CSIC, and is the hosting coordinator of HABISS. He has an international known expertise in the study of the contemporary sediment transport processes in the marine environment, with a special interest in the role that submarine canyons play as preferential conduits for the export of particles and associated constituents from shallow to deep regions. Lately, the focus of his research has been addressed to understand the role of deep-sea bottom trawling activities in the sediment resuspension and dispersal in continental slope environments, with specific focus on their impact on deep-sea benthic ecosystems.



NIOZ ( is the National oceanographic Institution of the Netherlands. The institute was founded in 1876 and is part of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) and Utrecht University. The mission of NIOZ is to gain and communicate scientific knowledge on seas and oceans for the understanding and sustainability of our planet, and to facilitate and support marine research. Apart from conducting fundamental research in the main fields of marine sciences (physics, chemistry, biology and geology), frontier-applied research is an upcoming activity of NIOZ. HABISS secondment at NIOZ is aimed at quantifying and interpreting hydrodynamic variability and organic sediment transport over CWC ecosystems.

Furu Mienis

Dr Furu Mienis (female) is employed in the NIOZ department of Marine Geology and Chemical Oceanography. Her expertise includes sedimentology, environmental analysis and benthic-pelagic coupling. Over the last years she has studied the near-bed environmental conditions influencing vulnerable ecosystems (CWC reefs, canyon systems). She has hands on experience in investigating deep-sea current and sediment dynamics using different types of bottom landers and moored equipment and in the sedimentological analysis of sediment cores.


Oceana, founded in 2001, is the largest international organisation focused solely on ocean conservation, protecting marine ecosystems and endangered species. Our offices in Europe, Asia, North America, Central America and South America work together on a limited number of strategic, directed campaigns to achieve measurable outcomes that will help return our oceans to former levels of abundance. We believe in the importance of science in identifying problems and solutions. Our scientists work closely with our teams of economists, lawyers and advocates to achieve tangible results for the oceans. HABISS secondment at OCEANA is aimed at increasing knowledge in science-based marine environmental advocacy, including communication with stakeholders.

Allison Perry

Dr. Allison Perry, PhD (Marine Biology, University of East Anglia, 2008) is the Deputy Director of Research and Expeditions in OCEANA. Dr. Perry helps to oversee Oceana’s European scientific work, which aims to provide valuable scientific information (including through at-sea research expeditions) to advance marine conservation and sustainable fisheries management. Previously, she led Oceana’s European policy campaigns for species and habitat protection, at national, EU, and international levels, including work with Regional Seas Conventions and Regional Fisheries Management Organizations.

HABISS Collaborative partner

Ocean Network Canada

OCEAN NETWOTK CANADA (ONC) is a world-class institution in monitoring deep-sea ecosystems, providing one of the most complete multidisciplinary seafloor and water column cabled observational system of the world. Collaboration with ONC envisaged within HABISS will take profit of existing long time-series (up to 11 years) from a ONC NEPTUNE seafloor cabled observatory located in the Barkley Canyon, close to the CWC field under study, providing a full spectrum of collected oceanographic and hydrodynamic variables.

Fabio De Leo

Fabio De Leo, is a senior scientist at ONC, with almost 30 years of international experience on marine biodiversity, with focus on deep-sea ecosystems. He has an extensive knowledge on submarine canyon systems in the Pacific, including Hawaiian, NE Pacific and New Zealand canyons. He has a strong data-driven expertise in support to marine spatial planning, conservation and policy and almost 10 years of experience with coastal and deep-sea ocean observing/monitoring systems. Fabio’s main current scientific interest focuses in understanding the effects of human impacts on a range of deep-sea ecosystems. and moored equipment and in the sedimentological analysis of sediment cores.