Alessandro Laudicella

        Photo of Alessandro Laudicella SAMS

PhD student

I am a marine biologist interested in the development of shellfish aquaculture and the application of Mass Spectrometry techniques to study the physiology of farmed bivalves. 

My PhD project investigates the metabolism and physiology of the blue mussel Mytilus edulis during gonad development and the early life stages - aiming to improve the supply of juveniles to the shellfish industry. 

I am particularly interested in using LC-MS based approaches for protein and lipid identification and quantification.

Contact details:

Lipidomic and proteomic investigations of commercial bivalve production in Scotland

The shellfish aquaculture production in Europe and in UK relies on the collection of spats and seeds from the wild. This is one of the main constraints faced by the sector as the growers rely only on the natural production of seeds, which is highly variable between the years. The establishment of commercial hatcheries can solve this bottleneck issue for the sector.

My PhD project involves an in a depth investigation of the metabolism and physiology during all the critical production stages for the blue mussel (Mytilus edulis). Cutting-edge LC-MS based techniques will be employed to elucidate proteins and lipid patterns during the main physiological processes in bivalves: as the gonad maturation, the larval development and the spat settlement.

The outcomes of this project will be crucial to overtake one of the major constraints faced by the shellfish industry: the juveniles supply and the implementation of the hatchery processes.

The main aims of this study are:

  • >To improve the larval development in the blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) by evaluating the effects of innovative diets on the larvae
  • >Evaluate the effects of the key factor influencing the gonad development process in the brood-stock
  • >Evaluate the effects of the diet composition during the larval development and spats settlement

The results of this project will feed into the pilot study for the establishment of the first Scottish mussel hatchery in the Shetlands (SAICHatch)

Project supervisors

Dr Adam Hughes, SAMS UHI

Dr Stefano Carboni, University of Stirling

Dr Mary Doherty, UHI

Professor Phil D Whitfield, UHI


European Social Fund, Scotland’s 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Fund programmes


University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI)

Peer-reviewed publications

Laudicella V, Whitfield PD, Carboni S, Doherty MK, Hughes AD (2019) Application of lipidomics in bivalve aquaculture, a review. Reviews in Aquaculture, 1-25. DOI: 10.111/raq.12346

Messina C., Faggio C., Laudicella V. A., Sanfilippo M., Trischitta and Santulli A. (2014). Effect of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) on stress response of the Mediterraneam mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis): regulatory volume decrease (Rvd) and modulation of biochemical markers related to oxidative stress. Aquatic Toxicology 157: 94-100. DOI: 10.1016/j.aquatox.2014.10.001.

Conference talks

La qualité des aliments, la santé et bien-être: Test in vitro pour évaluer la relation potentielle entre la toxicité, le stress oxydatif et le cancer dans des cultures cellulaires exposés aux composes d’Anisakis pegreffii. Trapani, 20th March 2015.

Poster presentations

Messina C., Randazzo M., Arena R., Laudicella V. A., Santulli A. (2014). Salinity stress response in three species of Sparidae candidates for organic aquaculture. Journal of Biological Research 87 (1).

Messina C., Laudicella V. A., Pizzo F., Modica A., Santulli A. (2014). Biomarkers of oxidative stress as an early warning system to detect in vitro xenobiotics' toxicity: effects of sub lethal doses of Bis (2-Chloro-1-methyleethyl) ether in cell culture. Journal of Biological Research 87 (1).

Employment history

2016-now: PhD student. SAMS UHI, UK

2012-16: Research Assistant. University of Palermo, Italy

2010-11: Marine Biologist. Universal Enterprise Ltd., Maldives

2007-10: Environmental Educator. Marevivo, Italy


2016  Master in Marine Ecology. University of Palermo, Italy

2012 MSc in Applied Aquatic Biology. University of Portsmouth, UK

2010 Bachelor in Marine Biology. University of Palermo, Italy

Professional memberships

British Mass Spectrometry Society

Biochemical Society

World Aquaculture Society


Media coverage

Scottish shellfish, the economics, lipodomics and proteomic!



April 2017: Travel grant from The British Mass Spectrometry Society to participate in the Quantitative Proteomics training course (London 22nd-23rd May 2017)