PeerJ spoke to Georgia Sarafidou at Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR) about the recently published PeerJ Life & Environment article Insights on Pinna nobilis population genetic structure in the Aegean and Ionian Sea. The article was published as part of the IABO Hub. The IABO Hub is the publishing home of the International Association for Biological Oceanography, and features the latest biological oceanography research published by the members of IABO.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Georgia and workwise speaking I am a Biologist, MSc graduate of Environmental Biology with expertise on the marine environment. For the past years I have been working as a research assistant in the Hellenic Centre of Marine Research (HCMR) in Crete and Athens (Greece). I gained experience on various projects related to biodiversity, and developed technical skills in fields such as data management and citizen science, but also in molecular techniques and field samplings. At this time, I’m strongly interested in making research useful for society
Can you briefly explain the research you published in PeerJ?
The research in question regards the noble shell (Pinna nobilis), the largest bivalve of the Mediterranean Sea which not only is endemic, meaning it only resides in this region of the planet, but it has been also classified as critically endangered. The threats it deals with have been several over the past years with a peak during the last septennium due to a Mass Mortality Event the noble shell’s populations have undergone. In this context, the investigation on genetic diversity and structure of these populations might prove a useful tool for the conservation of the species. So, this is what this research attempts to do: provide insights on the genetic structure of several populations in Greece with the upper goal of adding a small contribution to both the species’ and the ecosystems’ it is associated with- protection.
What was significant about your findings?
One of the most important elements of the study was the contribution with a large number of samples from the Eastern Mediterranean, an area underrepresented in research. Especially for the noble shell, which is endemic in the Mediterranean Sea, coordinated efforts with common standards within the FAIR principles should be carried out all across the Mediterranean Sea in order to properly investigate the species’ populations status and efficiently protect them. The article also highlights this crucial point. Secondly, this study provides insights on the noble shell’s population genetics from the aforementioned area, knowledge that can be used for the protection of the species.
How did you first hear about PeerJ, and what persuaded you to submit to us?
My good colleague, advisor and thesis supervisor Dr Christina Pavloudi, also co-author of this article suggested the PeerJ as she had previously published in this journal. The open access criterion was another plus, since we consider that science should be open and accessible to the scientific community and all people in general. We had the chance of gaining free publishing for celebrating the 10 years of PeerJ and we are thankful to the journal’s staff for that.
How was your experience publishing an article in the IABO hub?
The experience in the IABO hub was quite interesting. There were a lot of requirements but they all made sense in the concept of making the article well-formatted and proper. The instructions were very clear and straightforward and everyone from the editor, the reviewers to the rest of the staff was very careful and communicative.
I would like to thank the journal for giving us the opportunity to talk about our work in a more popularized way, since it is as important to communicate the research outcomes to the general public.
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