Alan Deidun

Alan Deidun
University of Malta · Oceanography Malta (OM) research group, Department of Geosciences

BSc (Hons.) PGDip (MSP) PhD (Biology) FRSB
Ocean Ambassador for Malta, Spot the Alien Fish citizen science campaign coordinator, Director IOI-Malta Training Centre

About

263
Publications
107,804
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Introduction
Prof. Alan Deidun is a Full Professor at the Department of Geosciences of the University of Malta, Malta's Ocean Ambassador, a member of the UN's Regular Process and Director of the IOI Malta Training Centre. The main thematics which interest him are coastal and marine ecology, biological oceanography, ecology and genetics of invasive alien species (IAS), marine conservation, Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), Marine Spatial Planning, dynamics of jellyfish outbreaks and policy-research interfaces.
Additional affiliations
June 2010 - February 2017
University of Malta
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
June 2009 - November 2014
University of Malta
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
December 2001 - October 2006
University of Malta
Position
  • Research Assistant

Publications

Publications (263)
Article
Full-text available
The occurrence of the silver-cheeked toadfish, Lagocephalus sceleratus, is reported for the first time from Maltese waters. The specimen was caught at a depth of 15 m in a sparse sea grass Posidonia oceanica meadow. The need for a public information campaign on the danger to human health posed by the species, and to develop an early warning system...
Article
The squirrelfish genus, Sargocentron, is reported for the first time from Maltese coastal waters within the Central Mediterranean. The record is based on two individuals caught at two different coastal locations in the Maltese Islands within the space of a few days of each other, through the same fishing technique (trammel nets). In view of the imp...
Article
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Cumulative human impacts have led to the degradation of marine ecosystems and the decline of biodiversity in the European and contiguous seas. Effective conservation measures are urgently needed to reverse these trends. Conservation must entail societal choices, underpinned by human values and worldviews that differ between the countries bordering...
Article
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The Mediterranean Sea is home to over 2/3 of the world's charter boat traffic and hosts an estimated 1.5 million recreational boats. Studies elsewhere have demonstrated marinas as important hubs for the stepping-stone transfer of non-indigenous species (NIS), but these unique anthropogenic, and typically artificial habitats have largely gone overlo...
Article
In late autumn and early winter of 2004, two individuals of the Erythrean alien Rhopilema nomadica were sighted at two locations off the Maltese Islands, marking the westernmost records of this species in the Mediterranean Sea. Since only two adult specimens were ever reported from Maltese waters, in the species has yet to establish a reproducing p...
Article
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Here, we report the recent capture (October, November 2021) of the following three non-indigenous species (NIS) from the Indo-Pacific in the Mediterranean Sea: the fishes Naso annulatus and Scatophagus argus and the brachyuran Charybdis (Charybdis) natator. The record of the white margin unicorn fish N. annulatus from the island of Malta represents...
Article
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The recent first findings of the Lessepsian migrant Lutjanus argentimaculatus (Forsskål, 1775) and of the Atlantic range-expanding Psenes pellucidus Lütken, 1880 in the waters of Malta, central Mediterranean, are described. The current distribution in the basin of these t wo fish species is briefly discussed.
Article
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In the Bomba Gulf, Tobruk, eastern Libya, a specimen of the fangtooth moray, Enchelycore anatina (Lowe, 1839), was caught in gill nets at approximately 20 m of depth. An additional observation of the species from southern Calabria, Italy, is also reported. The findings of this range-expanding species of Atlantic origin document the first record fro...
Article
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The genus Pinna includes two species in the Mediterranean Sea: Pinna nobilis and Pinna rudis. Both these species are under threat from multiple stressors. Pinna nobilis, in particular, has been exhibiting mass mortality events (MMEs) since 2016. The population and distribution of these species have never been comprehensively explored in the Maltese...
Article
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Maerl beds are biogenic benthic habitats distributed worldwide and known to sustain high productivity and biodiversity levels. In the Mediterranean, the number of studies that have been carried out is limited, and little is known on its real distribution, mostly due to the difficulties of exploring such habitats -Due to the high transparency of Med...
Article
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The invasive portunid species Callinectes sapidus is hereby recorded for the first time from Maltese waters, thus updating the known distribution of this decapod of Atlantic origin within the Mediterranean. Potential introduction pathways of the species to Maltese waters are discussed.
Article
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The first occurrence of Diadema setosum in the southern Mediterranean waters is recorded from the shores of Libya and Egypt, through the input by citizens' science. The expansion of this invasive sea urchin in the Mediterranean basin is briefly discussed.
Article
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The first occurrence of Diadema setosum in the southern Mediterranean waters is recorded from the shores of Libya and Egypt, through the input by citizens' science. The expansion of this invasive sea urchin in the Mediterranean basin is briefly discussed.
Article
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At the behest of the Green Deal, circular economy concepts are currently being widely promoted, not least within the aquaculture sector. The current study aims to demonstrate the technical feasibility of extracting collagen and fish oils from waste Atlantic bluefin tuna biomass originating from the Maltese aquaculture industry. For collagen, a thre...
Article
The accelerated discard and mismanagement of human-made products are resulting in the continued input of litter into the oceans. Models and field observations show how floating litter can accumulate in remote areas throughout the global ocean, but far less is known about the non-floating litter fraction. Seagrass meadows play an important role in t...
Article
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An adult of Acanthurus xanthopterus Valenciennes, 1835 was caught in the waters off Alexandria, Egypt, in August 2021, through spearfishing. This finding documents the first occurrence of the species in the Mediterranean basin. Description of the specimen, morphometric measurements and meristic characters are given. The yellowfin surgeonfish is wid...
Article
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This Collective Article includes records of 29 alien and cryptogenic species in the Mediterranean Sea, belonging to eight Phyla (Rhodophyta, Ochrophyta, Cnidaria, Annelida, Mollusca, Arthropoda, Echinodermata, and Chordata) and coming from 11 countries. Notes published here can be divided into three different categories: occupancy estimation for wi...
Article
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Invasive portunid crabs in Libyan waters: first record of the Atlantic blue crab Callinectes sapidus Rathbun, 1896 and range expansion of the swimming blue crab Portunus segnis (Forskål, 1775) Abstract The occurrence of the portunid Callinectes sapidus is documented for the first time from Libyan waters. The record fills a gap of knowledge concerni...
Article
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This Collective Article presents information about 27 taxa belonging to five Phyla (one Ochrophyta, one Cnidaria, three Arthropoda, two Mollusca and twenty Chordata) and extending from the Western Mediterranean Sea to the Levantine Sea and the Black Sea (Sea of Marmara). The new records were reported from 11 countries as follows: Algeria: occurrenc...
Article
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CORRECTED PROOF Rapid Communication Records of new and rare alien fish in North African waters: the burrowing goby Trypauchen vagina (Bloch and Schneider, 1801) and the bartail flathead Platycephalus indicus (Linnaeus, 1758) in Egypt and the cobia Rachycentron canadum (Linnaeus, 1766) in Libya Abstract The first records of Trypauchen vagina (Bloch...
Article
The much-publicised increased resistance of pathogenic bacteria to conventional antibiotics has focused research effort on the characterization of new antimicrobial drugs. In this context, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) extracted from animals are considered a promising alternative to conventional antibiotics. In recent years, freshwater crayfish spe...
Article
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Two specimens of Ablennes hians (Valenciennes, 1846) were collected between 2018 and 2020 in nearshore waters off the island of Malta. The first occurrence of the flat needlefish in the central Mediterranean, almost contemporary to its first record in the eastern Levantine Sea, is briefly discussed.
Article
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Giordan Lighthouse, located on the island of Gozo in the Malta-Sicily Channel within the central Mediterranean region, is ideally located to study the primary sources of atmospheric pollution. A total of 10 years of data have been accumulated from the reactive gas and greenhouse gas detectors and the aerosol analyzers found at this Global Atmospher...
Article
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Science is addressing global societal challenges, and due to limitations in research financing, scientists are turning to the public at large to jointly tackle specific environmental issues. Citizens are therefore increasingly involved in monitoring programs, appointed as citizen scientists with potential to delivering key data at near to no cost t...
Article
Full-text available
The silver-cheeked toadfish (Lagocephalus sceleratus, from the pufferfish family Tetraodontidae) and the Pacific red lionfish (Pterois miles, family Scorpaenidae) have recently invaded the Mediterranean Sea. Lagocephalus sceleratus has spread throughout this entire sea with the highest concentrations in the eastern basin, while more recently, Ptero...
Article
Full-text available
The first record of the northern brown shrimp, Penaeus aztecus Ives, 1891, from Libyan nearshore waters is hereby documented. Thirteen individuals of the species were caught by artisanal fishers using a mixture of gill and trammel nets in September 2020 within the Umm-Hufayn Lagoon. This lagoon is situated within the Gulf of Bomba along the Libyan...
Article
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Citation: Al Mabruk SAA, Zava B, Abdulghani A, Corsini-Foka М, Deidun A (2021) The first record of the pharaoh cardinal fish, Apogonichthyoides pharaonis (Actinopterygii: Perciformes: Apogonidae), from Libyan waters. Acta Ichthyologica et Piscatoria 51(1): 113-118. https://doi. Abstract The occurrence of the pharaoh cardinalfish, Apogonichthyoides...
Article
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Considerable research effort has recently been invested into the reporting of Non- Indigenous Species (NIS) within the Mediterranean Sea, with species’ first records from the Basin holding most prestige within the biological community. This invariably leads to a discard of secondary, unpublished records, which represent a vast repository of informa...
Article
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Air and sea transport is crucial to link islands with each other and with mainland. In the case of archipelagos, connectivity is based on the hub and spoke network model and is influenced by layering and dominance/subordination relationships. This paper is based on fieldwork in nine islands in the central Mediterranean region that straddle the Malt...
Preprint
Full-text available
Science is addressing global societal challenges and, due to limitations in research financing, scientists are turning to public at large to jointly tackle specific environmental issues. Citizens are therefore increasingly involved in monitoring programs, appointed as citizen scientists with potential to delivering key data at near no cost to addre...
Article
Full-text available
The rapid, global spread of COVID-19, and the measures intended to limit or slow its propagation , are having major impacts on diverse sectors of society. Notably, these impacts are occurring in the context of other anthropogenic-driven threats including global climate change. Both anthropogenic stressors and the COVID-19 pandemic represent signifi...
Article
Full-text available
The rapid, global spread of COVID-19, and the measures intended to limit or slow its propagation, are having major impacts on diverse sectors of society. Notably, these impacts are occurring in the context of other anthropogenic-driven threats including global climate change. Both anthropogenic stressors and the COVID-19 pandemic represent signific...
Article
Full-text available
Whilst both plastic production and inputs at sea have increased since the 1950s, several modelling studies predict a further increase in the coming years in these respective quantities. We compiled scientific literature on trends in marine litter, consisting largely of plastic and microplastics in the ocean, understanding that monitoring programs o...
Article
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The marbled crayfish (Procambarus virginalis) represents a very recently evolved partheno-genetic freshwater crayfish species that has invaded diverse habitats in Europe and in Madagascar. However, population genetic analyses have been hindered by the homogeneous genetic structure of the population and the lack of suitable tools for data analysis....
Article
In recent years, citizen science campaigns have provided a very good platform for widespread data collection. Within the marine domain, jellyfish are among the most commonly deployed species for citizen reporting purposes. The timely validation of submitted jellyfish reports remains challenging, given the sheer volume of reports being submitted and...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, citizen science campaigns have provided a very good platform for widespread data collection. Within the marine domain, jellyfish are among the most commonly deployed species for citizen reporting purposes. The timely validation of submitted jellyfish reports remains challenging, given the sheer volume of reports being submitted and...
Conference Paper
The generation of benthic habitat maps relies either on direct in-situ observations made by SCUBA divers swimming in a rectilinear fashion, or on costly remote sensing techniques involving either ROVs or sonar technology. The recent commercialisation of off-the-shelf underwater drones has enhanced benthic mapping possibilities by providing a cost-e...
Article
Full-text available
The second record of the Queen angelfish, Holacanthus ciliaris (Linnaeus, 1758), is hereby documented for the Mediterranean, through a single individual spearfished within Maltese coastal waters. Considerations on the potential introduction pathway for the species, which is popular in the aquarium trade, are made.
Article
This Collective Article presents information about 21 taxa belonging to seven Phyla (one Ochrophyta, one Porifera, three Cnidaria, two Arthropoda, three Mollusca, one Echinodermata, and ten Chordata) and extending from the western Mediterranean Sea to the Levantine Sea. The new records were reported from nine countries as follows: Spain: first reco...
Article
Full-text available
This Collective Article presents information about 21 taxa belonging to seven Phyla (one Ochrophyta, one Porifera, three Cni-daria, two Arthropoda, three Mollusca, one Echinodermata, and ten Chordata) and extending from the western Mediterranean Sea to the Levantine Sea. The new records were reported from nine countries as follows: Spain: first rec...
Data
List of publications by Prof. Alan Deidun to date (10th July 2020)
Article
Full-text available
The first Mediterranean record of the pomacanthid Holacanthus africanus, caught within the Maltese waters, was assigned based on morphological and meristic characters. However, molecular and genetic analyses are required to confirm the taxonomic determination and avoid misidentification given the abundance of closely-related Pomacanthidae species a...
Article
Full-text available
The tenpounder fish genus Elops Linnaeus, 1766 was recorded for the first time from the Mediterranean in October 2019, as a single individual was caught in Maltese waters. The genus has a disparate global distribution consisting of west Atlantic and west Pacific tropical and subtropical areas. A single individual was caught, but not retained, durin...
Article
Full-text available
Good datasets of geo-referenced records of alien species are a prerequisite for assessing the spatio-temporal dynamics of biological invasions, their invasive potential, and the magnitude of their impacts. However, with the exception of first records on a country level or wider regions, observations of species presence tend to remain unpublished, b...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Good datasets of geo-referenced records of alien species are a prerequisite for assessing the spatio-temporal dynamics of biological invasions, their invasive potential, and the magnitude of their impacts. However, with the exception of first records on a country level or wider regions, observations of species presence tend to remain unpub...
Article
Full-text available
Good datasets of geo-referenced records of alien species are a prerequisite for assessing the spatio-temporal dynamics of biological invasions, their invasive potential, and the magnitude of their impacts. However, with the exception of first records on a country level or wider regions, observations of species presence tend to remain unpublished, b...
Article
Evaluating the effects of anthropogenic pressure on the marine environment is one of the focal objectives in identifying strategies for its use, conservation and restoration. In this paper, we assessed the effects of chemical pollutants, grain size and plastic litter on functional traits, biodiversity and biotic indices. The study was conducted on...
Article
The aim of this research was to assess marine litter abundance and its effects on the benthic fauna in an area of the central Mediterranean Sea exploited by fisheries using fish aggregating devices (FAD). The study was carried out by means of a remotely-operated vehicle (ROV). Derelict fishing gear, mainly FAD ropes, represented the main source of...
Article
Full-text available
Macroalgal forests are one of the most productive and valuable marine ecosystems, but yet strongly exposed to fragmentation and loss. Detailed large-scale information on their distribution is largely lacking, hindering conservation initiatives. In this study, a systematic effort to combine spatial data on Cystoseira C. Agardh canopies (Fucales, Pha...