Born in Manfredonia in 1965, Gianfranco Santovito holds a degree in Biological Sciences and a PhD (magna cum laude) in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Padua. Since 2002 he has been a Lecturer of Physiology at the Department of Biology of the University of Padua, where he is an Associate Professor (qualified as a full professor from 23/07/2021). The Research Unit of Environmental Physiology and Experimental Zoology, which he coordinates, is dedicated to research activities in various areas of knowledge, which include, for example, the evolution of physiological antioxidant defence systems in various organisms such as fish, tunicates, insects, molluscs and ciliated protozoa. More recently, he has focused his interests on the physiological responses of terrestrial and aquatic animals (including humans) to global change. In addition to more purely biological research topics, in the last 10 years, he has become interested in innovative approaches to teaching biology by conducting experiments in preschool, primary and secondary schools.
He has participated and is involved in major national and international research projects, such as the LIFE-PHOENIX project funded by the European Community in 2017 (2,176 K€) on the toxicity of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), the MSC-RIBES project funded by the European Community in 2019 (4,040 K€) on the anthropogenic impact on freshwater fish fauna, and the PNR-RETURN project funded by the Ministry of University and Research in 2022 (115,100 K€) on the resilience of aquatic communities to climate change.
As part of the National Antarctic Research Programme, he has participated in nine Antarctic scientific expeditions since 1998 (the last in 2022). In 2011, he was awarded the Antarctica Service Medal (approved by the US Congress) by the US National Science Foundation, in recognition of his service as a member of the 2010 US Antarctic Expedition. In 2022, he was awarded the Paul Harris Fellow, by the Rotary Foundation, for meritorious and long-standing research activities in Antarctica.
Over the years he has taught numerous degree courses, both three-year and master's degrees. Currently, at the University of Padua, he teaches the courses "Life cycles and adaptations of marine organisms" and "Ecology and physiology of global changes" for the International Master's Degree Course in Marine Biology, “Biological responses to global climate change” for the MSc course in Evolutionary Biology, of “Fundamentals and didactics of biology” for the single-cycle MSc course in Primary Education, and of “Biology, Physiology and Anatomy” for the MSc course in Biomedical Engineering. He has also supervised 11 PhD students (both Italian and foreign), 135 Master's degree students and 125 Bachelor's degree students.
Since 2008, he has served on the Editorial Board of 8 international scientific journals. In addition, he has been Reviewer of 70 international scientific journals.
He is the author of more than 310 scientific contributions published in national and international journals, books and conference proceedings. He has also published three books: "Animal Physiology" (2014), published by EdiSES, "Teaching Biology to Children" (2015), published by Carocci, and "Animal Physiology. Second Edition." (2018), published by EdiSES.
Curriculum in PDF: