Workshop POLYP BioInfoW: Ocean4Biotech

Organisms Repository - From habitat through species identification to natural product discovery 

Professor Zrinka Ljubešić, Ph.D. and postdoctoral fellow Maja Mucko, Ph.D. participated in the two-day COST action CA 18238 "Ocean4Biotech" workshop held in the premises of the Holiday Hotel and the University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Science, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina on January 17 and 18, 2024.
During the first day of the workshop, Prof. Zrinka Ljubešić held an invited lecture entitled "Representative sampling for biodiscovery: sampling design and methodology", while Maja Mucko held an invited lecture entitled "Introduction to bioinformatics: from experimental design to pretty plots".
During the second day of the workshop, Maja Mucko led a practical workshop for students and members of the COST action in the computer laboratory of the Mathematical Department, Faculty of Science, Sarajevo. Participants were working on adjusted data from the ISLAND IP-2020-02-9524 and AmphiAdriPlant UIP-2017-05-2882 projects, on which Maja Mucko works as an associate. The workshop was fully supported by the University Computing Center "SRCE", which provided a virtual server and modules for bioinformatics analyses.

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Public lecture at Dubrovnik Natural History Museum, 22nd November 2023 

Natural History Museum Dubrovnik and Institute for Coastal and Marine Research (ICMR), University of Dubrovnik organized a lecture on the topic: „Recent research on plankton at the Adriatic Sea“. Projects currently done in the Adriatic Sea were introduced: ISLAND project (Prof. Zrinka Ljubešić, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb), DIVMAD project (Mirna Batistić, PhD, ICMR), and SPATEGEN project (Rade Garić, PhD, ICMR). ISLAND project preliminary results were delivered by PhD student Antonija Matek in a lecture „Primary production in the Adriatic Sea“. Results of other projects were presented as well, followed by a discussion on challenges the scientific community encounters while doing marine research, and specifically emphasizing the importance of connection and collaboration between institutions implementing research on marine plankton communities in the Adriatic and Mediterranean Sea.

Project Meeting at the Department of Geophysics, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, 25th October 2023

The project meeting organized by Prof. Zrinka Ljubešić on 25th October 2023, was held with the ISLAND project collaborators from the Faculties of Science at the University of Zagreb and the University of Split, and the University of Santa Cruz California. Project activities were presented and goals for future workflow were set. Preliminary results analysis on the light intensity that was discussed, corrected, and the next steps were defined.

Before the meeting Jasen Jacobsen had a seminar entitle: „Baroclinic Drivers of Marine Productivity Compared in Two Case Studies: Internal Tides and Island Trapped Waves“

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New equipment for molecular research

We have acquired new equipment for our Laboratory for algology for environmental DNA research. For more than 10 years, we have been working intensively on this type of research, but as guests in the laboratories of our colleagues at the Biology Department of the Faculty of Science and at the Ruđer Bošković Institute. So far, we have published around 50 papers and under our mentorship four doctorates were defended in which we extended our classic taxonomic research to genetics with over 15 newly described species and founded the Croatian National Collection of Diatoms. Although we are not currently in our premises (until we return after the reconstruction from the earthquake), we have our Laboratory for algology and environmental DNA research! Many thanks to the colleagues whose guests we have been so far and we will be happy to return the favour!

Until we return to Roosevelt trg, you can find us at Horvatovac 🙂


Invited lecture at CBIOMES e-meeting

Zrinka Ljubešić held invited lecture entitled „Net primary production and plankton community response to internal-wave forcing in a stratified oligotrophic system“ at the CBIOMES e-meeting.

The e-DNA Collaborative Microgrant Meet-Up

Maja Mucko, PhD, microgrant fellow of  Physalia Courses in collaboration with The eDNA Collaborative, presented project results at the Microgrant Meet-Up on 13th September


Presentations on international symposium InspireAdriatic2023 

Results of the ISLAND project were presented at the symposium InspireAdriatic2023 
  Invited lectures:  
Mihanović, H. : Measurements in physical oceanography, an important aspect of interdisciplinary marine research
Ljubešić, Z.: Chasing the Holy Grail – representative marine plankton sample – myth or truth?
  Oral presentations: 
Mucko et al. : Fine-scale changes in plankton community in oligotrophic stratified waters of Lastovo Island (Adriatic Sea) during ITW forcings
Jacobsen J.:  Ecosystem response to island trapped waves around the island of Lastovo in an idealized numerical model



MEETING at the Faculty of Science, University of Split

On September 6 and 7, 2023, meetings, organized by Assoc. Ph.D. Žarka Kovača, were held whith ISLAND project collaborators and colleagues from the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, Split, University of Santa Cruz California and University of Rijeka. All previous project activities were presented, PhD student presented the topic of her PhD, and we had an excellent discussion and agreement about the current work, next steps and collaboration. 




  2. – 23. July 2023.
Measurements on Station Struga (S1) nad S0 (ADCP and experiment position)
  measurements during two ITW phenomena
  85 CTD casts
  three in situ incubation net primary production experiments
  as support data during the incubation experiments Chla, nutrient and net phytoplankton samples were collected
  in the time of the Sentinel overpasses – radiometry measurements (SVC)
  in situ community production measurements (PIGI system)
  hyperspectral measurements of the water column with hyperpro
  moored PAR measurements




On Friday, March 3, 2023, Zrinka Ljubešić held an invited lecture as part of the Faculty Seminars of the Faculty of Science, University of Split - where she has presented the project.

Project workshop Bio-physical Interactions in the Adriatic Sea – presentation of ongoing CSF projects 

On February 7 and 8, 2023, in the organization of five projects financed by the Croatian Science Foundation, the project workshop "Bio-physical Interactions in the Adriatic Sea - presentation of ongoing CSF projects“ was held in Dubrovnik. Five ongoing and one submitted project were presented. The projects are involved in the research of:  upwelling and downwelling processes in Central Adriatic (PI Mirko Orlić, PMF, University of Zagreb), daily vertical migration of zooplankton in the southern Adriatic (PI Mirna Batistić, Institute for Sea and Coasts, University of Dubrovnik) , the genetic diversity of zooplankton in the Adriatic (PI Rade Garić, Institute for the Sea and Coasts of the University of Dubrovnik), the molecular life of phytoplankton (PI Daniela Marić Pfannkuchen, CIM Rovinj Institute Ruđer Bošković), the oceanographic phenomenon of island trapped waves and its impact on primary production (PI Zrinka Ljubešić, University of Zagreb and the sensitivity of primary production due to climate change (PI Žarko Kovač, University in Split).
A round table was organized and the topics of Changes in the Adriatic Sea ecosystem and Challenges of field research - optimization of methodology were discussed. Total of 9 invited lectures were held. The workshop attended total of 50 participants from Department of Geophysics and Biology of the Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries Split, Institute of Marine and Coastal Research of the University of Dubrovnik,  Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale from Trieste, Society of Marine Researchers - 20000 miles, CIM Rovinj of the Ruđer Bošković Institute, Faculty of Physics, University of Rijeka and Faculty of Economics, University of Rijeka.
The list of participants and program of the workshop can be found here.



Fieldtrip III 2022


  Lastovo 26. -28. September 2022



  Fieldtrip on Stations:  Struga, Maslovnjak i Prižba
  Recovery/deployment of temperature loggers 
  Benthos photographed
  ADCP recovery

Fieldtrip II 2022

  8. - 27. July 2022. 

Working on Station Struga

  sampling during two ITW phenomena
  69 CTD casts 
  total of 177 phytoplankton, nutrient, bacteria and Chl a samples  
 total of 88 zooplankton net samples 
  sea water filtrated for NGS analyses during, before and after ITW phenomena generation 
  live samples of dominant zooplankton species collected for their gut analyses 
  tested Wire Walker
  in situ with PAR, nitrates and oxygen sensors 


 photo gallery


13. – 18. June 2022. oral presentation on „18th Islands of the World conference ISLANDS: NATURE AND CULTURE“ in  Zadar: 
 Z. Ljubešić, H. Mihanović, M. Orlić, D. Viličić, H. Čižmek, B. Čolić, D. Lučić, R. Garić: Observing Island-Trapped Waves Around Lastovo Island, Adriatic Sea

Presentation: Ljubešić ISISA 


  5. – 12. June 2022.

Working on Stations Struga, Maslovnjak and Prižba
  Recovery/deployment of temperature loggers 
  in situ  NPP measurement 
  Benthos photographed
  ADCP deployment
  9 CTD casts 




 photo gallery

14. - 18. February 2022. participation with poster presentation on on workshop „Ocean Carbon from Space 2022“ (
 Z. Ljubešić, Ž. Kovač, M., Orlić, H. Mihanović , D. Lučić , H. Čižmek , B. Čolić, D. Viličić „Island trapped waves (ITWs) as a driver of primary production at Lastovo island (Adriatic Sea)“

Presentation: Ljubešić ESA 

Project meeting

  16. October 2021. Project meeting and public seminar assoc. prof. Žarko Kovač „Fragility of primary production“ Project meeting was in hybrid mode on Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb ad via Microsoft Teams. Project results achieved so far were presented and we agreed on new sampling design for the next grant period.



Fieldtrip III

  22. September – 3. October 2021.
  22.-24. September 2021. CTD Probe tested on Prokljan lake, new calibration files integrated in the program
  26.-29. September 2021. Participation on symposium 9. Anatomy of Islands with invited lecture „Lastovo Island -unique oceanographic phenomena“
  26. September – 2. October 2021. Sampling campaigns at Lastovo and Korčula archipelago – temperature dana loggers recovered, new mounted, oximeter tested, CTD profiles measured, ADCO recovered, benthos photographed


   photo gallery

Fieldtrip II

  11.- 23. July 2021

Total of  59 water samples (phytoplankton, bacterioplankton, nutrients, NGS, Chla) collected;  52 zooplankton nets samples,  71 CTD casts







   photo gallery


  1. – 6. June 2021.

Temperature loggers mounted on the cliffs, CTD measurements done, benthos photographed





   photo gallery

Kick off meeting was held on 15 - 16 February 2021 at the Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb and via the Microsoft Teams application.
Collaborators had the opportunity to meet, partly live and partly through Microsoft Teams. We agreed on activities for the first project period, decided on sampling design and analysis methods, as well as the laboratories and RV set up,. Due to the current epidemiological situation, and the uncertainty of the next few months, two separate plans have been agreed. One plan when we all can participate on the field trip as it was originaly planned and the other where only croatian team will be able to work on the field due to the travel ban.