It is not everyday that you meet someone who has had a new species named after them! Well, Dr Stefano Schiaparelli, Sea Professor and Marine Crusader has! His name sake, ‘Epimeria schiaparelli’ , a tiny shrimp-like creature was discovered in 2007 in the largely unexplored Ross Sea in deep water near Antarctica.
We are proud to have Stefano as part of the DWS family. Stefano was born in Torino in 1971 and grew up with a passion for the ocean. He qualified as marine biologist in 1995 and became a Dive-Master in 1998. He continued doing internships until 2001 when he got his first ‘environmental research doctorate at Genoa University.
He went on to win a scholarship at NIWA (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research) in Wellington and was part of the the research programme for "Biodiversity of New Zealand Aquatic Environments” supported by Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (FRST) neozelandese.
He has returned four times to take part in conservation programmes in Antarctica where he has spent as much time under the water as above it.
His commitment to marine conservation has also taken him to Bunaken Island, North Sulawesi, Indonesia where he took part in the Biodiversity Project. He has dived in French Polynesia, New Zealand, The Philipines and Sumatra.
Stefano has also dived since 1994 in the Portofino Marine Park - he knows every rock and crevice like the back of his hand! As part of his work for Genoa University he has been involved in many conservation and research projects analysing and monitoring the AMP environment and marine life.
So for all of us at DWS he is like a jewel in our crown. Stefano is fluent in English and loves to guide and share his knowledge of this very unique marine ecosystem. He can explain the positive impact that the creation of the marine park has had on the marine life which has grown enormously since it became a protected area. There is now an abundance of big groupers, tuna and snappers and the vibrant red coral has increased its colonies.
In addition to the wonderful broad knowledge he has from his diving adventures from the icy Antarctic to exotic Indonesia, he is also a goldmine of fascinating information about everything in this marine park, from the tiny marine organisms to his favourite creature, the ‘Calcinus tubalaris, a small hermit crab (?) which if you put your finger close by it will begin to eat your skin! This is painless to both crab and finger. Stefano takes pleasure in demonstrating this funny behaviour.
He loves swimming in the AMP along the dramatic cliffs admiring the many different marine environments.
His favourite dive site is “The Altar” because of the abundance of red coral
Stefano’s favourite restaurant is “San Lorenzo”. He likes to go there after watching the amazing sunset over San Rocco di Camogli, which for his is the best view in the whole area.
His favourite meal is tuna fish with Pistacchio sauce made by his girl friend.
Check out our gallery for some of Stefano’s beautiful photos in the Marine Park and also his own page of showing some of his amazing adventures.