He holds a doctoral degree in Biology from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. His dissertation focused on the clarification of the controversial taxonomy of the Mediterranean commercial dictyoceratid sponges, as well as the investigation of their population structure and biogeography along their distribution. During his doctoral research, he developed polymorphic microsatellite DNA markers for the common bath sponge species, Spongia officinalis, and used them to reveal its population structure at different levels of geographic distance. He also used DNA barcoding methods, alongside morphometric approaches, to investigate phylogenetic affinities between the main targeted species.
Through his active participation in research projects carried by several major national research foundations, Dr. Dailianis has gained expertise both in traditional ecological approaches and advanced molecular analyses (e.g. development and application of genetic markers, DNA fingerprinting, phylogenetic reconstructions), which he applies to the study of biological aspects of marine benthic invertebrates. In his current research he attempts an integrated approach to address questions regarding their systematics and ecology, from in situ observation and sampling, to laboratory techniques and statistical analyses; he is also engaged in the investigation of potential biotechnological applications.
Moreover, he is developing an interest in the dissemination of scientific knowledge to the general public, through publication of articles, consultancy for broadcasts or the press, and participation in environmental education activities. He is also involved in projects attempting the acquaintance of the public with the Mediterranean marine biodiversity, or the engagement of citizen-scientists in the monitoring of the marine ecosystem.
Dr. Thanos Dailianis is a certified technical diver (Normoxic Trimix Diving, IANTD) and skilled underwater photographer. He is a member of the Scientific Diving Team of HCMR.
Ph.D., Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, 2011
M.Sc., Coastal Zone Management, University of the Aegean, Greece, 2003
B.Sc., Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, 1998
2005-2009: Doctorate Fellow, Institute of Marine Biology & Genetics, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Greece
2001-2003: Research Assistant, Department of Marine Sciences, University of the Aegean, Greece
1997-2000: Research Assistant, Institute of Fisheries Research, National Agricultural Research Foundation, Greece
1996 – 1997: Research Assistant, School of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Scientific and Professional Memberships
Member of the International Biogeography Society (IBS)
Awards and Recognition
2005: MARS Travel Award for Young Scientists
Dr. Dailianisâ€™ research efforts concentrate on the study of marine biodiversity and ecology; he focuses his interest on benthic marine invertebrates, mainly sponges. He attempts the study of their phylogeny at the species level, employing morphology, ecology, and molecular markers. He is also interested in their population genetics, particularly the estimation of gene flow between their natural populations and the tracing of environmental or evolutionary parameters that shape it. Additionally, he has an ongoing interest on the experimental cultivation of these organisms, in open-sea establishments or land-based systems.
â€˘ Arvanitidis, C.; Faulwetter, S.; Chatzigeorgiou, G.; Penev, L.; Banki, O.; Dailianis, T.; Pafilis, E.; Kouratoras, M.; Chatzinikolaou, E.; Fanini, L.; et al., â€śEngaging the broader community in biodiversity research: the concept of the COMBER pilot project for divers in ViBRANTâ€ť, Zookeys (submitted).
â€˘ Dailianis, T.; Tsigenopoulos, C.S.; Dounas, C.; and Voultsiadou, E., â€śGenetic diversity of the imperilled bath sponge Spongia officinalis Linnaeus, 1759 across the Mediterranean Sea: patterns of population differentiation and implications for taxonomy and conservationâ€ť, Molecular Ecology, 20, 3757â€“3772 (2011).
â€˘ Voultsiadou, E.; Dailianis, T.; Antoniadou, C.; Vafidis, D.; Dounas C.; and Chintiroglou, C.C., â€śAegean bath sponges: historical data and current statusâ€ť, Reviews in Fisheries science, 19(1), 34-51 (2011).
â€˘ Coll, M.; Piroddi, C.; Steenbeek, J.; Kaschner, K.; Lasram, F.B.R.; Aguzzi, J.; Ballesteros, E.; Bianchi, C.N.; Corbera, J.; Dailianis, T.; et al., â€śThe biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea: estimates, patterns, and threatsâ€ť, PLoS ONE, 5(8), e11842 (2010).
â€˘ Dailianis, T.; and Tsigenopoulos, C.S., â€śCharacterization of polymorphic microsatellite markers for the endangered Mediterranean bath sponge Spongia officinalis L.â€ť, Conservation Genetics, 11(3), 1155-1158 (2010).
â€˘ Dailianis, T.; Limborg, M.; Hanel, R.; Bekkevold, D.; Lagnel, J.; Magoulas, A.; and Tsigenopoulos, C.S., â€śCharacterization of nine polymorphic microsatellite markers in sprat (Sprattus sprattus L.)â€ť, Molecular Ecology Resources, 8(4), 861-863 (2008).
â€˘ Vacelet, J.; Bitar, G.; Dailianis, T.; Zibrowius, H.; and PĂ©rez, T., â€śA large encrusting clionaid sponge in the Eastern Mediterranean Seaâ€ť, Marine Ecology, 29(2), 237-246 (2008).
â€˘ Vafidis, D.; Leontarakis, P.K.; Dailianis, T.; and Kallianiotis, A., â€śPopulation characteristics of four deep-water pandalid shrimps (Decapoda: Caridea) in the northern Aegean Sea (NE Mediterranean)â€ť, Journal of Natural History, 42(31), 2079-2093 (2008).
Current research example:
Mediterranean bath sponges constitute a valuable biological resource with a historical record of exploitation extending over centuries. Their populations have faced a dramatic decline, due to the combined effect of past overharvesting and recent disease incidents. HCMR, in collaboration with two national universities and the professional sponge fishermen association, has implemented a large-scale monitoring project, in order to survey the status of the extant stocks in the Aegean Sea. The ongoing research of HCMR postdoctoral fellow Dr. Thanos Dailianis, focuses on the investigation of the taxonomy and population structure of these species, along their distribution in the Mediterranean. His recently published results have aided the resolution of systematic controversies regarding the common bath sponge, Spongia officinalis, and revealed its population structure at different scales of geographic distance. The acquired knowledge provides a sound basis towards the effective conservation and management of this important resource.