Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India

Volume 2 Issue 2

Marine Biological and Oceanographic Institutions of the world. 4. The Naples Zoological Station.

Andrew Packard

FOUNDED in 1872 the Naples Zoological Station on the Mediterranean coast of Italy is one of the oldest marine biological stations in the world. Moreover it is one which has maintained its purpose unchanged from its inception : namely to provide the facilities for visiting research workers of different countries throughout the world to study the zoology and the physiology of the fauna and flora of the Bay of Naples. It does this with the aid of a professional staff of ten and technical personnel of 60, housed in a single building that lies in the center of the Naples' municipal park known as the Villa Communale. The original 3-storey building fronted direetly onto the beach with the whole of its ground floor taken up by a public aquarium— the famous Naples Aquarium of the tourist guides—and with research laboratories in the upper two floors. Around the end of the century two further blocks in the same style had been built on either side of the first and the Stazione Zoologica now presents a continuous front 110 yards long facing out across the Bay to Capri and' the Sorrento coast: the Physiology department at the east end, Aquarium, Administration, Botany and general services in the center, and the Zoology Department at the west end. Between Physiology and Administration there is an entrance courtyard decorated by vines and Whistaria and a small fountain above which a bronze plaque portrays the founder of the Institute, Anton Dohrn. Between the center block and Zoology is the new library built in 1957. Internal reconstruction in the Institute bulding has allowed four floors instead of three, and the upper floors of the Administration block now contain new laboratories and a dining hall for the ' Mensa' and the rehoused reference museum. A mile to the west of the Station, in the small harbour of Mergellina, the station keeps its boats : the • Cavolini,' ' Raffaele ' and the larger ' Rinaldo Dohrn' launched in 1960, as well as a number of smaller collecting boats


Naples Zoological Station

Date : 30-12-1960