PhD in Earth, Life and Environmental Sciences

Academic Year 2019-2020
Subject area Biological, Geological and Agricultural Sciences
Cycle 35
Coordinator Prof. Giulio Viola
Language English, Italian
Duration 3 years
Positions 11 positions. More information in the PhD Programme Table.
Application deadline May 15, 2019 at 01:00 PM (Expired)
Enrolment period From Jul 22, 2019 to Aug 01, 2019
Doctoral programme start date Nov 01, 2019
Operating centre
Main Department
Department of Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences - BiGeA
Mobility abroad
Yes (3 months)
Research topics

Curriculum 1: Geology
- Stratigraphy and structural geology
- Geosphere-biosphere interactions
- Geochemistry, magmatism and metamorphism
- Marine geology
- Environmental geology
- Geological hazards and natural resources
- Engineering geology, hydrogeology and geomorphology

Curriculum 2: Biology
- Molecular and cellular biodiversity
- Animal biodiversity and evolution
- Plant biodiversity and evolution
- Human biodiversity and evolution
- Population biology and ecology
- Environmental monitoring
- Marine biology
- Computational biology

Job opportunities and potential areas of employment
Geology curriculum:
- development/management/consulting activities for institutions/enterprises operating for mineral, hydrological and/or energy resources
- reservoir characterization
- carbon sequestration
- environmental monitoring and protection
- environmental geochemistry
- territorial planning/preservation
- remote sensing
- engineering geology
- natural hazards mitigation
- geologic mapping
- geological/hydrogeological/seismic/volcanic hazard
- geophysics and marine geology
- micropaleontology
- geoarcheology, paleoclimate modeling/research
- optical imaging and nanomaterials.
Biology curriculum:
- development/management/consulting activities for institutions/enterprises for : animal/plant/human biodiversity analyses/monitoring
- evolutionary mechanisms studies in botany/zoology/anthropology/ecology
- projecting/management of biological and environmental Technologies
- biomolecular/bioinformatic/biostatistic technologies for evolutionary biology studies
- bio-archeological/osteological/forensic analyses
- environmental impact evaluation, in relation to flora/fauna and to anthropic/bio-demographic aspects
- techniques for science diffusion and education
- developing sustainability programs for economic/social activities with environmental impact
- marine environments planning/management.
For both curricula:
- scientific museums and natural reserves management/direction
- projecting/coordination/execution of didactic programs for schools and for visitors in natural reserves/naturalistic museums.
Admission Board

Surname Name Institution Role e-mail
Belcastro Maria Giovanna Università di Bologna member
Costantini Federica Università di Bologna member
Cristino Sandra Università di Bologna member
Fabbri Elena Università di Bologna member
Galloni Marta Università di Bologna member
Pistocchi Rossella Università di Bologna member
Simoni Alessandro Università di Bologna member
Vignaroli Gianluca Università di Bologna member
Vasumini Ivo Romagna Acque - Società delle Fonti S.p.A. representative of financing body
Antonellini Marco Università di Bologna substitute
Berti Matteo Università di Bologna substitute
De Waele Jo Hilaire Agnes Università di Bologna substitute
Del Duca Stefano Università di Bologna substitute
Passamonti Marco Università di Bologna substitute
Pasteris Andrea Università di Bologna substitute
Pettener Davide Università di Bologna substitute
Pezzolesi Laura Università di Bologna substitute
Spisni Enzo Università di Bologna substitute
Learning outcomes
The main goal is to train new researchers to the organisation and implementation of innovative and rigorous scientific approach in the different branches of Earth, Life and Environmental Sciences.
Geology Curriculum: It aims at preparing high-level researchers capable to lead research centered on the analysis/reconstruction of the events that punctuated the Earth geological history. In addition to pure scientific research, this PhD programme will form researchers capable to deal with activities connected with the utilization of natural resources and the sustainable territorial planning and conservation.
Biology Curriculum: It aims at growing in the PhD researchers a high-level knowledge of biodiversity, the underlying evolutionary mechanisms, the ecological processes involved and the potential anthropic threats. Students will learn to plan research strategies and critically analyse data by applying a wealth of modern methodological approaches.
Activities to be carried out by Doctoral candidates
Observation, measurements and evaluation of natural processes are all essential elements in the various fields of Earth, Life and Environmental Sciences. Specifically, the student’s activities include:
- field research
- lab research
- research periods in foreign research centers or museums
- bibliographic research
- data generation, reduction and analysis
- attending courses and seminars held by national and international researchers/Teachers
- publication of at least one paper in an international Journal with Impact Factor within the 3-year program
- at least one participation to national or international conferences, by submitting a poster or an oral communication within the 3-year program.
Research training activities compliant with the Doctoral programme's learning outcomes
The main activity of the candidate is the development of an autonomous research project in one of the fields of the two curricula of the programme, under the supervision of an assigned Tutor. This will lead to the progressive development of critical scientific skills, from data generation to data reduction and final data interpretation. Critical lateral thinking and a strong cultural background are also promoted by:
- the attendance to thematic/general courses and seminars, also organized by external Institutions
- own research results presentation in public workshops
- a research period of at least three months to be spent abroad at qualified research institutions
- national and international congresses attendance
- research results publication on I.F. Journals (at least one within the 3 years course), preferably as first author
- the drafting of the doctoral thesis in English. The training activity may also be directly enriched by the student, who is entitled to autonomously choose courses/seminars of specific interest after discussing with the supervisor.
Finally, students may also contribute to complementary teaching activities, such as laboratory training, field activities, seminars for undergraduate and graduate students, and other.
Internationalization features
The following activities are scheduled to assure an international training of PhD candidates:
Research periods abroad. To receive the PhD title, candidates have to spend a research period abroad. The length thereof is agreed between the Tutor, the PhD student and the coordinator, and may vary according to the teaching plan needs, although it needs to be at least 3 months long. Candidates are strongly encouraged to spend training periods abroad through the Marco Polo grants and the "10% budget" dedicated scheme.
Other internationalizing elements:
- The PhD programme and advertisment is to be widely circulated at the international level
- The oral examination for admission to the PhD Course can be carried out in English
- PhD Theses are to be written and discussed in English
- The commission for the final PhD defence may include at least one foreign professor.
Foreign candidates are attracted to our PhD through the networking of the Teaching Board members at the international level. Supplementary PhD positions are also available for foreign candidates in other research areas. The PhD programme has until recently been part of the Easmus Mundus network and still benefits from strong links with that network.
Foreign lecturers contributing to the educational programme of the PhD course: This is ensured by the numerous collaborations and international contacts of the Teaching Board members. Specifically, starting from the 34th PhD cycle, the Doctoral program invites high-caliber international lecturers and scientists to come to Bologna to deliver workshops and lectures to all our PhD students. Lecturers have their costs reimbursed and they are chosen because of their exceptional scientific impact and the cross-dsciplinary scientific message.
Participation to significant international projects, networks and programs.
Expected research results and products
- Publications: Students are encouraged to publish the results of their research work in journals with high impact factor, and the Thesis itself can be prepared as a collection of scientific articles. The candidates have to publish at least one scientific article in an international journal with IF within the PhD three-years period.
- Presentations/ thematic sessions at conferences and workshops.
- Database development.
- Softwares or patents.
- Organization: During the development of their doctoral program, students can organize thematic sessions and workshops.
Doctoral programme Academic Board
Surname Name University/Institution Qualification
AIROLDI LAURA Università di Bologna Professore Associato
AMOROSI ALESSANDRO Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
BIONDI STEFANIA Università di Bologna Professore Associato
BRAGA ROBERTO Università di Bologna Professore Associato
CAVALAZZI BARBARA Università di Bologna Ricercatore
CHIARUCCI ALESSANDRO Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
DE WAELE JO HILAIRE AGNES Università di Bologna Professore Associato
DINELLI ENRICO Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
FABBRI ELENA Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
GARGINI ALESSANDRO Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
PASSAMONTI MARCO Università di Bologna Professore Associato
PETTENER DAVIDE Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
PISTOCCHI ROSSELLA Università di Bologna Professore Associato
SCARPONI DANIELE Università di Bologna Ricercatore
TASSONI ANNALISA Università di Bologna Ricercatore
VIOLA GIULIO Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario