PhD in Earth, Life and Environmental Sciences

Academic Year 2021-2022
Subject area Biological, Geological and Agricultural Sciences
Cycle 37
Coordinator Prof. Maria Giovanna Belcastro
Language English, Italian
Duration 3 years
Positions 13 positions. More information in the PhD Programme Table.
Application deadline May 21, 2021 at 12:00 PM (Expired)
Enrolment period From Jul 22, 2021 to Aug 02, 2021
Doctoral programme start date Nov 01, 2021
Operating centre
Bologna
Main Department
Department of Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences - BiGeA
Mobility abroad
3 months
Curricula
  1. Geology
  2. Biology
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 characterisation
- 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 ù
- 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 University/Institution Curriculum Role email
Antonellini Marco Università di Bologna Geology Member
Cavalazzi Barbara Università di Bologna Geology Member
Dinelli Enrico Università di Bologna Geology Member
Fabbri Elena Università di Bologna Biology Member
Giuliani Cristina Università di Bologna Biology Member
Passamonti Marco Università di Bologna Biology Member
Rocchini Duccio Università di Bologna Biology Member
Spisni Enzo Università di Bologna Biology Member
Vitale Brovarone Alberto Università di Bologna Geology Member
Barbieri Roberto Università di Bologna Geology Substitute
Boattini Alessio Università di Bologna Biology Substitute
Braga Roberto Università di Bologna Geology Substitute
Chiarucci Alessandro Università di Bologna Biology Substitute
Cristino Sandra Università di Bologna Biology Substitute
Gargini Alessandro Università di Bologna Geology Substitute
Mantovani Barbara Università di Bologna Biology Substitute
Pistocchi Rossella Università di Bologna Biology Substitute
Vignaroli Gianluca Università di Bologna Geology Substitute

The following shall take part in the work of the Examination Board as expert members: Jochen Knies (Geological Survey of Norway, Jochen.knies@ngu.no), Davide Alberti (Parco Nazionale delle Foreste Casentinesi, Monte Falterona e Campigna, direttore@parcoforestecasentinesi.it).

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 centred 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 utilisation of natural resources and the sustainable territorial planning and conservation.
Biology Curriculum: It aims at growing in the PhD candidates a high-level knowledge of biodiversity, the underlying evolutionary mechanisms, the ecological processes involved and the potential anthropic threats. Candidates 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 candidates' activities include:
- Field research
- Lab research
- Research periods in foreign research centres or museums
- Bibliographic research
- Data generation, reduction and analysis
- Attending courses and seminars held by national and international researchers/scholars
- Publication of at least one paper in an international Journal with Impact Factor within the 3-year programme
- At least one participation to national or international conferences, by submitting a poster or an oral communication within the 3-year programme.
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 supervisor. 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 organised 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 programme), preferably as first author
- The drafting of the doctoral thesis in English.
The training activity may also be directly enriched by the candidate who is entitled to autonomously choose courses/seminars of specific interest after discussing with the supervisor. Finally, candidates 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 assure an international training of PhD candidates: - Research periods abroad. Candidates have to spend a research period abroad, the length of which is agreed upon by the Tutor, the candidate and the coordinator. The minimum stay abroad has to be of 3 months. Candidates are strongly encouraged to spend training periods abroad through the Marco Polo grants and the "10% budget" dedicated scheme. Mobility has dramatically decreased during the pandemic. We try to implement alternative forms of "virtual mobility aimed at internationalisation", with candidates encouraged to take part to online seminars, workshops and short courses held by colleagues abroad.
Other aspects are:
- The PhD programme and advertisment is to be circulated internationally
- The oral admission examination can be carried out in English
- PhD Theses are to be written and discussed in English
- The Commission for the PhD thesis defence may include at least one foreign professor.
- Foreign applicants are attracted to our PhD programme through the international networking of the Academic Board members.
- Foreign lecturers contribute to the educational programme of the PhD programme: This is ensured by the numerous collaborations and international contacts of the Academic Board members. Specifically, starting from the 34th PhD cycle, the Doctoral programme invites high-caliber international lecturers and scientists to come to Bologna to deliver workshops and lectures to all our PhD candidates. Lecturers have their costs reimbursed and they are chosen because of their exceptional scientific impact and the cross-dsciplinary scientific message.
Expected research results and products
- Publications: Candidates are encouraged to publish the results of their research work in journals with high impact factor, and the thesis itself can be prepared either as a collection of scientific articles or a monographic dissertation. The candidates have to publish at least one scientific article in an international journal with IF within the PhD three-years period and they shall be first author
- Presentations/ thematic sessions at conferences and workshops
- Database development
- Softwares or patents
- Organisation: During the development of their doctoral programme, candidates can organise thematic sessions and workshops.
Doctoral programme Academic Board
Name Surname University/Institution Qualification
Alessandro Amorosi Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Maria Giovanna Belcastro Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Matteo Berti Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Stefania Biondi Università di Bologna Professore Associato Confermato
Roberto Braga Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Erik Caroselli Università di Bologna Ricercatore a tempo determinato
Barbara Cavalazzi Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Alessandro Chiarucci Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Jo Hilaire Agnes De Waele Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Enrico Dinelli Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Elena Fabbri Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Alessandro Gargini Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario
Liliana Milani Università di Bologna Ricercatore a tempo determinato
Marco Passamonti Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Rossella Pistocchi Università di Bologna Professore Associato Confermato
Marco Sazzini Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Daniele Scarponi Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Annalisa Tassoni Università di Bologna Professore Associato
Gianluca Vignaroli Università di Bologna Ricercatore a tempo determinato
Giulio Viola Università di Bologna Professore Ordinario