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Eleonora Rivalta

Associate Professor

Department of Physics and Astronomy "Augusto Righi"

Academic discipline: GEO/10 Solid Earth Geophysics

Curriculum vitae

Eleonora Rivalta is Associate Professor at the University of Bologna since 2020. Her research revolves around the physics of volcanic systems, with a particular focus on the mechanics of volcanic edifices and of magma intrusions, on magma propagation and storage, and on the observables (in particular deformation, sismicity and gravity changes) caused by fluid movements in volcanic edifices. Currently, she focuses on the link between the stress state of volcanic systems, their history in terms of phases of growth and collapse, and the pathways of magmatic dykes.



Eleonora Rivalta obtained her Master degree in Physics at the University of Bologna in 1996. There, she also obtained her PhD in Physics in 2002.


After a few years post-doctoral activity (from 2002 to 2006) at the Universities of Hamburg in Germany and in Bologna, and a 5 month research stay at the Stanford University (California), in 2007 she took up a Lecturer position at the Institute of Geophysics, School of Earth and Environment, at the University of Leeds in the UK. In April 2010 she received an ERC Starting Grant and moved back to the University of Hamburg to lead a research group focusing on the physics of magma propagation. In 2012 she moved her grant to the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) in Potsdam. In 2017 she obtained the “Abilitazione Scientifica Nazionale” at the Associate and Full Professor level. Since 15 October 2020 she is Associate Professor at the University of Bologna.



From 2007 to 2009 she was Module Manager of various courses at Undergraduate (BSc and MSc) level at the University of Leeds.

Since 2014 she teaches a course on Volcano Physics for the Earth System Physics Diploma course at the International Centre of Theoretical Physics in Trieste.

Research projects

Over the years, she participated to several Italian and international projects, funded by the Italian Civil Defense, the European Union and various German funding bodies (DFG, DAAD, BMBF). Recent notable research projects include, beside her ERC Starting Grant "CCMP-Pompei", also the FET-Open project "Newton-g", which focuses on developing theory and instrumentation for low-cost and high-precision gravimeters.


Institutional roles

From 2013 to 2016 she was deputy head of the Scientific Council of GFZ and from 2016 to 2020 of the Scientific Council of INGV.



From 2015 she has been member of the Scientific Advisory Comittee for the assessment of hazard and risk at the volcano Soufrière Hills in the island of Montserrat.



2019 - Julius von Haast Fellowship, New Zealand, 2019

2011 - Outstanding GJI reviewer of the year, 2011

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