University of Pisa UNIPI

Marta Pappalardo, geomorphologist. Marta’s research focuses on geomorphological cartography applied to coastal environments and to the relationship between human settlements and the natural environment. Marta has developed the use of geomorphological and geoarchaeological indicators in the study of coastal evolution and sea level variations. Rocky shores are her favorite research environment, where she also studies the processes responsible for shaping the shoreline. Among her recent research objectives are the analysis of the geomorphological units typical of the landscape of coastal plains and their relationship with the diachronic evolution of human settlements. Marta is professor at the University of Pisa.

KEYWORDS: geomorphology, rock coasts, sea-level change, palaeogeography, geoarchaeology.


Matteo Vacchi, geomorphologist. Matteo’s research focuses on the evolution of coastal areas, and in particular on the analysis of past modifications of the coastal landscape aimed at defining their current vulnerability. He is an expert in paleoenvironmental reconstructions in coastal areas through the use of different types of sedimentological and geomorphological indicators. He has participated in research projects on coastal evolution along the coasts of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic over the last two hundred thousand years. Matteo is a research associate at the University of Pisa.

KEYWORDS : Coastal geomorphology, Palaeo-environment, Climate Change, coastal management.


Elisabetta Starnini, archaeologist. Elisabetta’s research focuses on the use of archaeometric applications in the field of prehistoric archeology and on the experimentation of non-invasive methodologies for the characterization of raw materials. She is an expert in investigations for the study of the circulation of raw materials and works with absolute chronology systems to define the dating of prehistoric materials and contexts. She collaborates with international teams in paleoenvironmental and geoarchaeological studies in order to reconstruct ancient ecosystems and extinct landscapes. She worked on issues such as the Mediterranean Prehistory, the Neolithization, and the Middle-Upper Paleolithic transition. Elisabetta is research associate at the University of Pisa.

KEYWORDS: Prehistory of the Mediterranean countries, lithic industry, radiocarbon chronology, prehistoric landscapes and ecosystems, prehistoric technology.


Luca Ragaini, paleontologist. Luca’s research activity focuses primarily on the study of Neogenic and Quaternary malacofaunas (mollusks faunas) with the goal to carry out paleoenvironmental and paleobiogeographic reconstructions as well to reconstruct the paleoclimatic conditions thanks to the integration of faunistic data with mineralogical and isotopic data obtained from the shells of the recovered specimens. Luca studies the malacofaunas in association with taphonomic information (conditions through the time of fossilization) and fossil traces, a powerful tool for reconstructing sea level variations through time. Luca is assistant professor at the University of Pisa.

KEYWORDS: mollusk taphonomy and mode of life, marine and brackish environments, Neogene and Quaternary, Mediterranean mollusk evolution.


Marco Serradimigni, prehistoric archaeologist. Marco’s research mainly deals with the study of chipped lithic complexes from the Paleo-Mesolithic (Middle Paleolithic, Final Upper Paleolithic, Mesolithic) in relation to the dynamics of human behavior regarding the exploitation of the territory and the related techno-economic aspects. Expert in archaeological and geoarchaeological investigations in caves, at the same time Marco has also dealt with problems concerning the neolithization of the central-southern Italian territory. He collaborates with Italian and foreign scholars with regard to Geoarchaeology and stone technology, the latter being also studied in depth under the aspect of experimental chipping for the reconstruction of the main operating chains implemented by prehistoric human groups. Marco is a research fellow at the University of Pisa.

KEYWORDS: Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Technology, Experimentation.


Deirdre D. Ryan, geomorphologist. Deirdre’s research focusses on the role of Quaternary sea-level fluctuations and associated climatic change, antecedent topography, and neotectonics in influencing coastal geomorphology and stratigraphy. To that end, she has employed methods of taphonomy, petrography, and mapping in ArcGIS. Deirdre is also an expert in the geochronological method of amino acid racemization, used to develop chronostratigraphic frameworks. Her research experience includes coastal barrier successions, marine terraces, and rocky shorelines in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Deirdre is a research fellow at the University of Pisa.

KEYWORDS: geomorphology, Quaternary, sea level, climate change, amino acid racemization.


Gabriella Raffa, marine geologist. As part of the SPHeritage project, Gabriella deals with the characterization of sedimentary successions through the study of seismo-stratigraphic, bathymetric and coring data, applying high-resolution digital topo-bathymetric models, to interpret the paleo-landscape of the continental shelf in front of the Balzi Rossi archaeological area. Gabriella is a researcher at the University of Pisa.

Keywords: Seismo-stratigraphy, Sedimentary successions, Continental shelf


University of Milano UNIMI

Andrea Zerboni, geomorphologist and geoarchaeologist. Andrea deals with the study of Quaternary climatic and environmental dynamics and the response of surface processes to these modifications, with particular attention to Mediterranean contexts and those of the arid regions of Africa, Arabia and the Levant. During his researches he deals with the reconstruction of the complex climate-humans-environment relationships, with particular attention to the identification of the first evidences of anthropic influence on surface processes, through geomorphological investigations, thematic cartography, the investigation of proxy data archives, and the study of archaeological sites and landscapes. Andrea is associate professor at the University of Milan.

KEYWORDS : Geoarchaeology, Micromorphology, Quaternary Geology, Anthropocene.


Manuela Pelfini, geomorphologist. Manuela studies the impacts of Climate Change on geomorphological processes, on the characteristics of the landscape in the various morphoclimatic regions, on tree vegetation as an indicator of environmental changes, and on the geomorphological heritage. She also deals with the analysis of geodiversity, census and analysis of the evolution of geomorphosites using techniques typical of geomorphology and dendrochronology, evaluation, enhancement proposals, impacts of Climate Change and anthropogenic actions on the geoheritage, implications for global value (scientific, ecological, cultural) and for the scenarios of geomorphological hazard, of geoheritage cartography. Manuela is professor at the University of Milan.

KEYWORDS: Cliamtic Geomorphology, Dendrogeomorphology, Geodiversity, Geoheritage.


Giovanni Muttoni, stratigrapher. Giovanni studies the paleomagnetism and its applications in the geological field. His main research interests include: the definition of the polarity of the Earth's magnetic field; the geological causes of the shift of environmental conditions from greenhouse to icehouse in the Cenozoic; the climatic and sedimentary evolution of the Mediterranean during the Pliocene and the Pleistocene; the stratigraphy and age of the ancient phases of human settlement in Europe starting from the Lower Pleistocene transition. Giovanni is professor at the University of Milan.

KEYWORDS : Magnetostratigraphy, Paleomagnetism, Stratigraphy, Geology.


Irene Bollati, geomorphologist. Irene’s main research interests are geomorphology, dendrogeomorphology and the geomorphological heritage in high and medium mountain environments (Alps, Apennines). In particular, she has developed multidisciplinary methodologies for the investigation and quantitative evaluation of the geoheritage and its evolution in response to climate-related geomorphological processes. She uses geomorphological cartography and simplified cartographic representation techniques for outreach and education activities and has developed innovative teaching strategies in the field of dissemination of Earth Sciences, tested in various projects with local communities. Irene is a research associate at the University of Milan.

KEYWORDS: Geomorphology, Geomorphological mapping, Dendrogeomorphology, Geomorphological heritage.


Alessandro Perego, GIS expert in paleoenvironmental reconstructions. Alessandro is a natural scientist expert in remote sensing techniques and geospatial data processing in a GIS environment for the creation of thematic and geomorphological maps. He generally works in areas of geoarchaeological interest for the purposes of paleoenvironmental reconstruction. Alessandro is a research fellow at the University of Milan.

KEYWORDS: Geomorphology, Geoarcheology, Remote sensing, GIS.


Serena Perini, Geologist and paleomagnetist. Serena’s research work focuses on dating sedimentary successions containing sites of paleoanthropological interest through the application of magnetostratigraphy in order to reconstruct the timing of the mobility of the ancestors of modern humans (hominins) on the African and European continent in the last 2 million years. Serena also studies the magnetic properties of rocks and sediments that carry the natural residual magnetic signal. Serena is a PhD student at the University of Milan.

KEYWORDS: Paleomagnetism, Magnetostratigraphy, Archeomagnetic dating.


Luca Forti, geoarchaeologist. Luca is mainly concerned with reconstructing the relationships human-environment relationships in different geographical contexts, with a particular focus on the Middle East and Italy. His work mainly involves paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental reconstructions in Paleolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age archaeological contexts. These reconstructions are carried out with the creation of geomorphological and geoarchaeological maps related to a paleoclimatic context deriving from lake sequences and cave deposits (speleothems). The specific objective of his research is to understand the processes put in place by the archaeological communities in response to the climatic-environmental changes that occurred during the Late Quaternary. His favorite research environments are: caves, floodplains, deserts, mountainous areas and coastal areas. Luca is a PhD student at the University of Milan.

KEYWORDS: Geoarchaeology, Climatic and environmental reconstructions, Man-environment relationship.


Andrea Pezzotta, Quaternary geologist and geomorphologist. Andrea's work focuses on geomorphological and Quaternary successions mapping, relying on field work, remote sensing and geospatial techniques. He uses this approach within different geodynamic contexts in order to understand Quaternary landscape evolution at different scales and to disentangle tectonic- and climate-driven processes imprint. Andrea is a PhD student at the University of Milan.

KEYWORDS: Geomorphology, Quaternary Geology, GIS, Landscape Evolution.


Angela Proietto, natural scientist. Angela's research work focuses on laboratory tests, in particular geochimical (Total Organic Carbon, Total Inorganic Carbon and Nitrogen by Organic Elemental Analyzers and Isotopic Carbon by DELTA V Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer) and chemical (pH and CaCO3) analysis of soils and sediments. Angela is a research fellow at the University of Milan. 

KEYWORDS: Laboratory tests, Geochimical analysis, Chemical analysis


Stefano Costanzo, archaeologist. Stefano is a geoarchaeologist who deals with reconstructing the formation processes of archaeological sites using techniques ranging from satellite analyses, to geomorphological and pedological investigations, up to the use of micromorphology of thin-section soils. The objective of his research is the reconstruction of the complex relationships between environmental variations and human communities, with a focus on the Late Pleistocene and Holocene. Stefano has worked in the deserts and savannahs of Sudan and Egypt, but also in the United Kingdom and in several historical and prehistoric sites in central and northern Italy.


University of Genoa UNIGE

Fabio Negrino, archaeologist. Fabio has dealt with different aspects of prehistoric and protohistoric research, from the lower Paleolithic to the age of metals, focusing both on cultural as well as on environmental issues, such as the relationship between man and environment, with particular attention to the Ligurian region. In the excavations at the site Riparo Bombrini, in the Balzi Rossi complex, he studies the extinction of the Neanderthals and the origin and spread of anatomically modern men. Fabio is associate professor at the University of Genoa.

KEYWORDS : Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Lithic industry.


Silvia Gazzo, archaeologist. Silvia studies the exploitation of marine malacofauna by prehistoric human groups, with a focus on Paleolithic and Mesolithic hunter-gatherer groups. The interdisciplinarity of her research work – which includes taxonomic, taphonomic, traceological and technological aspects – allows to recognize the methods and purposes of the collection of marine molluscs by early human groups, as well as to reconstruct the marine and coastal paleoenvironment. As part of the SPHeritage project, she studies the marine macologic remains from some coastal sites located in the Ligurian-Provençal region, in order to understand the relationship between humans and the coastal environment during the Pleistocene and the early stages of the Holocene. Silvia is a PhD student at the University of Genoa.

KEYWORDS: Archaeomalacology; Paleolithic; Mesolithic; Techno-functional analysis; Traceological analysis.


Nicola Corradi, geologist and sedimentologist. Nicola studies the seabed, both its stratigraphic aspects as well as those those related to sedimentary dynamics. He has participated in research and oceanographic campaigns in the Ligurian Sea and the western Mediterranean, with particular reference to the study of sedimentary covers, late Quaternary deposits and the evolution of submarine canyons. He conducts studies of Marine Geology in the Ross Sea, in Antarctica, focused on the evolution of the sedimentary series in relation to the dynamics of the polar ice caps. In the coastal zone, he studies the coasts created by deposition, especially with regard to their sedimentary evolution. Nicola is associate professor at the University of Genoa.

KEYWORDS: Seabed, seismic stratigraphy, deposited coasts, Ligurian Sea, Ross Sea.


Danilo Morelli, marine geologist. Danilo studies the geology of the continental margins with particular attention to the marine geological cartography and the stratigraphic evolution and the morpho-structural arrangement of some most critical Italian marine areas, from the point of view of active tectonics and geo-environmental risks related to it. The maturation of skills in the digital processing of seismic-stratigraphic and morpho-tectonic marine data, combined with the collaboration with specialists and experts in active morpho-tectonics of the emerged areas, has allowed the advancement of knowledge in the field of land-sea geology, of the environment and exploration of the areas that he studied. Danilo is a research associate at the University of Genoa.

KEYWORDS: Continental margins, marine geological cartography, seismic-stratigraphy and morpho-tectonic evolution of the Italian seas, active tectonics and related marine geo-environmental risks.


Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology of Monaco GOUV MC

Elena Rossoni-Notter, archaeologist. Elena directs the Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology of Monaco, a research institute dedicated to the origins of Humanity and the evolution of Man, founded by Prince Albert I in 1902. Elena conducts scheduled, preventive and rescue excavations within the Principality in order to better understand the evolution of regional behaviour and paleoenvironments. Her research is also devoted to the caves of Balzi Rossi, excavated by the first teams of the museum, and in particular to Mousterian and Acheulean technocultural behaviors. The museum's current scientific programs are interdisciplinary and are of particular interest to Monegasque archaeological sites and the Prince's Cave, in the Balzi Rossi complex, from a paleoanthropological, technical, cultural, paleontological and paleoenvironmental point of view.

KEYWORDS: Prehistory, Paleolithic, behaviors, Monaco, Liguria.


Olivier Notter, archeologist. Olivier is a specialist in lithic industries of the Lower and Middle Paleolithic and has participated in numerous scientific collaborations in Europe, Africa and Asia. Researcher at the Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology of Monaco, he is responsible for the archaeological sites of the Principality of Monaco and the Prince's Cave at the Balzi Rossi, where he participates in a territorial and diachronic analysis of human settlements on the Liguro-Provençal coast by highlighting the collections of the Museum and the results of old and new research conducted. He is interested in variations in sea levels induced by climate change in the Quaternary in order to better understand the territories exploited by humans of the past and their adaptation capacities.

KEYWORDS: Prehistory, Archaeology, Human behaviour, Lithic industries.


Abdelkader Moussous, archaeologist and paleontologist. Abdelkader studies the evolution of paleoenvironments in order to clarify the knowledge of paleobiodeiversity and the evolution of paleoecology of sites in south-eastern France and Liguria; the latter are key sites for understanding the environment and behavior of Late Pleistocene humans in the region. In charge of Scientific Mediation and Paleontologist at the Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology of Monaco, is mainly concerned with the dissemination of scientific knowledge and the study of ancient fauna, including those preserved in the museum's reserves. He completed a doctoral thesis on the Biostratigraphic Approach and Evolution of Paleoenvironments during the Late Pleistocene, based on the study of large mammals in the caves of Balzi Rossi.

KEYWORDS: Paleontology, paleoenvironment, paleobiediversity, biostratigraphic, Scientific mediation.


University Ca' Foscari, Venice

Alessio Rovere, geologist. Alessio works on sea level changes and on the effects of current Climate Change on coastal environments. His research focuses on understanding sea level changes in the past, but he has a parallel interest in studying modern coastal environments. Alessio has worked in the Mediterranean Sea, in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. Wherever he has worked, Alessio has built lasting collaborations with local partners and has always strived to make the results of his research available to the general public. Alessio is one of the contributing authors of the Sixth Assessment Report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Alessio is associate professor at University Ca' Foscari, Venice.

KEYWORDS: Past sea levels, coastal geology, coastal processes.


Institut of Geosciences and Georesources, National Research Council

Eleonora Regattieri, Geochemist. Eleonora’s research activity is focused on the reconstruction of the paleohydrological, paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic variability of the Mediterranean during the Quaternary period, through the production and interpretation of geochemical, geochronological and stratigraphic data from continental climatic archives, particularly cave carbonates (speleothems). Central points of her activity are the reconstruction of the influence of global climate forcings and extra-regional climate teleconnections, with particular attention to abrupt changes on secular and millennial time scale. Eleonora is research associate at the Institute of Earth Sciences and Georesources.

KEYWORDS: Paleoclimate and paleoenvironment, Mediterranean, continental deposits, Geochemistry and Geochronology.

National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) - Section of Pisa

Paola's research activity is on volcano geology, tephrostratigraphy, petrography, geochemistry and physical volcanology of the explosive eruptions. She has experience in field work on active volcanoes and in drilling activities offshore and inland for the study of tephra and cryptotephra. She has been involved in national and international projects for the study of volcanism in Victoria Land (Antarctica) and has participated in Italian expeditions at MZS and McMurdo Station (Ross Sea). She has also experience in monitoring activities of Etna and Stromboli volcanoes. Paola is senior researcher at INGV Sezione di Pisa.

Keywords: Volcanology, tephrostratigraphy, volcanic rock geochemistry