Research

Publications catalogue

The publications catalogue of the Department collects the information from ARCA [ITA], the institutional open-access archive of Ca’ Foscari scientific production.
It is also accessible from cerCa, the Ca’ Foscari bibliographic platform.

Working in research

PhD Degrees

PhD Degree is the highest level of academic education. It is a limited admission degree programme and lasts for at least three years. It allows graduates to develop methods and skills to pursue highly qualified research.

Research fellowships and grants

Short-term research fellowships allow Master’s Degree graduates to pursue short-term research (less than 12 months normally) including them in existing projects and research groups.

Research grants allow Master’s Degree graduates and PhDs to pursue research activities at the university or in the projects offered to the candidates.

Discover all the other opportunities of international recruitment at Ca’ Foscari: our University is highly committed in achieving excellence in research, developing international partnerships and funding new talents.


Research areas

The Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics focuses on the following research areas: biology and ecology, chemistry (environmental, analytical and for the conservation of cultural heritage), environmental engineering, computer science, earth science and statistics.

Transversal topics of research include climate and the socio-economic effects of its transformations, complexity, preservation of cultural heritage, monitoring, risk, security (environmental and informatic) and sustainability.

Research is developed in collaboration with public bodies and local firms. This synergy as well as the multidisciplinary approach make it possible for the department to find large scale solutions for research.

Research centres and groups

The research activities are organized in research centres and groups.
The centres were created to stimulate and coordinate the interactions between complementary research groups on joint research projects contributing and improving the productivity of individuals and groups.

Centres

Groups

Research projects

Modeling Energy for Sustainable Ethiopia

Researcher: Amsalu Woldie Yalew, Length: 15/11/2020 - 14/11/2022, Grant to the UNIVE: € 183.473,28

Despite the country’s huge potential in renewable energy, today, about 60% of Ethiopians lack access to electricity. Increasing population, urbanization, structural transformation, and climate change pose other layers of burden to the existing energy system. Energy transition, therefore, is a crucial step towards a sustainable development in Ethiopia through its direct effects on the economy (e.g., productivity, growth, trade balance), and co-benefits on the environment (e.g., deforestation, soil fertility), and human health (e.g., indoor air pollution).The Modeling Energy for Sustainable Development in Ethiopia (MEND) project aims to examine the economic, environmental and health outcomes of energy transition in Ethiopia using partial and general equilibrium models.


Durability of Softwood - Innovative technologies to improve the durability of traditional wooden structures in socio-ecologically sensitive environments

Researcher: Annamaria Volpi Ghirardini, Length: 01/03/2020 - 28/02/2022, Grant to the UNIVE: € 119.199,19

Over millennia, in the Italian lagoons and in the Slovenian highlands, fishing and agro-pastoral activities have produced unique house forms in which wood is dominant. They are associated with wooden service infrastructures such as fences, piers and moorings. In humid mountain and coastal environments the existence of these structures and their associated cultural heritage was made possible only by a constant maintenance which, nowadays, is no longer economically sustainable. Hence, to counter the massive and rapid degradation of wood, impacting preservatives and unsuitable materials have been used. The DuraSoft project therefore aims to test some innovative techniques and products, developed and produced by the partners, which increase the durability of traditional wood species, especially softwood. The wood treated in this way could be used in traditional buildings located in Socio-ecologically sensitive environments within the Alpine-maritime Adriatic area, making its use economically and environmentally sustainable. The environmental compatibility of these techniques will be assessed in the light of the most recent scientific knowledge and protocols developed by the partners and transferable to the entire program area.


Credit: Unsplash

IMSyPP - Innovative Monitoring Systems and Prevention Policies of Online Hate Speech

Researcher: Fabiana Zollo, Length: 01/03/2020 - 28/03/2022, Grant to the UNIVE: € 106.711,10

Hate speech is spreading not only on social media, but also in the comments of online media news sites. Different ways of presenting news trigger different, sometimes inappropriate, responses from target audiences. The objectives of the project are to automatically detect hate speech in several languages, to identify triggers, to recommend effective counter narratives, and to propose policies to the European communication regulators. The consortium consists of top research teams in the areas of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning (JSI), misinformation spreading (UNIVE), and hate speech counter narratives (UCY). Effective deployment and long-terms sustainability will be ensured by an experienced SME (Textgain). The policies proposed will be disseminated to the European Regulators Group (ERGA), where the Italian communication regulator (AGCOM) is heading a task force. The technical part of the project is data-driven. We closely collaborate with two prime national media and collect online content in Italian (Corriere della Sera) and Slovenian (RTV SLO public TV). We will also include English and Dutch social media contents from Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit. The data will be manually annotated for types of hate speech, and quality carefully controlled. We will develop hate speech models by applying advanced machine learning methods. The models will be deployed in online settings and used to analyze the large amounts of data already collected. This will allow to analyze mechanisms and trends in hate speech, and identify different types of triggers. We will conduct a pilot study on possible counter narratives and develop recommendations. The dissemination activities of the project will target European regulators (ERGA), online media companies and journalists, and the scientific community. We will organize training activities for civil servants and journalists. There will be a communication campaign to raise awareness among the general public and youth.


ACQUAVITIS - Innovative solutions for the efficient use of water in cross-border viticulture

Researcher: Barbara Stenni, Length: 01/01/2020 - 31/12/2021, Grant to the UNIVE: € 125.750,00

The efficient use of water resources is the basis of quality wine production. A team of Italian and Slovenian researchers will study the strategies for improving the irrigation of vineyards starting from three wine production areas located in different geomorphological and climatic contexts: the Karst, the Collio area and the Vipacco Valley in Slovenia. The aims of the research are the evaluation of the water status of the vineyards and the estimation of the water available for the plants. In the six experimental vineyards involved in the ACQUAVITIS project, the researchers will collect water from different sources, e.g., rainfall, surface water, water in the soil at different depths, infiltration water in karst regions and irrigation water. The contribution of Ca' Foscari will be to analyse the isotopic composition of different waters and xylem sap. The results will support local authorities and farms for efficient management of water resources in viticulture.
Six Slovenian and Italian partners are involved in this project: the Kmetijski inštitut Slovenije (coordinator), the University of Trieste, the University of Udine, the Geodetski Inštitut Slovenije, the Zavod Nova Gorica and Ca' Foscari University of Venice.


ICELEARNING - Artificial intelligence techniques for ice core analyses

Researcher: Niccolò Maffezzoli, Length: 15/01/2020 - 14/01/2022, Grant to the UNIVE: € 171.473,28

The history of the Earth's climate can be studied by analysing ice cores, cylinders of ice retrieved from ice sheets - Greenland and Antarctica. Amongst the impurities deposited and trapped in ice cores are insoluble particles, just like volcanic glass particles, mineral dust, or particles of biological origin such as pollen and algae. Detecting these particles is crucial to understand the past conditions and interactions between the components of the climate system. The Marie Curie ICELEARNING project will develop a technique for the automatic detection and classification of insoluble particles in ice cores using Artificial Intelligence Pattern Recognition techniques. Surpassing the traditional analytical methods, this ground-breaking automatic and non-destructive technique can reveal past changes of the Earth's climate over the last one and a half million years.


EMERGE - Evaluation, control and Mitigation of the EnviRonmental impacts of shippinG Emissions

Researcher: Antonio Marcomini, Length: 01/02/2020 - 31/01/2024, Grant to the UNIVE: € 402.267,50

The EMERGE project aims to comprehensively quantify and evaluate the effects of several potential emission reduction technologies for shipping in Europe and provide recommendations and guidance on the most suitable, effective and cost-beneficial options to significantly reduce marine pollution. This activity will include the collection of experimental data and the development of an integrated modelling framework to assess the combined impacts on the aquatic and atmospheric environments of air emissions and waste streams of ships equipped with several potential emission control technologies.


NEWTECHAQUA - New Technologies, Tools and Strategies for a Sustainable, Resilient and Innovative European Aquaculture

Researcher: Roberto Pastres, Length: 01/01/2020 - 31/12/2023, Grant to the UNIVE: € 343.785,00

The  H2020 project "NewTechAqua2, coordinated by the University of Bologna (Italy) aims at supporting the sustainable development of aquaculture within the European Economic Area. The project will test: 1) innovative techniques for genetic selection and breeding; 2) more sustainable feeds; 3) new methods for optimizing husbandry practices, including the management of disease outbreaks, 4) energy efficient techniques for extending the shelf life of acquacolture products. The Ca' Foscari University team, which includes Enrico Bertuzzo,  Damiano Pasetto and Roberto Pastres (PI), will contribute to the development of set of modelling tools for: i) optimizing the management of seabrass and seabream landa-based farms; ii) dealing with a widespread seabream parasyte, which is causing severe damages to the Mediterranena aquacolture; iii) the assessment of the environmental sustainability of the innovative processes developed in the project. The first activity will be carried out in close collaboration with the "il Vigneto", located on the edge of the Laguna di Orbetello (Tuscany, Italy).