VIAROLI Pierluigi

Professore di I fascia
Full time Equivalent: 
Settore scientifico disciplinare
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Office hour
  • Teaching
  • Appointments
  • Research
  • Third mission

1. Personal data
Born 2 April 1954, in Fiorenzuola d’Arda (PC), Italy
Home address: viale Matteotti 36/B Fiorenzuola d’Arda (PC), Italy.

2. Education
1989 - PhD in Environmental Sciences, University of Parma
1985 - Qualification as professional Biologist, University of Parma
1983 - Degree in Biological Sciences, University of Parma, cum laude

3. Professional experience
2001-present. Full professor of Ecology at the Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, , University of Parma.
1998-2001. Associate Professor of Ecology at the Faculty of Sciences, University of Parma.
1995-1998. Lecturer in Environmental Pollution and Recovery, at the Faculty of Sciences, University of Parma.
1991-1998: Technical Assistant responsible for the Laboratory of Ecological Chemistry at the Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Parma. Instructor of Practical Ecology at the Faculty of Sciences.
1989-1991: Consultant Biologist on aquatic pollution and recovery for Italian Companies and Local and Regional Administrations
1981-1984 – Technical assistant, wastewater processing, Center for Animal Production (CRPA), Reggio Emilia, Italy
1976-1980 – Employed as a farmer

4. Teaching experience

4.1. Courses taught at University of Parma
Fundamental ecology (6 credits), Undergraduate Programme in Environmental Sciences and Technology
Water resources and Wastewater Processing (3 credits), Undergraduate Programme in Environmental Sciences and Technology
Applied Ecology 2 – Ecosystem services and ecological restoration (6 credits), Postgraduate programme in Environmental Sciences and Technology

4.2. Thesis directed
Ca. 250 undergraduate (45% )and master (55%) levels, in Natural Sciences, Biology, Environmental Sciences , Environmental Sciences and Technology, Ecology, and Chemistry
Three PhD in Ecology (1992-1998), and 23 PhD in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology (1999-2018)

4.3. Service on committees and other institutions for education
Chair of the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Environmental Sciences and Technology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Parma (2001-2016)
Coordinator of the Doctoral Programme in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology 30th Cycle (2016-17), consortium of Ferrara and Parma Universities.
Coordinator of the Doctoral Programme in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology 34th Cycle (2018-2019), consortium of Ferrara, Florence and Parma Universities.
Member of jury and reviewer for PhD students evaluation in European [Bordeaux II, Montpellier II –France; Barcelona, Malaga and Zaragoza – Spain; Klaipeda Lithuania )], Australia (Griffith) and Italian Universities (Siena, Milan State, Milan Bicocca, Venice Ca’ Foscari, Genua, Rome 1, Salento, Turin State, Pavia).
Member of the jury for selection of researcher, associate and full professor in Italian Universities.

5. Research
5.1. Main topics
• Processes, functions and services of internal water ecosystems and transition
• Relationships among anthropogenic pressures, nutrient loadings and eutrofication phenomena in river basins
• Study of the development of biogeochemical processes in pit lakes
• Interactions between anthropogenic pressures, climate change, trophic condition and redox conditions in lakes with different depth
• Responses of the benthic communities and biogeochemical processes to changes in the hydrological regime in channels, streams and rivers

5.2. Publications and biblometrics (4 December 2020)
143 documents indexed by SCOPUS and 142 in Web of Science
H index 39 in SCOPUS and 38 in Web of Science
Participation with oral and/or poster presentations in 52 international congresses (14 invited, of which 2 openings) and 102 national congresses (6 invited of which 1 opening).
For details see; Researcher ID: M-3762-2014

5.3. Most relevant projects
European projects(coordinator of the local unit)
• CLEAN: Coastal Lagoon Eutrophication and ANaerobic processes (1993-1994),
• EUMAC: EUtrophication and MACrophytes (1994-95),
• ROBUST: the ROle of BUffering capacities in STabilising coastal lagoon ecosystems (1996-99);
• NICE: NItrogen Cycling in Estuaries (1996-99),
• DITTY: Development of an Information Technology Tool for the Management of European Southern Lagoons under the influence of river-basin runoff (2003-2006),
• AWARE: How to achieve sustainable water ecosystems management connecting research, people and policy makers in Europe (2009-2012).

National competitive projects
• Biogeochemical processes, transformation and effetcs of nitrogen loadings in the lowland river section and in the delta transitional waters of the Po river (PRIN 2008, national coordinator, 2010-2012)
• NOACQUA – responses of communities and processes in intermittent rivers (PRIN 2015, national coordinato, 2017-2019)
• CARIPLO foundation 2015 – INTEGRON: Squaring the cycle: the integration of groundwater processes in nutrient budgets for a basin-oriented remediation strategy. (coordinator of the local unit, 2016-2018).
• CARIPLO foundation 2015 - ISEO: Improving the lake Status from Eutrophy towards Oligotrophy (coordinator of the local unit, 2016-2018).

Main regional projects
Nitrogen and phosphorus loadings, their transformations and stoichiometry in the Po river at Pontelagoscuro station from 2003 to 2007. Funded by the Po river basin Authority.
-Assessment of the damming impact on river connectivity, and nutrient contaminant transport and transformation in the Po river, in the Emilia Romagna Region. Funded by the Regional Environmental Agency of Emilia Romagna (2009)
-Application and calibration of WFD indicators to the transitional waters of Emilia Romagna Region. Funded by Daphne - Environmental Agency of Emilia Romagna (2010)
-Ecological studies of Lake Idro as a scientific support to management and restoration. Funded by Regione Lombardia (May 2010- April 2012 and October 2013-November 2014)
-Assessment of N, P and Si loadings in the Po river and selected tributaries funded by Regione Lombardia (November 2014- November 2015)
-Assessment of trophic status and susceptibility to eutrophication of runnong waters in the nitrate directive context funded by regione Lombardia (2016)

Other projects on eutrophication, impacts of shellfish farming, exploitation of quarry lakes funded by: Ministry of Agriculture and Fishery, Regione Emilia Romagna, Provinces of Ferrara and Vicenza, ARPA Parma, ARPA Reggio-Emilia, and private companies.
Overall, funds raised from 1998 to date are ca. 3,500,000 euro

6. Editorial duties
Editor/co-editor of conference proceedings (4) and special issues of scientific journals: Hydrobiologia (7), Chemistry and Ecology (2), Transitional Water Bulletin (1), Biologia Ambientale (2)
Associate editor (topic: lagoon and estuaries) and member of the Editorial Board of: Hydrobiologia (August 2005-February 2020), Journal of Limnology (2011-present); Advances in Oceanography and Limnology (AIOL, 2010-present) and Biologia Ambientale (Environmental Biology, in Italian, 2001-present)
Reviewer for about 30 journals in the categories aquatic sciences, environmental sciences, ecology.

7. Other duties
Project reviewer for local institutions, national (ministry of University and Education, Italy), and international agencies (AGREEN-INRA, France; 2016; Danish Research Council 2007, 2012, 2014).

8. Other services
Coordinator of the Unit of Biotechnology, Ecology and Sustainability of the Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental sustainability (2017-2019)
Member of the department board (2017-2019)
Member Co-founder (2002) and board member (2002-2006) of the Environmental Data Centre of the University of Parma (CIDAM)
Co-founder (2002) and board member (2006-2007) of the Italian Long Term Ecological Research Program (LTER-ITALY).
Member of the Scientific Board of the Consortium for Coordination of Research Activities concerning the Venice Lagoon System - CORILA (2004-2008).
Member of the Panel for the Coastal Module of the Global Terrestrial Observing System - CGTOS (2002-2004).
International Commission on Water Quality (IAWQ) of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences – IAHS (2010-present)
Member of the board of the Consortium among Italian Universities for Marine Sciences – CONISMA (2010-2012; 2016-2019)
Co-Founder and member of the Center for Water Sciences of the University of Parma (2013-present)
Member of the coordination panel of the Italian Strategy for the Adaptation to the Climate Change, coordinator for the topic: Biodiversity and Processes in inland and transitional water ecosystems (2013-14)
Member of the panel for the candidature of the MAB UNESCO reserve "Po grande" approved on June 2018(2016-2018)
Member of the coordination panel of the MAB UNESCO reserve "Po grande" (2018-present)
Member of the Observatory for Biodiversity (2013-2018) of the Emilia-Romagna region
Member of the Panel for Biological Sciences of Parma University (2013-2016)

9. Membership and services in scientific societies and professional associations
Italian Society of Ecology (1981-present). Board Member (2001-2004), Vice-President (2005-06) and President (2007-2010)
Italian Association for Natural and Environmental Sciences. Co-founder, Vice-President (2009-10) and President (2011-12)
LaguNet: Italian Network for Lagoon Research (2002-present). Co-founder and Chair (2002-2007)
Italian Association of Oceanology and Limnology (1992-present)
Italian Society for Marine Biology (1993-present)
International Society of Limnology – SIL (1989-2017)
Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation – CERF, USA (2003-present)
Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography – ASLO, USA (2010-present)
Italian Center for Studies on Environmental Biology – CISBA (2001-present)
Italian Association of Professional Biologists – special list (1986-present)
Italian Association of Environmental Experts (board member, 2014-present)

10. Awards
Cervia Ambiente award for the merits acquired in the study of the environmental state of the Po and its tributaries

Every day, by appointment to be reserved via email

  • Office, Bioscience Building
  • Lecturing room, at the end of the lecture
  • by video-call (TEAMS or whatsapp)
  • email exchange

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2023/2024

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2022/2023

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2021/2022

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2020/2021

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2019/2020

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2018/2019

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2017/2018

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2016/2017

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2015/2016

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2014/2015

Teacher tutor

Other appointments

Coordinator of the Biotechnology, Ecology and Sustainability Unit (BES)

Member of the Board of the Department

Chairman of  first level  degree (undegraduate) in Environmental Sciences and Technologies (class 27) and of the second level  degree (master)  in Environmental  Sciences (master equivalent)  from 01/11 / 2001-31/10/2005

Chairman of  first level  course (undegraduate) in Environmental Sciences and Technologies and of the second level  degree  (master) in Sciences and Technologies for the Environment and Resources from 01/11/2005 to 31/10/2010

Chairman of  second  level  courses (masters) in Sciences and Technologies for the Environment and Resources  and in Ecology and Nature Conservation from 01/11/2010 to 31/10/2014

Chairman of the second  level  courses (masters) in Sciences and Technologies for the Environment and Resources  from 01/11/2014 to 31/12/2016.

Head of Quality Assurance for the Master's  Degree Sciences and Technologies for the Environment and Resources  from 01/01/2017 to present.

Coordinator of the Doctoral Programme in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology 30th  Cycle (2016-17), consortium of Ferrara and Parma Universities.

Coordinator of the Doctoral Programme in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology 34th Cycle (2018-2019), consortium of Ferrara, Florence and Parma Universities.

Member of the Board of the doctoral school in Biology, and Drug and Food Sciences from 2017 to date.

Lines of research

1) PROCESSES, FUNCTIONS AND SERVICES OF INTERNAL WATER ECOSYSTEMS AND TRANSITION This is the main research topic, dealing with primary production, organic matter decomposition and biogeochemical processes in aquatic ecosystems. Special attention is dedicated to: i. regulatory services dependent on the primary producers community; ii. sustainable management and exploitation of natural resources, in particular aquaculture in coastal lagoons iii. alterations that lead to the development of degenerative processes, such as eutrophication, macroalgal blooms and dystrophic crises. The studies were initially developed in paddy rice-fields, used as a model environment, and subsequently in coastal lagoons located in the Po delta, in Sardinia, in the south and along the Atlantic coast of France. More recently, specific studies on nitrogen cycle processes have been developed in perifluvial wetlands with different trophic status. 2) RELATIONSHIPS AMONG ANTHROPOGENIC PRESSURES, NUTRIENT LOADINGS AND EUTROFICATION PHENOMENA IN RIVER BASINS This research is focused on the evaluation of origin, environmental path and fate of nitrogen, phosphorus and silica loadings at different spatial and temporal scales in river basins subject to diversified anthropogenic pressures. In particular, the relations between land use and river loadings in the Po basin and its main tributaries are being studied. Particular attention is dedicated to the comparative study of the Apennine streams and rivers and the peri-alpine rivers which are lake-regulated. Deep lakes can function as regulators of the water quality of the outflowing rivers. In fact, in-lake processes can favor the retention of the elements that have less soluble forms (eg P and Si) compared to those more reactive and soluble (nitric nitrogen). Besides, in the Apennine running waters the hydrological regime depends above all on wet deposition, which can cause pulsed retention release due to pulsed drought and flash floods. 3) STUDY OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF BIOGEOCHEMICAL PROCESSES IN PIT LAKES The research, started at the beginning of the 90s, aiming at the long-term study of the development of the biogeochemical cycles of nitrogen, phosphorus and silicon in quarry lakes. Special attention is given to ecologcal functions and regulatory ecosystem services. The study is mainly performed in the the Po river floodplain. These research aim also at providing scientific support to the design and sustainable management of the quarry activity. 4) INTERACTIONS BETWEEN ANTHROPOGENIC PRESSURES, CLIMATE CHANGE, TROPHIC CONDITION AND REDOX CONDITIONS IN LAKES WITH DIFFERENT DEPTH The study takes into consideration lake ecosystems in which the water overturn is slowed down or compromised by the increase in the stability of the water stratification (mainly of thermal origin). Under such conditions, local anthropogenic pressures can amplify the effects of eutrophication which, in turn, can affect the availability of oxygen and the redox conditions of the deep water mass. Understanding of these dynamics can have important applications, in particular to evaluate the long term sustainability of human activities in the watersheds of deep lakes. Studies are mainly conducted in the Lake Idro and Lake Iseo. 5) RESPONSES OF THE BENTHIC COMMUNITIES AND BIOGEOCHEMICAL PROCESSES TO CHANGES IN THE HYDROLOGICAL REGIME IN CHANNELS, STREAMS AND RIVERS The research addresses the responses of the benthic communities, the transformation of organic matter and related biogeochemical processes in different types of running water ecosystems. In particular, the studies are carried out in types of watercourses with very different hydrological regime that varies from persistent to intermittent outflow. These studies provide also a background for assessing the effects of water uses on the water flow, in terms of minimum vital flow and ecological flow




Phone number
Office location
Campus Scienze e Tecnologie - Padiglione 02 - Plesso di Bioscienze
Parco Area delle Scienze, 11/A
43124 PARMA