Environment, Resources and Sustainable Development

Program description and purpose

The international PhD program aims to train the future intellectual leaders in the field of environmental science, ecology, and sustainable development. According to the cultural and scientific tradition of this PhD program and in line with the award of the UNESCO Chair in “Environment, Resources and Sustainable Development”, the program is focused on the study and the solution to local and global environmental problems, with particular reference to the 17 goals defined by the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

The PhD

The study of the environment and socioecological systems will be approached in a very interdisciplinary way focusing on different scales of investigation, from molecules to ecosystems. A special focus will be placed on human-nature interactions, nature and resources conservation, and the implementation of sustainable development models and strategies.


The PhD aims to provide students with multiple scientific and professional competences facing several subjects (such as biology and ecology, environmental chemistry, environmental physics and modelling, geomatics) at a high scientific and technological level, with a significant capacity for innovation.

Duration: 3 years
Discipline: Biology, Ecology, Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Physics, Environmental Accounting, Life Cycle Assessment, Environmental Modeling, Geomatics

Professional prospects

The PhD provides doctors with competences useful for the employment in research institutes, national and international universities, and international organizations (such as UN, UNESCO, UNEP, FAO, etc.). Moreover, the acquired competences enable doctors to be successfully employed in public and private corporations with R&D sectors committed to environmental sustainability, the sustainable management of natural resources, and the development of models and technologies for sustainable development.

Teaching programme

Spring Semester

Fundamentals of cellular biology (2 CFU) – Prof. Palma Simoniello
Fundamentals of zoology and biodiversity (2 CFU) – Prof. Roberto Sandulli / Dr. Luigia Donnarumma
Fundamentals of ecology & nature conservation (2 CFU) – Prof. Giovanni Russo
Environmental accounting & sustainable development (2 CFU) – Prof. Pier Paolo Franzese
Life cycle assessment & environmental certification (3 CFU) – Dr. Elvira Buonocore
Green & Circular Economy (2 CFU) – Prof. Alessandro Sapio
Geographical Information Systems (3 CFU) – Prof. Claudio Parente

Fall semester

Environmental statistics (2 CFU) – Prof. Agnieszka Piernik (NCU, Poland)
Estimation Basics and Robust Methods (2 CFU) – Prof. Salvatore Gaglione
Basic computational tools for data analysis and modelling (3 CFU) – Prof. Giulio Giunta
Environmental physics and climate change (3 CFU) – Prof. Angelo Riccio / Dr. Antonello Pasini (CNR)
Astrobiology (2 CFU) – Prof. Alessandra Rotundi


Bibliometric network analysis (1 CFU) – Dr. Flavio Picone (Univ. of Palermo)
Bacteria & viruses (1 CFU) – Prof. Vincenzo Pasquale
Environmental hygiene (1 CFU) – Prof. Valeria Di Onofrio
Environmental physiology (1 CFU) – Dr. Gaetana Napolitano
Applications of geomatics for environmental science (1 CFU) – Prof. Salvatore Troisi
Advanced monitoring & forensic engineering (1 CFU) – Prof. Massimiliano Lega
Environmental economics (1 CFU) – Dott. Alessandro Paletto (CREA, Trento)
Science-Policy dialogue (1 CFU) – Dr. Salvatore Aricò (IOC-UNESCO)
Mediterranean diet (1 CFU) – Dott. Roberto Capone (IAMB)
Fulbright seminars (1 CFU) – Fulbright Professor

Nature Masterclass

Scientific writing and publishing (3 CFU)
Focus on peer review (1 CFU)
Managing research data to unlock its full potential (1 CFU)
Data Analysis (1 CFU)
Effective collaboration in research (2 CFU)
Networking for researchers (1 CFU)
Narrative tools for researchers (1 CFU)
Persuasive grant writing (1 CFU)
Advancing your scientific presentations (2 CFU)

Thesis writing (9 CFU)

Total teaching offer given for each new PhD cycle: 60 CFU.


Program Directors

Prof. FRANZESE Pier Paolo

PhD Website



Guidance and Tutoring Services

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