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AgriDev - Climate resilient, biodiversity-based agriculture for sustainable development


Deadline for Registration

February 14th, 2022


Matteo Dell’Acqua


May 2nd -6th, 2022

Learning objectives

Cropping systems in the XXI Century face complex challenges that cannot be addressed with unidimensional solutions. This seasonal school is a 5-days full immersion in transdisciplinary approaches aimed at enhancing the sustainability of cropping systems in the wake of climate change. Specific training deals with climate science, agrobiodiversity-based agriculture, genetics for breeding, and crowd-sourced participatory approaches in smallholder farming systems. Course participants will have the opportunity to develop a portfolio of knowledge at the base of cutting edge scientific approaches in agronomic research for sustainable development.
The seasonal school is structured in four interconnected modules. The first module will deal with the topics of climate science, focusing on climate change, weather forecast, climate prediction, and climate-agriculture nexus. The second module will deal with all levels of agrobiodiversity and their relevance for sustainability and provision of ecosystem services: at the community level, at the species level, and at the genetic level. The third module will deal with genetics applied to breeding, discussing genomic applications in crop improvement with a focus on smallholder farming systems. The fourth module will discuss socioeconomic aspects of farming systems and introduce data-driven participatory breeding methods joining climate, agronomy, genetics, and crowd-sourcing approaches to improve local adaptation of crop varieties.

Teaching methodologies

The seasonal school is structured in a blended training modality joining lectures, hands-on exercises, and panel discussion. The course is organized over 5 days in Pisa, combining daily sessions with evening gatherings. Trainees will be involved in roundtable discussions and will be given opportunities to present themselves, their background and their research ambitions. We aim to maximize interaction with training staff to foster discussion outside the classroom, through city tours and aperitivi (a staple of italian lifestyle).

Who should attend the Seasonal School?

The seasonal school is designed for undergraduate students, but graduate students may also apply. We expect a minimal background in life sciences, yet students from a social science background can also participate: the transdisciplinary course welcomes any student with a strong interest in modern agronomic approaches aimed at sustainability.

Coordinator and key teaching staff

  • Matteo Dell’Acqua, PhD - Crop geneticist, coordinator
  • Prof. Roberto Buizza - Lead climate scientist
  • Prof. Paolo Bàrberi - Lead agronomist
  • Prof. Alessandro Nuvolari - Lead economist
  • Prof. Mario Enrico Pè - Crop geneticist
  • Anna-Camilla Moonen, PhD - Agronomist
  • Martina Occelli, PhD - Economist
  • Mara Miculan, PhD - Bioinformatician

International lecturers

  • Mercedes Campi, PhD - CONICET (ARG)
  • Kaue de Sousa, PhD - INN University (NOR)
  • Carlo Fadda, PhD - Bioversity International (KEN)