Research activities are focused on the identification of tools and technical solutions for the assessment and mitigation of the environmental impacts of human activities. The research has a strong interdisciplinary approach, with scientific collaborations at national and international level, and is aimed at identifying practical applications, as evidenced by numerous private and public funding.
The research activities essentially concern two main themes:
Ecohydraulics: design and evaluation of solutions for river continuity restoration (fish passage) at dams and weirs (CFD design and analysis, fish migration monitoring by telemetric techniques); experimental studies for the analysis of fish swimming behaviour at varying hydrodynamic conditions; methodologies for e-flows determination and assessment. The activities are carried out in collaboration with Proff. Manes and Vezza (DIATI - Hydraulics Area).
Environmental management systems and performance indicators: implementation of Environmental Management Systems (ISO 14001-EMAS) aimed at assessing and reducing the environmental impact of human activities; definition and assessment of environmental performance indicators for specific sectors (industrial production, tertiary sector, public bodies, etc.); carbon footprint of organisations and products; multi-criteria analysis (MCA) and metrics for assessing the sustainability of water resources use.
Among the main research projects the Ecology Area coordinates the European project H2020-MSCA-ETN RIBES (River flow regulation, fish BEhaviour and Status) aimed at developing innovative solutions to mitigate the impact of infrastructures that fragment river habitats and prevent fish migration.
Vertical slot fishway on the Po river at La Loggia (Italy)
Innovative fish passage solution at a hydropower dam at Falkenberg (Sweden)