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The PhD course in Environmental Sciences provides a highly multidisciplinary training for the study of environmental complexity. The course aims at fostering the interdisciplinary integration of Natural Sciences, including physics, biology and Earth sciences, with veterinary and agricultural sciences, medicine and pharmacology. PhD students will be trained in the study of past and present biotic and abiotic processes that shaped our environment, taking into consideration past and extant interactions and functional relationships, while making full use of ecological, evolutionary, geological and geomorphological approaches.

Broadly, areas of interest include the study of:

  1. biodiversity and its environmental determinants at any level of organization, from molecules and genes to ecological communities and ecosystems;
  2. interactions among organisms and between organisms and their environment, at any level of organization and temporal scale, ranging from host-parasite and intracellular symbiotic interactions to biotic and abiotic processes shaping landforms; the ecological effects of natural or anthropic modifications of the environment, such as climatic changes or habitat alterations, are also considered;
  3. human-environment interactions, considering both the anthropic effects on ecosystems as well as the consequences of the quality of the environment for human health.

PhD students will receive specific training in broadly diverse field and laboratory techniques. These will range from geological and ecological sampling, to advanced microscopy techniques and biochemical and molecular assays. They will also receive training in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), statistical modelling and bioinformatics.

Head of the PhD course
Prof. Nicola Saino (nicola.saino@unimi.it)


Further information at the website:



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