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PhD Programme in 

Environmental Life Sciences

Length: 3 years
Organizing university: Trieste (in partnership with University of Udine)
Official language: Italian
Credits: 20
Admission: by selection 
Application deadline: 13 June 2024 01:00 pm (CEST)

PhD Programme

Organizing Department

Call for applications

In this section you will find competition notices.

Board of Examiners

In this section you will find the Board of Examiners of the competition.

Assessments and shortlist

In this section you will find the competition assessments and shortlist.

  • Terrestrial ecology, land cover change
  • Geology, tectonics, volcanology
  • Biogeochemistry, biogeochemical cycles, environmental chemistry
  • Sedimentology, soil science, palaeontology, earth evolution
  • Integrative Biology: from Genes and Genomes to Systems
  • Ecosystem and community ecology, macroecology
  • Biodiversity
  • Population biology, population dynamics, population genetics
  • Biological aspects of environmental change, including climate change
  • Marine biology and ecology
  • Applied plant sciences, plant breeding, agroecology and soil biology
  • Ecotoxicology, biohazards and biosafety

The PhD Programme is characterized by a wide heterogeneity of scientific-disciplinary sectors and the different backgrounds of the enrolled PhD students. Therefore, the training program includes common training for all PhD students aimed at deepening theoretical and experimental aspects that are transversal to all areas included in the PhD Programme. Each PhD student is then free to identify specific courses/seminars together with their supervisor, functional to their research project. The Academic Board offers periodic seminar cycles on different topics, inviting external speakers.

Based on the guidelines for teaching in PhD courses at the University of Trieste, PhD students must obtain 20 CFU by the end of the three-year period. To achieve this goal, doctoral students can choose among mandatory educational activities (at least 13 CFU, including frontal teaching provided by the doctoral course (min. 8 CFU - max. 10 CFU), transversal educational activities offered by the University (min. 4 CFU - max. 8 CFU), conferences, symposiums, and workshops (min. 1 CFU - max. 6 CFU), and optional activities (attendance at national and international schools - max. 5 CFU), integrative educational activities - max. 12 CFU, and educational activities borrowed from master's courses - max. 6 CFU).

In the case of courses offered by the PhD Programme, a final exam is generally provided. This PhD Programme also promotes language proficiency and deepening of topics related to data management, intellectual property, and scientific project writing through transversal educational activities offered by the University.

This PhD Programme aims to train highly qualified personnel capable of critically managing the implementation of national and European Union directives concerning environmental analysis, deepening methodological aspects related to these issues, and autonomously designing and conducting environmental research within a multidisciplinary framework. The denomination of this PhD Programme is closely linked to the research topics of the members of the faculty, which are connected to the following ERC sectors: Terrestrial ecology, land cover change (PE10_4); Biogeochemistry, biogeochemical cycles, environmental chemistry (PE10_9); Soil science (PE10_13); Community and population ecology (LS8_1); Biodiversity, comparative biology (LS8_4); Conservation biology, ecology, and genetics (LS8_5); Environmental and marine biology (LS8_8); Environmental toxicology (LS8_9); Prokaryotic biology (LS8_10). Agricultural, animal, fishery, forestry, biochemical, industrial biosciences; biotechnology and environmental remediation, animal production (LS9_3); Agrarian plant production, soil biology, cultivated plant biology (LS9_5), Genetics, Population genetics (LS8_2), Molecular genetics, Genomics, Transcriptomics, Bioinformatics, Modeling, and simulation (LS2).

The professional opportunities for PhD graduates mainly lie within the field of environmental research at Italian or foreign universities and Italian and foreign research institutes which deal with environmental research in terrestrial and marine contexts. The significant interdisciplinary nature characterizing the PhD Programme enables the training of professionally complete figures capable of addressing research topics requiring expertise in various scientific sectors. The methodologies learned during the Doctorate can be applied to address complex issues such as: the effects of climate change on different natural ecosystems (from deep ocean to high mountains) and those subject to anthropogenic management (agricultural, forestry, etc.); the role of biodiversity in maintaining ecosystem efficiency and the consequent ecosystem production of goods and services; the onset of new sources of pollution and of new pollutants, and their effects on organisms; the management of next-generation closed-loop production systems; the computerisation of environmental data for their dissemination in the non-specialized public sphere for the purpose of progressively raising ecological awareness.


Lucia Muggia - Coordinator

Phone: 040 5588825

Department of Life Sciences
Via Licio Giorgieri, 10 - 34127 Trieste 

Francesco Boscutti - Deputy Coordinator

Phone: 0432 558726

Department of Scienze agroalimentari, ambientali e animali
Via delle Scienze, 91 - 33100 Udine 

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