completed undergraduate and master’s degrees, majoring in forestry, at the University of Firenze (Italy). He got a PhD in botany at the Trinity College of Dublin (Ireland). He is Full Professor of Forest Ecology and Management in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Food Sciences at the University of Molise (Italy), acting as chairman of the Second Level Degree courses in Forestry and Environmental Sciences. He studies the ecophysiological mechanisms underlying plant responses to environmental conditions and the influence these responses have on ecological patterns and processes. Plants live in a wide range of environments and the conditions in these environments fluctuate over the time scale of seconds to years and beyond. He uses the combined potential of biometeorology and ecology to study the effects of disturbances on tree productivity and plant development. He focuses on the basic environmental physiology of carbon, water and nutrient cycling and strive to integrate these physiological processes to gain an understanding of plant functions and ecosystem processes, in a changing global environmental setting. Experimental observations are made at a range of spatial scales and a modelling framework is used in an effort to relate mechanistic responses to ecosystem functions and services.
Pietro Panzacchi got his master’s in Forestry at University of Firenze (Italy) and a PhD in Forest Ecology at University of Bologna (Italy). He currently works at the Center for Inland Areas and Apennines (ARIA) of University of Molise (Italy) where he acted as Project Manager of the Cost Action CLIMO. His research focusses on the effect of Climate Change in forests biogeochemical cycles, with special interests for Carbon and Nitrogen cycling. Atmospheric nitrogen deposition, climate change and carbon stock potential of forests are strictly interwoven and their study at field level is challenging. In the last ten years his collaboration between University of Bologna (Italy), Free University of Bolzano/Bozen (Italy) and University of Molise (Italy) put him in the privilege position to study the effect of different drivers on different environments, from fruit orchards and poplar plantations in the Po plain (Italy), to miscanthus plantations in UK, to Alpine forest in South Tyrol. He started his collaboration with Roberto Tognetti while working for the EFI’s Project Centre on Mountain Forests (MOUNTFOR) when he firstly approached the concept of Climate Smart Forestry.
Melanie Smith graduated with her undergraduate joint honours degree in Biology and Geography from Royal Holloway, University of London. She completed a PhD in palaeoecology and woodland history with London University and Historic Scotland, investigating the interactions through the Holocene between people and their environment in northern Scotland. Currently she is Assistant Principal Academic and Research with Inverness College, University of the Highlands and Islands (Scotland) where she has worked since 2003, primarily leading the development and delivery of research and innovation. Throughout her career of nearly 30 years, she has led research projects and teaching in ecology and conservation, landscape ecology, forest history, and catchment management. Her research in application of palaeoecological data to forest and conservation management, led her to investigate further how an identification and understanding of forest functional traits over long time frames can inform the management of forests as complex adaptive systems for climate-smart forestry.