Alfredo Schiavon's RIBES story

My name is Alfredo Schiavon and I am one of the 15 early stage researchers of the RIBES project.  I was born and raised in Lombardy, Italy. My interest and passion for nature, and in particular for freshwater ecosystems, led me to the choice of my university studies: I obtained a BSc in Biological science and then a MSc in Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Milan. After graduating, I won a research scholarship at the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at the University of Milan (Desp) regarding a research project about the evaluation of biodiversity loss in Lombardy’s freshwater ecosystems. Once this project was over, I continued to study water environments thanks to a scholarship about the bioaccumulation and the effects of contaminants in the sediments on freshwater organisms, carried out at the Water Research Institute of the Italian National Research Council.These experiences have given me a broad perspective of inland water problems as well as knowledge of northern Italy’s water ecosystems. In parallel, my interest in freshwater ecology and conservation biology has grown alongside my awareness of the need for proper management and knowledge of water environments. Since I wanted to continue studying these issues, I applied for a position in the RIBES project.

Fieldwork activity in the area of Lake Maggiore and the Italian Alps.

I work at the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) in Berlin, Germany, in the department of ecohydrology, and I will purse a Ph.D. at the Free University of Berlin. My supervisor is Dr. Alexander Sukhodolov, who leads the Ecohydraulics research group and I’m co-supervised by Dr. Oleksandra Shumilova, Dr. Franz Hölker and Prof. Dr. Jonathan Jeschke. The research is an eco-hydraulic study aiming to gain deeper understanding of the interactions between biota and flow dynamics in rivers, and will focus on the hydrodynamics of fish habitats and their implications for fish behavior. The project includes field experiments in natural stream conditions that will be carried-out in full scale environments in the northeastern Italian region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, and specifically on the Tagliamento river,which is considered to be one of the last morphologically intact rivers in the Alps, and in its tributary, the Arzino. The experiment will be carried out using large scale outdoor facilities (RIVER LAB) that permit a manipulation of flow variables and data collection about the mean and turbulent flow, with an array of ADVs, and underwater recording of fish trajectories and behavior. Regarding my expectations for the first year of research, I expect to run a solid data collection campaign lasting 3 months, around which I plan on structuring my data analyses. Furthermore, I expect to acquire multidisciplinary skills ranging from biological and ecological knowledge to flow dynamics., I am sure this will be possible not only thanks to individual research but also thanks to the RIBES network schools, and the interaction and exchange of information with the different research groups within the RIBES project. These are only a few of the reasons why I’m proud to be part of such an important project and I will strive to give a meaningful contribution to the issue of water environment protection.

Published on: 11/03/2021