Lecturing in Forestry, Dr Matteo Sottocornola conducts research to further understanding of ecosystems through the analysis of green-house gas flux data
Matteo has been a lecturer in Forestry, in WIT, since October 2013. He holds a PhD in Civil & Environmemtal Engineering from University College Cork and has completed numerous postdoctoral posts, inluding a Marie Curie co-fund, in both Ireland and Italy. Prior to engaging with his doctoral studies Matteo gained his Masters Degree in Natural Science from the Univeristy of Milan and held research associate posts at the University of Bergen (Norway) and Université Laval (Canada).
Matteo’s research aims to increase our understanding of the functioning of managed and unmanaged ecosystems (forests, peatlands, grasslands and croplands) through the analyses and modelling of green-house gas flux data. Specifically, his work focuses on ecosystem productivity, and on carbon and water fluxes at plot, ecosystem and regional levels, and on the impact that management and climate changes have on the different ecosystems.
Matteo’s research interests lie in understanding the functioning and dynamics of ecosystems with the ultimate goal of defining the best management practices to increase their sustainability, productivity and climate change mitigation capacity. Since 2003, his work has focused on the monitoring and study of the water, carbon and nutrient cycles, on the interaction of these cycles and on the key drivers explaining their patterns in different ecosystems, either semi-natural, managed or with different degrees of disturbance (peatlands, grasslands, croplands and forests).
Describing the core focus of his work he commented, “I’ve been doing this mainly through the monitoring and analyses of ecosystem-level water, carbon and nutrient fluxes, meteorological and environmental measurements. More recently, my work has included the use of modelling tools to replicate the measured water, carbon and nutrient fluxes with both empirical and process-based models.”
He continued, “With the latter, I’m interested in deepening the understanding of ecosystem functioning, and analysing ecosystem productivity in scenarios of climate and management changes.”
Matteo’s work on empirical models is aimed at scaling point measurements up to regional and national levels, thanks to the use of proximal and remote sensing data. His research has also moved towards a lower scale than the ecosystem level, with the study of processes at a plot scale, like soil and biomass carbon stock analyses, which he integrates with ecosystem-level studies.