Ecological Transitions: A Journey with LTER Network

Prepare for a journey that celebrates the wonders of biodiversity, the importance of ecosystem services, and the future of sustainable tourism. From October 15th to 18th, this immersive experience organized by the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Italia, sponsored by LifeWatch Italy, CNR-IRET, and UniSalento, promises a unique opportunity to witness Italy’s natural wonders in a responsible and conscious manner.

This event, titled “Ecological Transitions: A Journey with LTER Network from Mar Piccolo to Salento Lagoons” is designed to connect two significant Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Italian sites over three days: Mar Piccolo in Taranto and Acquatina in Lecce. The transitional nature of these environments inspires a path that traverses from the sea to the land. Participants have the option to complete all or some of the bicycle journeys or to join specific events listed in the program.

Alongside researchers from the LTER Italia network, participants will encounter people and projects, exploring the various meanings of words like ecology, sustainability, and transition. They will listen to the stories of ecological research and its potential connections with the history of the places they pass through.

To participate in the bicycle stages, please fill out the form.

Registration to individual events is mandatory, please contact: (Taranto/Mar Piccolo) (Lecce/Acquatina)


Event Schedule:

15/10 at 18:30: Visit to the Euromediterraneo CetaceiKETOS Center (TA). Free guided tour and discussion on cycle-archeology.

16/10 at 9:00: Gathering at the Convento dei Battendieri, Taranto. Presentation of LTER research in Mar Piccolo. Walk along the Via Mellifera: 5 km, max 40 participants. Cost: €10.

16/10 at 16:30: Gathering at the Monti farm, Oria (Br). Exploring regenerative agriculture and permaculture for sustainable land use.

17/10 at 10:00: Gathering at Agriturismo Masseria Piutri, Torchiarolo (Br) for discussions on territory, research, ecosystems, transitions, and food.

18/10 at 9:30: Gathering in front of the University of Salento. Visit to the Acquatina site (LE) and insights into LTER activities, participation in biodiversity exploration and conservation activities (e.g., bioblitz). Activities conclude at 13:00.

Submit your abstracts for the workshop “Approaches towards FAIR zooplankton trait data as stepping stones to improved functional ecology”

On 17th of March, the workshop “Approaches towards findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR) zooplankton trait data as stepping stones to improved functional ecology” will take place, organised by Jessica Titocci and Ilaria Rosati from CNR-IRET and LifeWatch Italy, in collaboration with Dr. Kieran Murphy (ARC Australian Centre for Excellence in Antarctic Science), Dr. Brian Hunt (University of British Columbia), Dr. Patrick Pata (University of British Columbia).

The workshop will discuss the challenges of implementing FAIR principles and analysing zooplankton trait data. To achieve this goal, researchers in this field are invited to submit their abstracts for presentation at the workshop before 30 September 2023 at the following link:

The workshop’s main objective is to assess the current status of trait-based research on zooplankton and explore future possibilities. The workshop will also focus on sharing and implementing FAIR principles and best practices to ensure that zooplankton trait-based data are findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable.

 The preferred abstract topics for this workshop are:

  •   Zooplankton functional ecology
  •   FAIRness of zooplankton trait based data
  •   Trait data collection and management
  •   Novel frameworks and analytical methods and e-science tools in zooplankton trait-based studies

The event will begin with informative presentations and interactive, hands-on sessions. During these sessions, the speakers will present various digital services and semantic resources developed to promote the harmonisation and interoperability of zooplankton functional trait data.

More information at

Roundtable Discussion “Changing Biodiversity” – May 22, 2023

On the occasion of World Biodiversity Day and the recent exhibition at CNR “Anthropocene: Earth on Fire,” seven national experts will come together to discuss one of the most dramatic transformations characterizing our era. Their aim is to stimulate reflections on the critical relationship between human activities and the marvelous diversity of life forms on our planet. The event, open to all, will take place in the courtyard of Palazzina Canonica (Riva dei Sette Martiri 1364/A, Venice). No reservation is required, but inquiries and communications can be directed to Following the roundtable discussion, interested participants will have the opportunity to take a guided tour of the Anthropocene exhibition.


The live streaming of the event will be available from 2:30 PM on the YouTube channel:

Click here for further information and to download the event poster.

*In case of bad weather, the event will be held at the CNR-ISMAR headquarters (Tesa 104 – Arsenale, Castello 2737/F, 30122 Venice, Italy).


Photo by canmandawe on Unsplash.

EcoLogicaCup: National Ecology Competition for Primary and Secondary Schools – 2023 Edition

EcoLogicaCup is a national team-based ecology competition, organized by the University of Salento – Museum on Ecology of Mediterranean Ecosystems and LifeWatch Italy. It aims to make ecological and Environmental Education and Sustainability topics accessible, in the context of the United Nations’ Agenda 2030, and is aimed at primary and secondary school students.

Participation is completely free. Teams, guided by a teacher tutor, participate in the final competition after passing the selections through a series of online training sessions with multiple-choice quizzes.

The initiative aims to support science education in schools by leveraging the cooperative and competitive spirit of students through game dynamics, offering additional motivation to approach the study of natural sciences and ecology. The best teams from the training sessions and the overall winners of the final competition receive prizes in an official ceremony.

All information to participate in EcoLogicaCup is available at the following link

EcoLogicaCup has officially entered the national calendar of the 2023 Sustainable Development Festival!

EcoLogicaCup 2023 has the official patronage of the Network of Universities for Sustainable Development:

Call for Abstracts: The LifeWatch ERIC BEeS Biodiversity & Ecosystem eScience Conference

Abstracts are now open for the LifeWatch ERIC “BEeS” Biodiversity & Ecosystem eScience Conference “Threats and challenges to biodiversity and ecosystem conservation from an eScience perspective”, which is scheduled to coincide with Biodiversity Day 2023.

Set in Seville, home to the statutory seat and ICT-Core of LifeWatch ERIC, the conference will take place over two and a half days from 22 May, followed by a guided tour of the intriguing Doñana National Park, which provides the perfect territory for a multitude of ongoing LifeWatch ERIC ERDF research projects.

Submit your abstract here.

Interested persons can visit the dedicated minisite which will be regularly updated with information. The LifeWatch ERIC BEeS conference will feature keynote speeches from scientists in the community, and seven different topic plenary sessions will take place featuring submissions from the community on:

  • Major threats to the Earth’s biodiversity and ecosystem health
  • Macroecological and biogeographical approaches to biodiversity conservation
  •  Ecosystem and habitat mapping
  • Animal biology and behavioural traits
  • “System of systems” biodiversity observation
  • Biodiversity and ecosystem responses to climate change
  • Natural capital and the “One Health” approach

There will also be a round table on the theme of World Biodiversity Day, moderated by LifeWatch ERIC and keynote speakers. Please note that abstract submission will close on 30 April 2023.

While principally aimed at members of the LifeWatch ERIC national nodes, this is also a fantastic opportunity for members of the wider biodiversity and ecosystem research community to meet and get to know each other better face-to-face. Participation in the Conference is free. Sign up now!

Register here.

New deadline! LifeWatchPlus Call for applications “cloud and HPC” at University of Salento

The University of Salento has published a call for applications for a research grant entitled “Development and management of cloud and HPC infrastructures fellowship” within the framework of Lifewatch Italia and the projects PON Lifewatchplus and CIR01_0028 (Scientific Manager, Prof. Alberto Basset).

Duration12 months (extendable or renewable for a maximum of 2 years)

The deadline for applications is 24/03/2023.

Criteria of evaluation:
1) Proven experiences in the management of distributed Data Centers;
2) Mastery in the use of automation tools and management and monitoring of Cloud and HPC systems;
3) Experience in software development for cloud applications;
4) Knowledge of Python language.

The following skills will also be evaluated:
a) knowledge/specialist skills acquired and relevant to the achievement of the objectives
that the Research Infrastructure intends to achieve
b) relevance of the activity carried out in the last 2 years with the priority areas identified
within the National Strategy of Intelligent Specialization (SNSI) and the ministerial planning
for research in the period 2014-2020;
c) previous collaborations with public and private scientific institutions.

Click on the button for more info.

LifeWatch Italy at the ENVRI week – Lipsia, 30 January – 3 February 2023

After two years of online meetings, the last ENVRI Week of the ENVRI-FAIR project was held in person from 30 January to 3 February 2023 in Leipzig, Germany.

ENVRI Week is the annual meeting of the ENVRI-FAIR project which brings together the ENVironmental Research Infrastructures – hence the acronym: ENVRI. The aim of the project is to provide access to digital data and services in a sustainable, transparent and reliable manner, and in compliance with the FAIR principles. The process will support the integration of services offered by the ENVRI community into the European Open Science Cloud.

ENVRI Week 2023 hosted the sessions related to the ENVRI-FAIR project, during which the working groups were able to report on their progress and receive indications on future developments, several workshops, and the meeting of the Board of European Environmental Research Infrastructures (BEERI ).

The manager of LifeWatch Italy and Director of the LifeWatch ERIC Service Center Alberto Basset presented the developments of the Biodiversity and Ecology subdomain of ENVRI-FAIR and the final results of the four Use Cases.

The project is in the closing phase but leaves a solid legacy on which the next European and national projects will be able to build the future of Research Infrastructures.

ITINERIS project – 16 new open positions, deadline 9th of February

In November, a new big Italian project “ITINERIS” started, and it will build the Italian Hub of Research Infrastructures in the environmental scientific domain.

For this project, the National Research Council of Italy is recruiting several positions (fixed-term technologists and researchers).

All the positions are available at this link.

In particular, at the Research Institute on Terrestrial Ecosystems seat of Lecce (Italy) we are seeking:

  • 2 technologists

    with a minimum of three years’ experience in management of Research Infrastructures and/or in organization and management of training programs.

  • 4 technologists

    with a minimum of three years’ experience in the development, enhancement, and management of European Research Infrastructures and/or in the management of digital resource platforms and/or in the implementation and adoption of FAIR-enabling best practices in the field of RIs and digital objects (atmospheric, bio-geosphere, marine fields).

  • 4 technologists

    with a minimum of three years of experience in research and development activities in the field of Knowledge Organization and representation for data interoperability, in the scientific field and/or the Semantic Web and Linked Open Data and/or methods and technologies for ontologies designing and knowledge graphs and/or techniques and methods for analysing and extracting patterns from knowledge graphs.

  • 1 technologist

    with a minimum 3 years of experience in laboratory and field experimental research activities, in the collection, analysis and modelling of ecological data on functional traits of aquatic plant and animal species and/or on biodiversity and ecosystem processes, also in relation to global warming, for their use in virtual research environments.

  • 2 technologists

    with a minimum of three years’ experience at least three years of experience in Project management and/or Financial and Budget management and/or HR management or possession of the title of Research Doctor or a PhD relevant to the field of experience requested.

  • 1 technologist

    with at least 3 years of experience in project management and/or experience in economic and financial management and/or in personnel management and organisation.

  • 2 researchers

    one with at least three years of experience in laboratory and field experimental research activities, in the collection, maintenance and analysis and modeling of ecological data on functional traits of species on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. A second with a minimum of three years of experience on ecosystem responses to climate change through laboratory and field studies with observation, monitoring and modelling approaches in relation to abiotic and biotic forcings and with applications in Virtual Research Environments designed to address scientific questions that require a significant commitment to the harmonization and interoperability of data and the required computing power.

Suitable candidates are encouraged to reach out to and  for informal inquiries.

The deadline for the submission of the application is the 9th of February.

Kick-off meeting of ITINERIS, the Italian Integrated Environmental Research Infrastructures System

Yesterday, 19 December 2022, the kick-off meeting of ITINERIS, the Italian Integrated Environmental Research Infrastructures System, was held in Rome. The project, funded with €155 million from the PNRR and coordinated by the CNR (the Italian National Research Centre), involves 22 European and Italian research infrastructures.

Gelsomina Pappalardo, CNR researcher and Italian delegate at the ESFRI Forum, who chaired the event, highlighted that: “this is a unique project of its kind, even if it has a formal duration of 30 months, it will change the future of Research Infrastructures in Italy with an impact on research for at least the next ten years”. The project aims to establish an Italian hub for accessing data, services and facilities for interdisciplinary study in the four environmental domains: atmosphere, marine, terrestrial biosphere and geosphere.

Work Package 2 of the project, presented by Carmela Cornacchia (CNR-IMAA Potenza) in collaboration with Ilaria Rosati (CNR-IRET Lecce and LifeWatch Italy) is in fact dedicated to “access”. Access to research infrastructures refers to the regulated use of research infrastructures, and to the services offered by them, be it physical, remote, or virtual access – as in the case of data and digital services. With WP2, ITINERIS aims to ensure the FAIRness of the access as well (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reproducible). The challenge is to coordinate the 22 infrastructures towards alignment with the requirements set by the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC).

WP3, coordinated by Alberto Basset, Director of the LifeWatch ERIC Service Centre and Manager of the LifeWatch Italy Joint Research Unit (JRU), will take care of training internal staff and future users of the infrastructures. More than 60 training courses are foreseen for the next 30 months.

After the presentation of WP4, 5, 6 and 7 dedicated to the four domains, each with the development of specific case studies, Antonello Provenzale, CNR-IGG and Coordinator of the LifeWatch Italy JRU, presented WP8. This WP will develop the Virtual Research Environments for data analysis and modelling of future scenarios in ITINERIS’ domains of interest. “Having a central hub that functions as a gateway for users to the infrastructures” said Provenzale, “will make us an example at a European level”.

LifeWatch Italy hosted the ParAqua Workshop “Expertise catalogue and Parasites Database-Online platform” – 12th December 2022

On the 12th of December, the first session of the two-days WG1-WG3 joint workshop took place online – the second part will be held on the 16th of December from 13.00 to 15.00 CET.

The first part was hosted by the WG1 Italian partners Andrea Tarallo and Ilaria Rosati from LifeWatch Italy and CNR. The main activity was focused on the in situ and experimental data mobilisation and to the collaborative drafting of the first Data Management Plan of our Action.

During the workshop, the participants had the chance to actively work on their own datasets, harmonising them with world-recognised standards, and thus setting the basis for the building of the ParAqua database, in which all the data will be accessible and reusable.

To ensure the preservation and reusability of the data, the participants drafted a Data Management Plan. In the next weeks, the document will be polished, and upon approval by the Action members, it will be published as a public document. The document will serve as an internal guideline, but also for external researchers that want to understand how we manage our data.

On the same day, Albert Reñé (WG1 leader) led a session dedicated to the paper on parasite occurrences. The meeting was the occasion to share the responsibilities around the data collection for zoosporic parasites on algae and to make a decisive step forward for the advancement of this activity.

More information and how to become member of ParAqua at the following link