Ti trovi qui: Home » International news

Interview to Efthimios Karymbalis, Visiting Professor at the Department of Chemical and Geological Sciences

What are the main topics you addressed in your seminars in Modena? Are you satisfied with the response of the Unimore doctoral students?

In the seminars conducted at Modena, I addressed key topics primarily focusing on 'The Impact of Climate Change on Sustainable Development: Risk Assessment and Mitigation Strategies'. The course was scheduled for a total of 16 hours, consisting of four 4 hour seminars. The intensity and severity of the negative impacts of climate change are on the rise, and heavily affect our society. Climate change poses a threat not only to assets, livelihoods and ecosystems, but also to our ability to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which have been established within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development aiming at the implementation of a new strategy over the next 15 years. The seminars focused on climate change related hazards, focusing on coastal and fluvial floods, and their increasingly severe and intense negative impacts. They provided an overview of methods for assessing climate change induced flood hazards and risks and their potential consequences, taking into account both the processes and consequences of anticipated hazardous events.

As for the response from UNIMORE Ph.D students, I am impressed with their active engagement and participation throughout the seminars. They exhibited a strong interest in the subject matter, actively contributing to discussions and collaborative activities. The preparation and delivery of presentations of topics by them, during interactive activities, showed a commendable level of commitment to the subject and understanding of the seminars’ topics.

Overall, the positive and enthusiastic response and involvement of the UNIMORE PhD students has been satisfying and contributed to a positive, conducive and productive learning environment.


How did the collaboration with the Unimore team led by Prof. Soldati come about?

The collaboration with the UNIMORE team led by Prof. Soldati originated from a shared interest in geomorphological research and a mutual commitment to advancing our understanding of earth surface dynamics. Prof. Soldati and I have known each other for about fifteen years, starting from our involvement in a European project focused on quantifying vulnerability to natural hazards. Since then, we have collaborated on numerous projects. We share several joint publications related to various topics in geomorphology such as landslide risk assessment in the North Peloponnese (Greece) and relative neotectonic activity in Evia Island (central Greece).

We initiated an ERASMUS agreement between our university departments, and to date, several students took advantage of this agreement. Additionally, we worked together to organize a successful joint field trip in Malta for the students of our MSc courses. We had a highly productive collaboration when Prof. Soldati served as the President of the International Association of Geomorphologists (IAG), and I held the position of President for the Hellenic Committee on Geomorphology and Environment of the Geological Society of Greece. Under his leadership, the IAG Regional Conference on Geomorphology took place in Athens, and we successfully cooperated on organizing an intensive training course for young geomorphologists from all over the world.

Our connection was further strengthened through the collaborative agreement signed between UNIMORE and Harokopio University of Athens in 2023, which laid the groundwork for joint research initiatives. Given our common research interests in the field of geomorphology and the existing collaborative framework, Prof. Soldati and I identified opportunities for joint projects. We are co-supervisors for Sofia Rossi's International Ph.D. on Sustainable Development and Climate Change, where her focus is on studying the impacts of sea-level rise on stable and tectonically active coastal areas. One of the case studies in her Ph.D. is the Gulf of Corinth. During our collaboration, Sofia Rossi spent two months at Harokopio University of Athens (from October 8 to December 8, 2023), and together with Prof. Soldati, we conducted fieldwork on the geomorphological mapping of the Gulf of Corinth. A paper on this topic is currently in preparation for submission to the 'Journal of Maps'.

The continuous exchange of ideas, expertise, and resources continues to enrich our collaboration, fostering a dynamic and productive partnership. The synergy between our teams, coupled with a shared dedication to common topics in geomorphology, has been very important in strengthening our successful and fruitful collaboration which I am sure will last for many more years.


What advice would you give to a young person interested in working in the field of climate change emergencies?

Here's some advice for a young person interested in working in the field of climate change emergencies:

Educate yourself: Gain a solid understanding of climate science, environmental policy, and the social and economic impacts of climate change. Pursue relevant educational opportunities, such as degrees or courses in environmental science, climate studies, or related fields.

Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date with the latest research, developments, and policies related to climate change. Follow reputable sources, scientific journals, and international organizations dedicated to climate issues.

Develop a multidisciplinary skill set: Climate change emergencies require a multidisciplinary approach. Acquire skills in areas such as environmental science, data analysis, policy analysis, and communication. This will make you more versatile and effective in addressing complex challenges.

Engage in practical experience: Seek internships, volunteer opportunities, or entry-level positions that allow you to gain hands-on experience in the field. Practical experience is invaluable for understanding real-world challenges and solutions.

Build a network: Connect with professionals, researchers, and organizations working in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Attend conferences, workshops, and networking events to expand your network and learn from experienced individuals in the field.

Develop strong communication skills: Effectively communicating complex climate issues to various audiences is crucial. Hone your ability to convey scientific information in a clear and accessible manner to policymakers, the public, and other stakeholders.

Be adaptable and resilient: Working in the field of climate change emergencies can be challenging and dynamic. Develop resilience, adaptability, and a problem-solving mindset to navigate the complexities of this field.

Consider further education: Depending on your career goals, consider pursuing advanced degrees or certifications that specialize in climate change, environmental management, or related fields.

Advocate for change: Use your voice to advocate for sustainable practices, climate policies, and community resilience. Engage with local and global initiatives and participate in activities that promote environmental awareness.

Collaborate: Climate change emergencies require collaborative efforts. Work with diverse teams, collaborate with experts from various fields, and participate in collective efforts to address the multifaceted challenges posed by climate change.

Remember, addressing climate change emergencies is a collective effort, and your passion and dedication can make a meaningful impact.


If you had to do an experience like the one you recently completed again, what would change?

I am grateful for the opportunity to reflect on my recent series of seminars on climate change, sustainable development, risk assessment, and mitigation strategies. I am pleased to share that the overall experience was incredibly positive, and I wouldn't change a thing. The engagement from the participants was excellent, the content resonated well, and the feedback received was overwhelmingly positive. In my opinion, the seminar achieved its goals effectively, and I would approach a similar experience with the same enthusiasm and commitment. I appreciate the support and participation from everyone involved.

Categorie: International - english

Articolo pubblicato da: Ufficio Stampa Unimore - ufficiostampa@unimore.it il 15/03/2024