Politecnico di Milano is the oldest technical University established in Italy. According to QS World University Rankings (www.topuniversities.com) it is currently ranked 28th worldwide in the area of Engineering and Technology. The researchers participating in Ecopotential are affiliated with the Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria (DEIB), one of the foremost university departments in Europe, for both size and quality of its research. With over 700 members (213 faculty), the department aims to constantly improve the scientific and technological knowledge in the fields of System Dynamics and Control, Computer Sciences, Telecommunications, Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Bioengineering. DEIB conducts research in the field of Environmental Systems Analysis since the 1970s.
Particularly relevant to Ecopotential, the Research Group “Planning and management of environmental systems” aims at developing mathematical models, using optimization methods and computer intensive techniques for the quantitative analysis and management of environmental systems. The mathematical models developed and implemented describe both the natural dynamics of environmental systems and the decision framework, i.e. the structure of controls and actions that can modify the system behaviour. This is made possible by using highly interdisciplinary techniques and modern information tools.
Renato Casagrandi had a PhD in Ecology (University of Parma, 1999), MSc in Electronic Engineering (PoliMI, 1996). After a postdoc in Simon Levin’s lab at the Princeton University (NJ, USA), he became Assistant Professor (2002) and then Associate Professor (2005) at PoliMI. He teaches Ecology to candidate Environmental Engineers and Architects, he lectures at the Alta Scuola Politecnica and at the PhD school. His main research interests are in spatiotemporal dynamics of ecosystems, with particular focus on movement ecology of endangered or invasive species and diseases.
His role in Ecopotential is ecological modelling (population/metapopulation/ecosystem dynamics), using both process-based and empirical approaches (WP6, WP8).