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Phd Programme | Recently completed PhDs

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Browse PhD Students in the field of: Autonomies | Mounta​ins​ | Health ​| Technologies​​


Federica Citta​​dino ​

Institute for Comparative Federalism


PhD at University of Trento (Italy)​​

Title: Indigenous Rights and the Protection of Biodiversity: A Study of Conflict and Reconciliation in International Law​

Short abstract: My the​sis argues that the conflict between indigenous rights and the protection of biodiversity must be read in terms of the relationship between States’ permanent sovereignty over natural resources and indige​​nous self-determination. The latter—a com​​bination of substantive and procedural rights — is used to fill the gaps in the Convention of Biological Diversity.

Supervisor(s)​: Marco Pertile (University of Trento), Elisa Morgera (University of Strathclyde) 

​​Start and end date​: 10/2012-01/2017

Martin​a Trettel

Institute for Comparative Federalism


​PhD at University of Verona (Italy)​

Title: The crisis of representative democracy and new forms of participatory democracy in multilevel states​

Short abstract: My study looks at participatory and deliberative publ​ic decisional mechanisms in compound ​states. Fro​​m a comparative constitutional law perspective​, the research will analyze the constitutional (national and subnational) principles of different American and European countries in order to understand if and (eventually) to what extent they permit participatory democracy to enter their constitutional structures and to cohabit with representative and direct democracy instruments.

Supervisor(s)​: Matteo Nicolini (University of Verona)

Start and end date: 01/2014-05/2017​

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Alice Valdesalici

Institute for Comparative Federalism

​PhD at University of Verona (Italy)​

Title: Fiscal Federalism and responsibility from a comparative perspective: how to translate a financial prin​​ciple into practice through legal instruments.

Short abstract: In my study I investigated the principle of financial responsibility from a comparative (Germany & Spain) and legal perspective. After a preliminary reconstruction of the principle as embedded in the legal framework, and as developed through the constitutional jurisprudence, I scrutinized and assessed the legal tools that address the responsibilisation of subnational entities.​

Supervisor(s)​: Francesco Palermo (University of Verona, Eurac Research)

Start and end date: 01/2012-05/2016​

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Verena Wisthaler

Institute for ​Minority Right

​PhD at University of Leicester (UK)​

Title: Immigration and collective Identity in Minority Nations. A longitudinal comparison on Stateless Nationalist and Regionalist Parties in the Basque Country, Corsica, South Tyrol, Scotland and Wales

Short abstract: I evaluate the interplay between discourses on and governance of migration-generated diversity and the re-framing of the collective identity in minority nations. Based on a comparison of Stateless Nationalist and Regionalist Parties over a period of twenty years, I evaluate the impact of the political-institutional framework and distribution of powers between the state and the sub-state territory and societal relations on re-framings of identity.

Supervisor(s)​: Laura Morales (University of Leicester); Rob Ford (University of Manchester)

Start and end date: 10/2010 – 10/2016

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Andrea Omizzolo

Institute for Regional Development


PhD at University of Urbino (Italy)

Title: Impacts of Land property fragmentation in Italian mountains areas and requalification guidelines​​

Short abstract: Land property fragmentation characterizes most of Italian mountain areas. My study investigates both the positive and negative impacts of this phenomenon. Particular regard will be given to socio-economic and environmental aspects, especially in the most marginal mountain areas to support development projects and innovative policies of land consolidation.

Supervisor(s)​: Riccardo Santolini (University of Urbino) 

Eurac Research supervisor(s): Thomas Streifeneder

Start and end date: 11/2013-11/2016

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Michael Volgger

Institute for Regional Development​


PhD at​ Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt (Germany)

Title: Implementation competences: Exploring innovation and product development in tourism destinations

Short abstract: In my study I examined what skills are needed to master innovation processes in tourism destinations, with particular regard to their implementation. The study focused on the interactions between the innovation implementation process and network process by comparing Alpine and pre-Alpine cases.​

Supervisor(s)​: Harald Pechlaner (Catholic University of Eichstätt-Inglostadt; Eurac Research)

Start and end date: 10/2012-05/2016

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Laura Gennaccaro

Institute for Biomedicine


PhD at​ University of Parma (Italy)

Title: Study of the Effect of Striatin Mutation on Cardiac Differentiation by using an Haploid Embryonic Stem Cell Model

Short abstract: The aim of my project is the evaluation of Striatin as novel candidate gene for cardiovascular diseases involving cell differentiation disfunction. The evaluation will be carried out by the analysis of striatin’s role in cardiomyocytes differentiation and function using a striatin deletion mutant in a mouse haploid ESC model.

Supervisor(s)​: Donatella Stilli (University of Parma)

Start and end date: 01/2014-04/2017​

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Maria Cristina Florio

Institute for Biomedicine


PhD at​ University of Parma (Italy)

Title: Acetylation and calcium dynamics: a new perspective for pharmacological regulation of cardiac function.

Short abstract: The aim of my project was to evaluate whether HAT/HDAC modulation might regulate the calcium dynamic of cardiomyocytes, and more specifically to investigate whether SERCA2 (a protein involved in cytoplasmic calcium removal) function may be modulated by direct acetylation.

Supervisor(s)​: Donatella Stilli (University of Parma)

Eurac Research tutor(s): Alessandra Rossini

Start and end date: 01/2013-03/2016​​

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Daniele Antonucci​

Institute of Renewable Energy


PhD at Free University of Bozen-Bolzano (Italy)

Title: Development and application of Continuous commissioning procedure to ensure and improve building performance

Short abstract: Real building energetic performance is often quite different from reality, both in term of energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality (IEQ). My research will highlight how the application of Continuous Commissioning can play a relevant role in the performance building assessment.

Supervisor(s)​: Andrea Gasparella (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano)

Eurac Research tutor(s)​: Wilmer Pasut, Ulrich Filippi Oberagger

Start and end date: 01/2014 - 01/2017​

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Stefano Avesani​

Institute of Renewable Energy


PhD at​ University of Innsbruck (Austria)

Title: Design of a solar façade solution with an integrated sorption collector for the systemic retrofit of the existing office buildings

Short abstract: My study aimed to assess the façade-integrated sorption collector as a systemic solution for the retrofit of existing buildings. The first research question addressed in which buildings this retrofit kit would be appropriate, and in what form. The second question took an interdisciplinary look at the most suitable facade-integrated sorption collector design.​

Supervisor(s)​: Wolfgang Streicher (University of Innsbruck)

Start and end date: 03/2011 – 06/2016

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Giorgio Belluardo

Institute of Renewable Energy


PhD at​ University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna (Austria)

Title: Spectral simulation tools as valid instrument to determine spectral effects on photovoltaic systems

Short abstract: Radiative transfer models are important tools to simulate the solar spectrum when ground-measurements are not available. The aim of my study was to investigate the uncertainty and the potential of these tools, in particular as a valid support to account for spectral effects on photovoltaic systems and improve methodologies for the estimation of their performance-loss rates.​

Supervisor(s)​: Philipp Weihs (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna)

Start and end date: 04/2013 – 05/2016

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Adriano Bisello​

Institute of Renewable Energy


PhD at​ University of Padua (Italy)

Title: Co-benefits of Smart and Sustainable Energy District Projects

Short abstract: My study looks at the concept of “co-benefit”, which refers to any expected or unintentional positive impacts of a project that are in excess of its main goals and that are the result of that policy or project’s implementation. The aim of the study is to apply this concept to assess urban projects that deal with the energy refurbishment of buildings and networks at the districts level (or scale).

Supervisor(s)​: Giuseppe Stellin (University of Padua)

Start and end date: 01/2014 – 04/2017

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Diego Menegon

Institute of Renewable Energy


PhD at​ University of Udine (Italy)

Title: Development of a Dynamic Test Procedure for the Laboratory Characterization of HVAC systems

Short abstract: In my study I developed and validated dynamic test procedures that can characterise the performance of heating, cooling and domestic hot water systems. These procedures allow for the improvement of efficiency of systems since the performance were studied under realistic working conditions.​​

Supervisor(s)​: Giovanni Cortella (University of Udine), Onorio Saro (University of Udine)

Eurac Research tutor(s): Roberto Fedrizzi

Start and end date: 01/2013-04/2016

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Farnaz Mosannenzadeh​

Institute of Renewable Energy


PhD at​ University of Trento (Italy)

Title: Development of a Dynamic Test Procedure for the Laboratory Characterization of HVAC systems

Short abstract: The aim of my thesis was to contribute to successful and sustainable implementation of Smart Energy City Development (SECD). This translated into three objectives: (i) conceptualizing SECD; (ii) identifying and prioritizing barriers to implementation of SECD; and (iii) applying quantitative methods to predict, and thus overcome barriers to implementation of new SECDs.​

Supervisor(s)​: Corrado Diamantini (University of Trento)

Eurac Research tutor(s): Daniele Vettorato

Start and end date: 01/2013 - 04/2016​

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Alessio Passera​

Institute of Renewable Energy


PhD at​ Polytechnic University of Milano (Italy)

Title: A business model for solar thermal facades

Short abstract: My research project investigates technical, non-technical and social barriers to understanding the potential for application of facade–integrated solar thermal technologies. The main outcome will be an easy-to-use tool that supports the decision-making process of façade stakeholders with synthetic technical-economic data and to better promote innovative facade concepts.

Supervisor(s)​: Gabriele Masera (Polytechnic University of Milano)

Eurac Research tutor(s): Roberto Lollini

Start and end date: 11/2013-11/2016

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