Department of Earth Sciences UniMORE Director prof Maurizio Mazzucchelli
The Department of Earth Sciences deals with the development and realization of research into the study and understanding of our planet which is a dynamic evolving system. The continuous volcanic and seismic activity related to the plate tectonics, the presence of landslides and floods is direct evidence of the intrinsic dynamics that characterizes the earth, carrying both global and local effects. The research shows, for the most part, multidisciplinary and scientifically modern aspects in the field of environmental studies, industrial and cultural heritage preservation.
The Department of Earth Sciences and has had ongoing international scientific collaborations with several universities, academies and other research centers.
Groups of research
- Geochemistry and volcanology (GEO-08)
- Physical geography and geomorphology (GEO-04)
- Applied geology (GEO-05)
- Stratigraphic and sedimentological geology (GEO-02)
- Paleontology and paleoecology (GEO-01)
- Petrology and petrography (GEO-07)
- Analysis laboratory for the X-ray fluorescence spectrometry
- Laboratory with a thermal and evolved gas analyzer
- Laboratory of digital cartography (GIS) 11.Chemical laboratories
- Laboratory of X-ray diffraction
- Laboratory of photogeology
- Geotechnical laboratory
- Raw materials laboratory
- Laboratory of electronics microanalysis
- Laboratory for the study of rocks
- Thin section laboratory
The origins of the University of Modena date back to the 12th century, with the call in 1175 “doctor legis” Pillio of Medicine. Subsequently the teaching of medicine, philosophy, grammar and other humanities was added. The first mentioning of the Faculty of Sciences dates back to 1607, when the “Progetto Fontana” was presented to the noble and wise of the town to establish a Faculty of Philosophy and Sciences, to be financed through the profits from the duty on oil. In 1776 Francesco III authorizes the Reformers of the University to establish a chair of Natural History and a relative Museum, whose foundation was finally shaped only in 1786.
The illustrious Master of Natural History Pietro Doderlein (1810-1895) taught this subject at the Faculty of Medicine and at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Sciences. Famous for having commanded a battalion of university students in 1848 in Governolo, he spent nearly three decades of his career to create from scratch the Geomineralogical Museum and waited patiently for the issue of the necessary decree. An international award came shortly after (an award at the international exhibition in London in 1862). The first university degree in Natural History was conferred in 1855. In 1862 the teaching of Mineralogy and Geology broke away from Zoology, until then melted into the chair of Natural History, and there were established a Department of Mineralogy and Geology and a Department of Zoology, comparative Anatomy and Physiology. After the transfer of Doderlein to the University of Palermo (1862), the chair of Mineralogy and Geology was run by Gustavo Uzielli and later by Dante Pantanelli. The division of the Institute of Mineralogy and Geology in two autonomous institutions dates back to 1926, although the two had been already distinct units since 1905. The Institution of Mineralogy was headed by Emanuele Grill (Dean of the Faculty of Sciences in the period of 1929/1932), and the one of Geology was headed by Giuseppe Stefanini.
After Prof. Grill, the Institute of Mineralogy was led by Guido Carobbi (Dean of the Pharmaceutical Faculty in the years of 1935 – 1937), Mario Anelli, Paolo Gallitelli, Francesco Rodolico, again Paolo Gallitelli (Cancellor from 01.11.1950 to 02.17.1954), Glauco Gottardi (Dean of the Faculty of Sciences in the period of 1970 – 1973). In May 1967 the Institute moved into the palace of SC Euphemia, the current headquarters of the Department. From 1971/72, the Institute adopted its official name – Institute of Mineralogy and Petrography. After Gottardi, other professors took over the administration of the Institution – Mario Bertolani, Andrea Alietti, again Glauco Gottardi (Pro-re(tor from 04.01.1985 to 05,05.1988), Ermanno Galli (Pro-re(tor from 06.05.1988 to 31.10.1993), and again Mario Bertolani and Elio Passaglia until the establishment of the Department in 1993.
The Institute of Geology, after Prof. Stefanini, was headed by Mario Anelli in the period of 1929 -1942 and by Eugenia Montanaro Gallitelli from 1942 to 1956. We owe to this Institution in Modena the degree in Geological Sciences in the academic year of 1958-1959. Shortly after there comes the establishment ofa new institute, the one of Paleontology which remains in University Street, while that of Geology finds its place in the palace Coccapani in Vittorio Emanuele II Street. Ugo Losacco becomes Head of the latter and remains until 1975, when he is substituted by Paolo Fazzini (Dean of the Faculty of Sciences for four terms). In 1987 the administration is taken over by Rodolfo Gelmini, until the Department of Earth Sciences is established. The administration of the Institute of Paleontology, after Prof Montanaro Gallitelli, is taken over by Enrico Serpagli, Giovanni Died and Antonio Russo until the establishment ofthe Department in 1993. As mentioned above, the Department of Earth Sciences is founded in 1993. Rodolfo Gelmini is Head of it until 1995, Mario Panizza from 1995 to 2001, Daniela Fontana from 2002 to 2010. Maurizio Mazzucchelli has been Head of the Department since 2010.