Venice and the Acqua Alta in the perspective of Climate Change

Georg Umgiesser, ISMAR-CNR, Venice, Italy

Venice is threatened by climate change. The rising of the global water levels will have a strong impact on the city due to the ever more frequently storm surges that will inundate the lagoon. In the last years the works for the mobile barriers (MOSE) have been started that should protect the city of Venice from flooding after their completion in 2024 (optimistic estimation). These barriers will be closed at a safeguarding level of 110 cm, a level when large parts of Venice will start to be flooded. With the new estimates of sea level rise, the closing frequency will change. Depending on the exact modality of the forecast, with a sea level rise of 50 cm the gates will have to be closed between 300 and 400 times a year (Umgiesser, 2021). This translates to about one closure per day in the average.

Dr. Georg Umgiesser is working as a director of research at the National Research Council in Venice. He is heading a group of scientists that mainly study lagoons and the coastal zone with numerical modeling.

Special interests are the development of numerical models, sea-lagoon interaction, storm surge forecasting, and teaching on discretization techniques and oceanography. One of the major topics is looking at the future of Venice under climate change.

He is the Italian coordinator of the DANUBIUS-RI infrastructure. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, with an h-index of 47.


Seaweed holobionts: biotechnologies and bioresources for the bay of Biscay and beyond


Philippe Potin, CNRS Research Director, Roscoff Station

Doctor in marine biology from the University of Brest (1992), HDR (Professoral Habilitation), CNRS Research Director at the Roscoff Biological Station since 2006 and expert for the Pôle Mer Bretagne Atlantique on marine biological resources.

Philippe Potin and his team's research focuses on the biochemical mechanisms of immune defense in large marine algae. In particular, his research team has produced original results in the field of halogen metabolism in brown algae and the exceptional accumulation of iodine in these organisms. They were also the first to decipher the cellular basis of signal transduction in algal-pathogen interactions. These studies continue with the characterization of intra- and inter-plant communication of defensive responses, the interactions of algae with their microbiome and complement results on the role of oxylipins in algal defense and the biosynthesis of phlorotannins in brown algae.

Philippe Potin has been scientific coordinator of the Investissements d'Avenir IDEALG project since September 2011 ( This project aims to demonstrate the feasibility of exploiting genomics and post-genomics research in biotechnologies, sustainable exploitation and mariculture of macro-algae by 2020.  Since January 2017, it has also been piloting the European collaborative project for Blue Growth: GENIALG (, which aims to develop large-scale demonstrators of the bio-refinery concept for brown and green macro-algae crops in Europe. He is author or co-author of over 95 publications in international peer-reviewed journals, 7 book chapters and 13 articles in conference proceedings or review articles, and co-inventor on 9 patents.


Strong variations of lithium concentration and isotopic composition in marine organisms


Nathalie Vigier, CNRS Research Director at the Oceanography Laboratory in Villefranche sur Mer

Doctor in geochemistry from the University of Paris VII (Institut de Physique du Globe), she is researcher at the CNRS since 2003. Her work initially focused on quantifying the chemical alteration of continental silicate rocks and its links with climate. To do this, she developed specific isotopic tools such as the fine measurement of imbalances in the uranium series in river water and the measurement of so-called 'unconventional' isotopes, lithium and magnesium in particular. In this way, the impact of the last glaciation and climatic events such as those of Heinrich was highlighted in North Africa and Asia. More recently, she has been investigating the links between the ecology and biology of marine organisms and lithium, demonstrating the new potential of this isotopic tracer in the environment-health field.

she is laureate of an ERC advanced "Biological isotopy of lithium in coastal waters".


Application Colloque - L'application de gestion des colloques est un projet soutenu historiquement par l'Union Européenne dans le cadre du programme Innova-TIC.
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