Ferdinando Villa Affiliate
PhD, Ecology, University of Parma
MS, Biology, University of Parma
After working in many fields of Ecology, from theoretical Island Biogeography to spatially-explicit Decision Analysis, he came to the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont. He has since expanded the focus of his research to the interface of policy, ecology and economics, concentrating on artificial intelligence approaches to assist environmental decision making and natural system assessment and valuation. Ferdinando Villa currently leads the ARIES project: Artificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services, which is producing a next-generation web application meant to make environmental decisions easier and more effective. Along with ARIES, Dr. Villa collaborates with many other projects including the Long Term Ecosystem Research (LTER) project and the SEAMLESS (System for Environmental and Agricultural Modelling; Linking European Science and Society - http://www.seamless-ip.org/ ) project, financed by the EU. His research on high-performance computer simulation and mathematical modeling applied to community and ecosystem ecology earned him collaborations with UNESCO, the European Union, the Italian Ministry of the Environment and several international organizations such as the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) in Fiji. He has collaborated with international institutions and governments on environmental assessment methods, and he still manages to sneak in some research in basic ecology, protected areas planning, and related fields. He is the author or coauthor of 110+ scientific publications and a number of major open source software packages. He has been the recipient of several grants from both the US National Science Foundation and the European Union, to develop tools for decision makers that integrate the best science with automated, AI-assisted decision tools.
At the Gund Institute:Ferdinando Villa currently leads the ARIES project. ARIES helps discover, understand, and quantify environmental assets and what factors influence their value, in a geographical area and according to needs expressed by users. The result of an ARIES user session is an environmental asset portfolio that describes, in depth, the spatial distribution of the natural assets in a specified area, their potential and realized economic values, and the causal relationships that link the values to each other and to actual or potential policies.
Last modified October 08 2012 02:16 PM