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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  People  /  Research Students  /  Luca Marazzi  /  Luca Marazzi

Luca Marazzi


Ph.D. research title: "Biodiversity and biomass of algae in the Okavango Delta (Botswana), a subtropical flood-pulsed wetland"

Principal Supervisor: Prof. Anson W. Mackay; Subsidiary Supervisor: Dr. Vivienne J. Jones

The Okavango Delta is one of WWFs 200 key eco-regions, and therefore an important site for geographical study. Algae living in the water column (phytoplankton) or resuspended in the shallow floodplains (benthos) are crucial primary producers at the base of the food chain. Their communities are very sensitive to environmental changes and one of the first groups to respond to potential pressures on wetlands, such as the hydrological modifications and declines in water quality arising from increasing tourism. Phytoplanktonic algae have never been systematically studied in the Okavango Delta before. This project investigates their distribution patterns in terms of biomass and biodiversity with regards to environmental variables and seasonality in the Delta.

Show'n' Tell "Okavango" Grant Museum of Zoology Friday 25 July 2014. Introduction of my research project to the public and selection of a specimen from the Museum's 68,000 objects.

Self-funding PhD Candidate and former UCLU Faculty Representative. See press coverage on self-funding PhD students' lives and campaigning in the UK.

Funding is acknowledged for fieldwork activities from the Royal Geographical Society, RGS-IBG 2009.

Last publication: Marazzi, L. (2013): Okavango Delta - Biodiversity of Microalgae, precious invisible plants. – In: Oldeland, J., Erb, C., Finckh, M., Jürgens, N. [Eds.]: Environmental Assessments in the Okavango Region. –Biodiversity & Ecology 5: 161-163. DOI: 10.7809/b-e.00272.

Last poster presentation: "What drives growth and biodiversity of algae in the Okavango Delta?" -

David Williamson's drawings of the desmids (a group of green algae) of the Okavango Delta.



Contact details:

UCL Department of Geography

University College London
Pearson Building, Gower Street

London WC1E 6BT.

Enquiries: +44 (0)20 7679 0527

Fax: +44 (0)20 7679 0565


  • Bigano A., De Miglio R., Galeotti, M., Gargiulo M., Goria A., Lavagno E., Marazzi L., Sferra F., Zanoni D. (2008) “Adoption and application of the MARKAL-TIMES model for the creation of a mitigation plan for the Lombardy region”. Foundation Eni Enrico Mattei - Report Kyoto Lombardia project. (in Italian)
  • Marazzi L., Caserini S., Monti G., Terranova D., Crovetto G.M., Lapi M., Guariso G., Ballarin Denti A. (2006) “Survey on wood use for domestic heating in Lombardy”. Foundation Lombardy for the Environment. Report Kyoto Lombardia project and PARFIL project. (in Italian)
  • Marazzi L. (2005) Estimate of the greenhouse gases emissions of the Parabiago municipality” in Dal Santo & Colombo "Report on the state of the environment of the Parabiago municipality" (in Italian)
  • Caserini S., Marazzi L., Crovetto G.M., Ballarin Denti A., Lapi M., Bosco C., Fraccaroli A., Fossati G., Guariso G., Gurrieri G.L. (2005). Conference paper “An extensive survey on wood combustion for domestic heating in Lombardy: implications for PM emission inventory”. 14th US-EPA International Emission Inventory Conference. Las Vegas, USA 11-14 April 2005

Presentations & Outreach


Poster presentations at “PM2006” Second National Congress on Atmospheric Particulate. Firenze, Italy 11-13 September 2006 (in Italian)

  • a) Marazzi L., Caserini S., Bosco C., Lapi M., Crovetto G.M, Ballarin Denti A. “Estimate of wood consumption for domestic heating in Lombardy and of consequent PM emissions”

  • b) Marazzi L., Bosco C., Petraccone S., Bolzacchini E., Lapi M., Ballarin Denti A. “On-line review of research projects on particulate matter in Italy and abroad”.

  • Marazzi L. “The changing climate and air pollution” public conference “Society, Economy and Environment in Parabiago”. Parabiago (Milan), Italy, 26 February 2006 (in Italian)

  • Marazzi L. “Emissions de particules par la combustion du bois en Lombardie (Italie)”. Technique conference - winter smog in Quebec. Montrèal, Canada  (in French in teleconference) 27 October 2005

  • Marazzi L. “An extensive survey on wood combustion for domestic heating in Lombardy: implications for PM emission inventory” presentation and conference paper 14th US-EPA International Emission Inventory Conference.  Las Vegas, USA, 11-14 April 2005

Work experience and education


1) September 2012 - ongoing

  • Mouseion Limited -
  • Senior Academic Consultant for Geography
  • Writing critical analyses of seminal texts in Geography to foster the education of Undergraduate students as engaged citizens in the global South
  • Advising on content and network development on the Geography programme.

2)    September 2008 – ongoing

  • Environmental Change Research Centre, University College London
  • Self-funded part-time Ph.D. in Geography: “Biodiversity and biomass of algae in the Okavango Delta (Botswana), a subtropical wetland”.

3)    March 2007 - July 2008

  • Fondazione ENI Enrico Mattei and Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Climate Change
    • Reviews of the impacts of climate change on ecosystem goods and services, agriculture and the alpine environment.
    • Application of the MARKAL-TIMES model to build a CO2 emission reduction plan for the Lombardy Region.

4)    February 2004 – February 2007

  • Fondazione Lombardia per l’Ambiente
    • Estimation of Particulate Matter emissions from domestic wood combustion in Lombardy via an extensive survey of 33,000 students’ families in 250 schools.
    • Review of publications on Climate Change and research projects on Air Quality
    • Project management of the Kyoto-Lombardy and PARFIL research programmes on climate change and fine particle emissions in the Lombardy region.


1)    2010 - ongoing

  • Geography and Mathematics A-level and GCSE private tutoring, also in collaboration with Campbell Harris College and Greater London Tutors

2)    2009 - ongoing

  • Undergraduate tutoring at UCL - Human Ecology, Physical Geography, Statistics for Environmental Geographers, Global Environmental Change

3)    April - May 2004

  • Participatory lessons with primary school teachers on energy and climate - Kids4Energy project coordinated by the Italian Association of Environmental Sciences


Writing and other work experience

1)    February 2009 – August 2011

2)    June – September 2009 and April – July 2010

  • Outreach executive at Responding to Climate Change and Climate Change TV
  • Involvement of sponsors in publication for delegates at United Nations conferences

3)    December 2003 and December 2009

  • Participation in the 9th and 15th UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP9, COP15) as collaborator of Responding To Climate Change (RTCC).



Italian Red Cross first aid team member (and leader) and ambulance driver (1999-2006).

Organization of conferences and seminars on climate change and of a course on environmental issues directed to civil servants working in local authorities (2004-2008).


Education and training

1)  2-14 September 2008 - Peyresq, France

  • Summer School "Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services"
  • ALTERNET – A Long Term Biodiversity, Ecosystems and Awareness Research Network, EU 6th Framework Programme

2)    8-16 June 2007 - Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere e Arti, Venice, Italy

  • Summer School “Pathways to Environmental Sustainability”

3)    February – September 2005

  • Post-lauream course “Environment and Landscape Management: instruments for action”
  • University of Milan, Department of Human Geography and European Social Fund

4)    September 1997 – November 2003

  • Master’s Degree in Environmental Sciences – Final grade: 108/110
  • University of Milano Bicocca, Department of Sciences for Environment and Territory