Scuola superiore sant'anna

Titolare di assegno di ricerca

Alberto Mantino

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Current position and research activities

Currently I’m a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in agronomy and crop science, at the Institute of Life Science of Sant’Anna school of advanced studies of Pisa - Italy and I'm a co-founder of TELLUS (www.tellus.srl) an university spin-off company. My job activities are focused on the agroecological transition of conventional livestock production systems towards sustainable mixed farming and agroforestry systems. The main goal of my research and extension activities is the enhance of the sustainability of grassland-based livestock productions, increasing ecosystem services of forage cropping and agroforestry practices through: (i) the increase of the use of rich-protein crops such as legumes and pulses, (ii) the land-use change from annual to perennial crops such as temporary grassland, shrubs and fodder trees (iii) and the exploitation of traditional and innovative agro-silvo-pastoral systems. In order to increase the knowledge about the sustainability pathways of future climate-smart cropping systems, my work aiming to study new strategies to improve the eco-efficiently use of inputs in the agroecosystems such as light, water and nutrient. 

The study of synergies between agroecological and precision farming approaches is necessary for a quickly "sustainable intensification" of cropping systems. Based on this, my lab team activities are carried out within several research and innovation projects collecting data at several levels, from the field to the landscape, testing and comparing several low-input practices such as the increase of legume presence in pasture through strip-till over-seeding, the improve of spatiotemporal information about pasture allowance and quality through satellite derived data and the use of DSS to help farmers in sustainable farming system design.

I’m involved in several multi-actor projects aiming to develop participatory approach to unlock synergies in mixed farming and agroforestry systems and to achieve agro-environmental and socio-economic resilience in the context of climate change.

Currently (2020), I'm involved in two international H2020 projects both as work package leader.

The H2020 MSCA-RISE project, agreement no. 872384, UNDERTREES “Creating knowledge for UNDERsTanding ecosystem seRvicEs of agroforEStry systems through a holistic methodological framework” aiming at form an international and inter-sectoral network of 15 organizations in 3 continents (Europe, Africa and South America) working on a joint research program that has the ambition of improving knowledge about the functioning of agroforestry systems in the context of global changes and their potential delivery of ecosystem services through a new holistic methodological framework, inspired to principles of agroecology www.undertrees.eu.

The H2020 AGROMIX project, agreement no. 862993, focuses on practical agroecological solutions for farm and land management and related value chains. AGROMIX makes use of a network of 83 sites with mixed farming and agroforestry or value chain stakeholder networks, which are used to measure, design, model, test and improve these systems. A nested approach will be used to conduct 12 co-design pilots across Europe. In addition, 6 replicated long-term trial sites are used for detailed analysis (crops and livestock) http://tiny.cc/xq9blz.

From 2016, I’m involved in the EIP-AGRI Operational Group of Tuscany Region “Precision Sheep”, a project that aims at the increase of profitability of dairy sheep farmers by tailored transdisciplinary innovation transfers “from fields to milk” and “from stables to stars” combining participatory approach, precision farming development and extension services.

From 2019, I’m involved in another EIP-AGRI Operational Group of Tuscany Region. “NEWTON - NEtWork per l’agroselvicoltura in TOscaNa” project aims at the promotion of agroforestry practices in Tuscany as strategies for the sustainable intensification of agriculture. The OG NEWTON thanks to a participatory approach and promotes traditional agroforestry knowledge and innovative solutions among all the stakeholders, for the implementation of sustainable agroforestry systems.

From 2019 I’m a member of the executive board of the Italian Agroforestry Association (AIAF) www.agroforestry.it and member of the organizing committee of the 2020 European Agroforestry Federation (EURAF) Conference www.euraf2020.eu

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Istituto di Scienze della Vita