Lorenzo Ricolfi

Lorenzo Ricolfi

PhD Student
Evolution and Ecology Research Centre
Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences

Hi there! I am Lorenzo, and I study the impacts of environmental pollutants on human and wildlife health. I graduated in Natural and Environmental Science at La Sapienza, the University of Rome. Afterwards, I completed a post-graduate and professional course in Environmental Pollution and Human Health at the University of Genoa. Simultaneously, I was flying to and from the south of Mozambique to work on an international project to assess environmental contamination and human exposure to heavy metals such as mercury and uranium. In February 2022, I joined the Inter-Disciplinary Ecology and Evolution Lab as a PhD student working on research synthesis and meta-research on the impacts of PFAS environmental pollutants on human and wildlife health. At the same time, I am exploring the Australian continent and its history and culture. I love hiking, camping, and wildlife spotting. And wine.

Project: Research synthesis and meta-research on the impacts of PFAS environmental pollutants on human and wildlife health

Supervised by: Shinichi Nakagawa. Co-supervisors: Matthew David Taylor & Malgorzata Lagisz.

Project Description: The wide variety and quantity of literature produced on PFAS in recent decades require integrative and informative reviews to provide a detailed and thorough synthesis of this research field. My PhD project synthesises the extensive literature on PFAS exposure to humans, animals, and environmental compartments for the first time through the innovative concept of research weaving. My project will find and classify what research has been conducted, provide information on the gaps, and inform the field's development and the interconnections of research documents and their influence. As a result, it will apprise future research and policymaking of relevant and practical information. Furthermore, my research will shed light on the current and past levels of PFAS contamination of human and wildlife populations providing temporal trends of concentration. A quantitative analysis of the data will provide an overview that will help us understand whether concentrations of fluorinated compounds in humans and wildlife are still increasing or whether attempts at international regulation have reversed or stabilised the course. In addition, it will investigate the temporal trends of individual compounds considering specific animal species and human tissues. Lastly, I will run a meta-analysis of the inter-generational transfer of PFAS in birds to get insight into how much and how these pollutants are passed from one generation to the next.

Ricolfi, L., Barbieri, M., Muteto, P.V., Nigro, A., Sappa, G. and Vitale, S., 2020. Potential toxic elements in groundwater and their health risk assessment in drinking water of Limpopo National Park, Gaza Province, Southern Mozambique. Environmental geochemistry and health, 42(9), pp.2733-2745.

Barbieri, M., Ricolfi, L., Vitale, S., Muteto, P.V., Nigro, A. and Sappa, G., 2019. Assessment of groundwater quality in the buffer zone of Limpopo National Park, Gaza Province, Southern Mozambique. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 26(1), pp.62-77.

Barbieri, M., Ricolfi, L., Battistel, M., Nigro, A., Garone, A., Ferranti, F. and Sappa, G., 2019. Monitoring wetland deterioration in a coastal protected area in central Italy: implications for management. Euro-Mediterranean Journal for Environmental Integration, 4(1), pp.1-10.

Andrei, F., Barbieri, M., Muteto, P.V., Ricolfi, L., Sappa, G. and Vitale, S., 2021. Water resources management under climate change pressure in Limpopo National Park Buffer Zone. In Advances in Geoethics and Groundwater Management: Theory and Practice for a Sustainable Development (pp. 129-132). Springer, Cham.