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Sparnocchia Stefania

Sparnocchia Stefania

Research scientist
Laurea in Physics, 1989, University of Rome “La Sapienza”.
Fellowship in Earth Science - Oceanography, 1991, CNR-ISDGM, Oceanographic Station, La Spezia (IT).
Fellowship in Earth Science - Ocean and Climate, 1993, ENEA, La Spezia (IT).
NATO-CNR senior fellowship in Physical Sciences - Ocean, 1998, NCSU, Raleigh, NC (US).

CNR - Istituto di Scienze Marine
Area Science Park - Basovizza - Edificio Q2
Strada Statale 14 - Km. 163.5
I-34149 Trieste - Italy

Phone Mobile: +39 3666594647


Physical oceanographer with experience in field observations, data analysis, and in handling and using oceanographic instrumentation. Her studies focus mainly on the Mediterranean Sea, and deal with marine circulation, water property distributions and budgets, variability and long term trends, and air-sea interaction. Since 2009 she is active in technological development and exploitation of marine research infrastructures.



2015-2019: JERICO NEXT - Joint European Research Infrastructure network for Coastal Observatory – NovelEuropean eXpertise for coastal observaTories, EU H2020. Coordinating the contribution of CNR ISMAR and leading the Trans National Access to Coastal Observatories activities.

2014 - 2017: EMODNET MedSea Checkpoint, DG MARE/2012/11 - Lot 2 The Mediterranean Sea - Growth and innovation in ocean economy - Gaps and priorities in sea basin observation and data, Contributing to the literature review.

2013-2017: FixO3 - Fixed Point Open Ocean Observatories, EU FP7, Contributing  to the development of the transnational access activities.

2013-2017: NeXOS - Innovative multifunctional sensors for in-situ monitoring of marine environment and related maritime activities, EU FP7, Coordinating the demonstration of EAF (Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries) sensor system and passive acoustics in the Mediterranean Sea.

2013-2016: PAC01_00044 EMSO-MedIT, development of multidisciplinary research infrastructures for the marine environment located in Sicily, Campania and Apulia regions as a contribution to the ESFRI EMSO, PON R&C 2007-2013 – PAC, development of public research infrastructures, Coordinating the participation of ISMAR concerning the development of marine fixed point infrastructures in the Sicily Channel, offshore Catania (Sicily region) – EMSO SN1 and in the Gulf of Manfredonia (Apulia region).

2011-2015: JERICO - Towards a Joint European Research Infrastructure network for Coastal Observatories, EU FP7,  Coordinating the contribution of CNR, she has also developed procedures for the Trans National Access to Coastal Observatories and coordinated the activity.

2010-2015: ERANET/SeasERA - Towards Integrated Marine Research Strategy and Programmes, EU FP7,; CSA Oceans - Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans, EU FP7, Supporting CNR DTA as an expert of marine research infrastructures.

2006-2009: KM3NET - Design Study for a Deep Sea Facility in the Mediterranean for Neutrino Astronomy and Associated Sciences, EU FP6. Oceanographic characterization (hydrology and dynamics) of a site in the Ionian Sea suited to the installation of a neutrino telescope.

1998-2004: “Study of the relationship between surface signatures and 3D-dynamics of the Mediterranean Sea for the assimilation of satellite data in circulation models” and “Integration of satellite and in situ data to study the relationship between mesoscale dynamics and biological productivity in the Mediterranean Sea”, funded by the Italian Space Agency. P.I. for acquisition and analysis of vessel mounted ADCP data in the Sicily Channel and Liguro-Provençal basin.

1998-2001: MFSPP - Mediterranean Forecasting System Pilot Project, EU FP4-MAST 3. Contributed with a multivaried analysis of hydrological databases in order to define some of the parameters needed for data assimilation in the Mediterranean model.

1992-1994: EUROMODEL/EUROMODEL II (EU FP2- MAST 1/ FP3- MAST 2); GEODYME (EU FP3-MAST 2). Participating to the experimental activity and studying the Ligurian Sea and the Sicily Channel by analysing hydrological and current-meter data.


2015-... Secretary General of IAPSO (The International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Oceans);;

2015-... CNR representative in the General Assembly of the Joint Research Unit (JRU) “EMSO-Italy” aimed at coordinating research and development activities in the marine science sector as the contribution from Italy to the European infrastructure EMSO ERIC.

2014-... Member of the Technology Plan Working Group (TPWG) of Eurogoos;

2011-... Liaison of IUGG (International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics) to the UNESCO IOC-Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission;

2013-2015 Delegate of the European Commission to the Belmont Forum Collaborative Research Action on E- Infrastructure and Data Management aiming to coordinate and streamline international efforts for easy and efficient  exchange of environmental data and information. She especially contributed to WP4-Data Sharing.

2011-2015 Italian representative in the  General Assembly of IAPSO.

2011-2014 Scientific Secretary of the CNR/IUGG Commission;

2010-2015  Member of the Marine Observation and Data Expert Group (MODEG), expert group of the European Commission;

2007-2015  Member of the Executive Committee of IAPSO.


- Member of the Editorial Board of Special Publications of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics, IUGG and Cambridge University Press, since year 2016.

- Guest editor of the special issue “Progress in marine science supported by European joint coastal observation systems: The JERICO-RI research infrastructure”, Journal of Marine Systems, Volume 162, Pages 1-154 (October 2016),

- Guest editor of the special issue “Physical, chemical and biological oceanography of the Mediterranean Sea” of Ocean Science, 2013-2015,

- Reviewer for Deep Sea Research, Oceanologica Acta, Journal of Marine Systems, Journal of Physical Oceanography, Ocean Science, Global and Planetary Change, Progress in Oceanography

  • Puillat I., Farcy P., Durand D., Karlson B., Petihakis G., Seppala J., Sparnocchia S.: Progress in marine science supported by European joint coastal observation systems: The JERICO-RI research infrastructure, Journal of Marine Systems, 162, 1–3, 2016,
  • Aydoğdu A., Pinardi N., Pistoia J., Martinelli M, Belardinelli A., Sparnocchia S.: Assimilation experiments for the Fishery Observing System in the Adriatic Sea, Journal of Marine Systems, 162, 126–136, 2016,
  • Sparnocchia S., Nair R., Petihakis G., Aydoğdu A., Dobricicd S., Farcy P., Martinelli M., Petersen W., Petit de la Villeon L., An inter-linked Coastal Observatory Network for Europe, Journal of Operational Oceanography, 9:sup1, 193-201, 2016,
  • Aracri S., Borghini M., Canesso D., Chiggiato J., Durante S., Schroeder K., Sparnocchia S., Vetrano A., Honda T, Kitawaza K., Kawahara H., Nakamura T., Trials of an autonomous profiling buoy system, Journal of Operational Oceanography, 9:sup1, 176-184, 2016,
  • Patti B., Martinelli M., Aronica S., Belardinelli A., Penna P., Bonanno A., Basilone G., Fontana I., Giacalone G., Gallì N.G., Sorgente R., Angileri I.V.M., Croci C., Domenichetti F., Bonura D., Santojanni A., Sparnocchia S., D’Adamo R., Marini M., Fiorentino F., Mazzola: S., The Fishery and Oceanography Observing System (FOOS): a tool for oceanography and fisheries science. Journal of Operational Oceanography,9 :sup1, 99-118, 2016,
  • Meccia V.L., Simoncelli S.,  Sparnocchia S.:  Decadal variability of the Turner Angle in the Mediterranean Sea and its implications for double diffusion, Deep Sea Research Part I, 114, 64-77, 2016.
  • Martinelli M., Guicciardi S., Penna P., Belardinelli A., Croci C., Domenichetti F., Santojanni A., Sparnocchia S. , Evaluation of the oceanographic measurement accuracy of different commercial sensors to be used on fishing gears, Ocean Eng., 111, 22-33, 2016, doi:
  • Meccia V.L., Borghini M., Sparnocchia S.: Abyssal circulation and hydrographic conditions in the Western Ionian Sea during Spring–Summer 2007 and Autumn–Winter 2007–2008. Deep Sea Research Part I, 104, 26-40, 2015.
  • Puillat I., Farcy P., Durand D., Petihakis G., Morin P., Kriegger M., Petersen W.,   Joaquin Tintoré J.,  Sorensen K., Sparnocchia S., Wehde  H.: Strategy for sustainability of the Joint European Research Infrastructure Network for Coastal Observatories – JERICO.  IEEE Conference Publications, OCEANS 2015 - MTS/IEEE Washington, 2222-2229, 2015, ISBN: 978-1-4673-9374-4.
  • Sparnocchia S., Borghini M., Durante S., Meccia V. Giordano A., Biasini G.: From the seafloor to the sea surface: A technical solution for the cabled EMSO-SN1 observatory in the Western Ionian Sea. OCEANS 2015 - Genova, IEEE Conference Publications,  1321-1325, 2015, DOI: 10.1109/OCEANS-Genova.2015.7271527, ISBN:  978-1-4799-8737-5.
  • Sparnocchia S., Farcy P., Delory E.: The trans-national access in FP7 and H2020: A tool for sensor testing, observing system validation and collaborative research. Sensor Systems for a Changing Ocean (SSCO), 2014 IEEE, 88-90, 2014, DOI:10.1109/SSCO.2014.7000381, ISBN: 978-1-4799-5949-5.
  • Bryden H., Schroeder K., Sparnocchia S., Borghini M, Vetrano A.: Thermohaline Staircases in the Western Mediterranean Sea. Journal of Marine Research, 72, 1–18, 2014.
  • Olita A., Sparnocchia S., Cusí S., L. Fazioli L., Sorgente R., Tintoré J., Ribotti A.: Observations of a phytoplankton spring bloom onset triggered by a density front in NW Mediterranean. Ocean Sci., 10, 657–666, 2014,, doi: 10.5194/os-10-657-2014 [Also in Ocean Sci. Discuss., 10, 1559–1580, 2013, doi:10.5194/osd-10-1559-2013].
  • Cozzi S., Mistraro A., Sparnocchia S., Colugnati L., Bajt O., Loredana T.: Anthropogenic loads and biogeochemical role of urea in the Gulf of Trieste. Science of the Total Environment, 493, 271-281, 2014. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.05.148.
  • Borghini M., Bryden H. L., Schroeder K., Sparnocchia S., Vetrano A.: The Mediterranean Is Getting Saltier. Ocean Sci., 10, 1–16, 2014,, doi:10.5194/os-10-1-2014 [Also in Ocean Sci. Discuss., 11, 1–18, 2014, doi:10.5194/osd-11-1-2014].
  • Bryden H., Schroeder K., Borghini M., Vetrano A., Sparnocchia S: Mixing in the deep waters of the western Mediterranean Sea. In The Mediterranean Sea: Temporal Variability and Spatial Patterns, edited by G. L. E. Borzelli, American Geophysical Union Monograph Series105, ISBN-13: 9781118847343, 51-58, 2014.
  • The KM3NeT Collaboration (CNR ISMAR co-authors: M. Borghini, G.P. Gasparini,  K. Schroeder, S. Sparnocchia, P. Traverso):  Expansion cone for the 3-inch PMTs of the KM3NeT Optical Modules, Journal of Instrumentation, 8, T03006, 2013, doi:10.1088/1748-0221/8/03/T03006.
  • The KM3NeT Collaboration (CNR ISMAR co-authors: M. Borghini, G.P. Gasparini,  K. Schroeder, S. Sparnocchia, P. Traverso):  Detection Potential of the KM3NeT Detector for High-Energy Neutrinos from the Fermi Bubbles. Astroparticle Physics, 42, 7-14, 2013.
  • Schroeder, K. C. Millot, L. Bengara, S. Ben Ismail, M. Bensi, M. Borghini, G. Budillon, V. Cardin, L. Coppola, C. Curtil, A. Drago, B. El Moumni, J. Font, J. L. Fuda, J. García-Lafuente, G. P. Gasparini, H. Kontoyiannis, D. Lefevre, P. Puig, P. Raimbault, G. Rougier, J. Salat, C. Sammari, J. C. Sánchez Garrido, A. Sanchez-Roman, S. Sparnocchia, C. Tamburini, I. Taupier-Letage, A. Theocharis, M. Vargas-Yáñez, A. Vetrano: Long-term monitoring programme of the hydrological variability in the Mediterranean Sea: a first overview of the HYDROCHANGES network. Ocean Sci., 9, 301–324, 2013, doi:10.5194/os-9-301-2013 [Also in Ocean Sci. Discuss., 9, 1741-1812, doi:10.5194/osd-9-1741-2012].
  • Sparnocchia S., Gasparini G.P., Schroeder K., Borghini M.: Oceanographic conditions in the NEMO region during the KM3NeT project (April 2006–May 2009). Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research A, 626-627, S87-S90, 2011, doi:10.1016/j.nima.2010.06.231.
  • Picco P., Cappelletti A., Sparnocchia S., Schiano M.E., Pensieri S., Bozzano R.: Upper layer currents variability in the Central Ligurian Sea. Ocean Science, 6, 825-836, 2010 doi:10.5194/os-6-825-2010 [Also in Ocean Sci. Discuss., 7, 445–475, 2010].
  • Sparnocchia S., Nair R., Russo A., Ribera D'Alcalà M.: Temperatura, salinità e densità. In: Socal G., Buttino I., Cabrini M., Mangoni O., Penna A., Totti C. (eds.), Metodologie di studio del plancton marino, ISPRA Manuali e Linee Guida 56/2010, ISBN 978-88-448, 2010.
  • Gasparini G.P., Schroder K., Sparnocchia S.: Straits and Channels as key regions of an integrated marine observatory of the Mediterranean: our experience on their long-term monitoring. In Towards an integrated system of Mediterranean marine observatories, F. Briand (Ed.), CIESM Workshop Monographs, No 34, 75-79, 2008.
  • Schiano M.E., Sparnocchia S., Bozzano R., Pensieri S.: Un nuovo indicatore climatico per il Mediterraneo: la densità di vapore alla superficie del mare. In Clima e cambiamenti climatici: le attività di ricerca del CNR, Ed. CNR (ISBN 978-88-8080-075-0), 105-108, 2007.
  • Bozzano R., Pensieri S., Schiano M.E., Sparnocchia S., Borghini M., Picco P.: La Boa meteo-oceanografica ODAS-Italia1:un laboratorio marino d’altura, In Clima e cambiamenti climatici: le attività di ricerca del CNR, Ed. CNR (ISBN 978-88-8080-075-0), 337-340, 2007.
  • Picco P., Bozzano R., Schiano M.E., Bordone A., Borghin M., Di Nallo G., Pensieri S., Schirone A., Sparnocchia S.: Marine Observing Systems from fixed platform in the Ligurian Sea.  Selected papers from the first workshop dedicated to the meteo-marine data archivi Archimede. Bollettino di Geofisica Teorica e Applicata, 48 (3), 227-239, 2007.
  • Sparnocchia S., Schiano M.E. , Picco P., Bozzano R., Cappelletti A.: The anomalous warming of summer 2003 in the surface layer of the Central Ligurian Sea (Western Mediterranean). Annales Geophysicae, 24, 443-452, 2006.
  • Schiano M. E., Sparnocchia S., Cappa C., Bozzano R.: An analysis of the climate variability over the Mediterranean Sea by means of the surface water vapour density. International Journal of Climatology, 25, 1731-1748, 2005.
  • Gasparini G.P., Smeed D.A., Alderson S., Sparnocchia S., Vetrano A., Mazzola S.: Tidal and subtidal currents in the Strait of Sicily. Journal of Geophysical Research, 109, C02011, 2004, doi:10.1029/2003JC002011.
  • Sparnocchia S., Pinardi N., Demirov E.: Multivariate Empirical Orthogonal Function analysis of the upper thermocline structure of the Mediterranean Sea from observations and model simulations.Annales Geophysicae, 21, 167-187, 2003.
  • Grezio A., Pinardi N., Sparnocchia S., Zavatarelli M.: The Study of Seasonal Variability in the Adriatic Sea with the use of EOF Analysis. In Building the European Capacity in Operational Oceanography, Proceedings of the Third International Conference on EuroGOOS, 3-6 December 2002, Athens, Greece, H. Dahlin, N.C. Flemming, K. Nittis e S.E. Petersson (Eds), Elsevier Oceanography Series, No. 69, 222-225, 2003.
  • Pinardi N., Demirov E., Tonani M., Giacomelli L., Fratianni C. and MFSPP partners (Bassini S., Dandin P., De Mey P., Le Traon P.-Y., Manzella G., Sparnocchia S): Mediterrannean Forecasting System: first phase of implementation. In Operational Oceanography – Implementation at the European and Regional Scales, Proceedings of the Second International Conference on EuroGOOS, 11-13 March 1999, Rome, Italy, Flemming N.C., Vallerga S., Pinardi N., Behrens H.W.A., Manzella G., Prandle D., Stel J.H. (Eds), Elsevier Oceanography Series, No. 66, 2002.
  • Buongiorno Nardelli B., Santoleri R., Sparnocchia S.: Small mesoscale features at a meandering upper-ocean front in the Western Ionian Sea (Mediterranean Sea): vertical motion and potential vorticity analysis. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 31 (8), 2227–2250, 2001.
  • Sparnocchia S., Gasparini G.P., Astraldi M., Borghini M., Pistek P.: Dynamics and mixing of the Eastern Mediterranean Outflow in the Tyrrhenian basin. Journal of Marine Systems, 20(1-4), 301-317, 1999.
  • Gasparini G.P., Zodiatis G., Astraldi M., Sparnocchia S.: Winter Intermediate Water lenses in the Ligurian Sea. Journal of Marine Systems, 20(1-4), 319-332, 1999.
  • Böhm E., Buongiorno Nardelli B., Brunet C., Casotti R., Conversano F., Corato F., D’Acunzo E., D’Ortenzio F., Iudicone D., Lazzara L., Mangoni O., Marcelli M., Marullo S., Massi L., Mori G., Nuccio C., Ribera d’Alcalà M., Saggiomo V., Santoleri R., Scardi M., Sparnocchia S., Tozzi S., Zoffoli S.: SYMPLEX Experiment: first results on oceanic mesoscale dynamics and related primary production from AVHRR and SeaWIFS satellite data and field experiments. SPIE Vol. 3496, 1998.
  • Bonnefond P., Exertier P., Menard Y., Jeansou E., Manzella G., Sparnocchia S., Barlier F.: Calibration of radar altimeters and validation of orbit determination in the Corsica-Capraia area, 3rd ERS Scientific Symposium on Space at the service of our Environment, Florence, Italy, 15-21 March 1997, Eds. G. Kohlhammer, T.D. Guyenne & D. Danesy, ESA SP-414 Vol. III, 1525-1528, 1997.
  • Astraldi M., Gasparini G.P., Sparnocchia S., Moretti M., Sansone E.: The characteristics of the water masses and the water transport in the Sicily Strait at long time scales. In Dynamics of Mediterranean Straits and Channels, F. Briand (ed.), Bulletin del l’Institut Océanographique, Monaco, no spécial 17, CIESM Science Series no 2, 95-115, 1996.
  • Sparnocchia S., Picco P., Manzella G.M.R., Ribotti A., Copello S., Brasey P.: Intermediate water formation in the Ligurian Sea. Oceanologica Acta, 18(2), 151-162, 1995.
  • EURO MODEL Group (Lehucher P.M., Beautier L., Chartier M., Martel F., Mortier L., Brehmer P., Millot C., Alberola C., Benzhora M., Taupier-Letage I., Chabert d'Hieres G., Didelle H., Gleizon P., Obaton D., Crépon M., Herbaut C., Madec G., Speich S., Nihoul J., Beckers J. M., Brasseur P., Deleersnijder E., Djenidi S., Font J., Castellon A., Garcia-Ladona E., Lopez-Garcia M. J., Manriquez M., Maso M., Salat J., Tintore J., Alonso S., Gomis D., Viudez A., Astraldi M., Bacciola D., Borghini M., Dell'Amico F., Galli C., Lazzoni E., Gasparini G. P., Sparnocchia S., Harzallah A.): Progress from 1989 to 1992 in understanding the circulation of the Western Mediterranean sea. Oceanologica Acta, 18(2), 255-271, 1995
  • Astraldi M., Gasparini G.P., Sparnocchia S.: The Seasonal and Interannual Variability in the Ligurian-Povencal Basin. In Seasonal and Interannual Variability of the Western Mediterranean Sea, P.E. La Violette (Ed.), Coastal and Estuarine Studies vol. 46, AGU, 93-113, 1994.
  • Sparnocchia S., Manzella G.M.R., La Violette P.E.: The Interannual and Seasonal Variability of the MAW and LIW Core Properties in the Western Mediterranean Sea. In Seasonal and Interannual Variability of the Western Mediterranean Sea, P.E. La Violette (Ed.), Coastal and Estuarine Studies vol. 46, AGU, 177-194, 1994.
  • Astraldi M., Gasparini G.P., Pistek P., Sparnocchia S.: La circolazione nel Mar Ligure durante l'incidente della HAVEN. Atti del X Congresso Nazionale dell'Associazione Italiana di Oceanografia e Limnologia, 87-96, 1992.
  • Pase S., Parisi M., Sparnocchia S., Salusti E., Storini M.: Linear and non linear autoregression methods applied to the hourly cosmic ray records. I   Forbush decreases, Annales Geophysicae, 8(12), 799 808, 1990.
  • Bracalari M., Salusti E., Sparnocchia S., Zambianchi E.: On the role of the Froude number in geostrophic coastal currents around Italy, Oceanologica Acta, 12(2), 161 166, 1989.
  • Salusti E., Sparnocchia S.: Applicazione di un metodo autoregressivo non lineare al tremore vulcanico di Stromboli, Bollettino del Gruppo Nazionale di Geofisica, Ed. Universitaria Litografia Felici, Pisa, 526 538, 1988.
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