Participant 3 - Università degli studi della Basilicata (UNIBAS), Italy

Institute description: the research activities of the Department of the University of Basilicata (UNIBAS - are in the field of the management and protection of natural resources and the technological innovation in rural natural areas, specifically with regard to physical aspects of land degradation (among the European funded projects: MEDALUS II, MEDIMONT), modeling the process understood including the effects of both human activities and climate changes (MEDALUS III), and involvement of local communities both in identifying and promoting suitable strategies to combat desertification (DESERTLINKS). UNIBAS is involved in projects funded by regional cooperation funds (CHAECO (Morocco): Waste water management; RIVA (Balkan): touristic use of water resources; WALL (Tunisia): traditional knowledge and natural (soil and water) resources management; PUER (Egypt): water management in agricultural sector.
Role in the project: participating in WP2, 4-9.
Past experience: UNIBAS has been involved in projects funded by European Regional Development Fund (IMAGE project on Sustainable use of water resources and rural development in drought affected areas; HADRIAMED project on Harmonious Development of Rural and Insular Areas and EUREKA-Mediterranean Harmonized Information System for Sustainable Resources Management).


Involved personnel

  • Prof. Dr. Giovanni Quaranta. Agricultural economist. He has participated in the EU projects MEDALUS, DESERTLINKS, DESIRE, IMAGE Interreg III B Archimed, HADRIAMED Interreg III B Archimed, EUREKA Interreg III B Archimed, EDECCA Interreg III B Archimed, and LEDDRA.
  • Prof. Megan Lewis. Environmental remote sensing, with particular expertise in hyperspectral sensing and monitoring temporal dynamics of arid ecosystems. She leads projects funded by the Australian Research Council (Linkage Project; Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities), the National Water Commission, and South Australian Natural Resource Management Boards.



Dr. Giovanni Quaranta is Professor of Agricultural Economics and Policy. His main topic of research activity is the management of natural resources at the local level, involving farmers and local community actions. He is project leader in many EU research programs (MEDIMONT, MEDALUS II, MEDALUS III, DESERTLINKS, DESIRE, LEDDRA) and is a member of the EAAE – European Association of Agricultural Economists, ESRS - European Society for Rural Sociology, Advisory Board of the DesertNet International. He published over 50 scientific papers. He is an expert of the Italian National Committee to Combat Desertification and Drought.
Associate Professor Megan Lewis is Associate Dean for Research, Faculty of Sciences, a member of the Management Committee of the Landscape Futures Program within the Environment Institute, and formerly Head of the Soil and Land Systems Discipline (2004-09) at the University of Adelaide. Her research applies remote sensing and spatial information systems to analysis and monitoring of landscape variability and composition, focusing on arid and semi-arid environments, native Australian vegetation and agriculture. She leads or is a collaborator in research projects funded by the Australian Research Council, the National Water Commission, and South Australian Government and Regional Natural Resource Management Boards.



  • G. Quaranta (2003): Farm behavioural model to combat desertification in the Mediterranean, Atti del Convegno MEDRAP, Montpellier, France, January, 2003.
  • N. Geeson – G. Quaranta – R. Salvia (2003): A participatory approach to identifying economic indicators related to soil biodiversity: empirical evidence from the northern Mediterranean countries, Expert Meeting OECD, Roma, Marzo, 2003
  • G. Quaranta (1996): Desertification in southern Italy: The case of Clay-hill areas in Basilicata Region, ICALPE, 1996.
  • Dutkiewicz, A., Lewis, M. M. and Ostendorf, B. (2009). Evaluation and comparison of hyperspectral imagery for mapping surface symptoms of dryland salinity. International Journal of Remote Sensing 30:693-719
  • Dutkiewicz, A., Lewis, M. M. and Ostendorf, B. (2008). The suitability of airborne hyperspectral imagery for mapping surface indicators of salinity in dryland farming areas. In Remote Sensing of Soil Salinization: Impact on Land Management, Eds. Zinck A. and Metternicht, G. CRC Press.
  • Lewis, M.M., Jooste, V. and de Gasparis, A.A. (2001). Discrimination of arid vegetation with Airborne Multispectral Scanner hyperspectral imagery. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing 39:1471-1479.