Labs, practice courses and field activities


Students during an excursion with "visiting professor" Miguel Altieri (Berkeley University - California)

The University of Pavia, through various research collaborations and specific projects of the Rural Development Plan in different regions of Italy, has availability of various crop cultivations in partner farm/companies of the projects themselves, useful for field activities, demonstrations and study for students, both conventionally run and organic farming (e.g. for rice, corn, olive oil, potatoes and vegetables).

Some farms are here listed and we list their web site and activities:

Riso d’acqua (Torre de Negri, Pavia); Cooperativa Turnaria (Tignale sul Garda, Brescia); Cascina Bosco Fornasara (Nicorvo, Pavia); DiCristiana Riso Biologico in Lomellina (Robbio, Pavia); Cascine Orsine (Belgioioso, Pavia); Terre Villane (Romagnese, Pavia); Il Sole di Alberto Fusar Imperatore (Ottobiano, Pavia); Di Rovasenda Biandrate Maria (Rovasenda, Vercelli); Az Agricola Finigeto (Montalto Pavese, Pavia); Az Agricola Il Poderone (Santa Sofia, Forlì-Cesena); Consorzio Forestale di Prata Camportaccio (Prata Camportaccio, Sondrio); Bio Angus (Samolaco, Como); Unica Srl food industry (Voghera, Pavia); CRPV Crop Production Research Centre (Cesena); Az. Agricola Mascherpa (Tortorolo, Pavia); Ticinum Aerospace (Pavia); LabAnalysis (Casanova Lonati, Pavia); AgriPavia Gastrobottega Agricola (Pavia); Az. Menocchia (Carbonara al Ticino).


University of Pavia, agronomic sector, has contacts and research collaborations in the agricultural field with various bodies that report to the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, such as CREA (Council for Agricultural Research and Economics), as well as the Ente Nazionale Risi (National Rice Authority).


One of the structures of the University of Pavia committed to the conservation and sustainable use of agro-biodiversity, including landraces and CWR Crop Wild Relatives, is the Plant Germplasm Bank of Pavia, operating since 2005 at the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, that organizes the Master.

This conservation, research and teaching facility collaborates internationally with major germplasm banks, such as the Millennium Seed Bank in the United Kingdom or Svalbard Global Seed Vault (Norway), managed by the Global Crop Diversity Trust.

Students visit and use the Plant Germplasm Bank of Pavia as an educational laboratory, being included in planned activities such as exercises but also practical-operational activities in national and international projects in which the bank is involved. Remarkable is the endowment of equipment for the study and implementation of seed germination activities, where students can carry out experiences of these activities but also create their final master thesis papers.

For further details: Prof. Graziano Rossi,


The Department of Biology and Biotechnology “Lazzaro Spallanzani” has the facilities for in vitro culture of plant cells, tissues/organs, and for the propagation of plant material (two growth chambers with thermostatic and light/dark controlled conditions, laminar flow cabinets/tissue culture hoods, rooms for nutrient media preparation, autoclaves), plant growth and assessment of seed germination  in controlled environment (germination chambers) and in soil (greenhouse for experimental research).

For further details: Prof. Alma Balestrazzi,


Soil Laboratory (Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences), field equipment:

  • Malvern Mastersizer and Köhn sedimentation cylinder system for grain size analysis.
  • Geoelectric device 4Punkt Light Lippmann and EMP400 inductive geoelectrics (3 Depth)
  • LISST 200X and 25X (Sequoia Systems Ltd.) for suspended sediment measurements
  • 3x Constant head permeameter (Amoozemeter)
  • 1x Tension infiltrometer (hood infiltrometer UGT)
  • 1x DGPS trimble
  • OTT flow velocity Acoustic Device
  • Hydrological runoff station (Ecotech with multiprob sensor YPI)
  • 3x H-flumes
  • Soil penetrometer with GPS up to 40cm depth
  • 3x Drone (type) with infrared and visible band channels
  • 2x rainfall simulator (1m² cover area)
  • 1x aggregate stability wet sieving apparatus (Ejikelkamp)

For further details: Prof. Michael Maerker,


Laboratory of Dendroecology (Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences) has a deep experience in tree-ring science, especially focused on climate influence on tree growth and productivity, taking into account both climate trend and extreme events. Moreover the DendroLab is involved in dendroecological studies about forest dynamics and disturbance regime assessment. It has an in-depth expertise in tree-ring network management on several tree species, both conifers and broadleaves. 

For further details: Prof. Paola Nola,


Laboratory of Engineering Geology and Geotechnics (Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences) is addressed to:

  • monitoring and assessment of rainfall-induced landslide hazard;
  • use of remote sensing techniques for the characterisation, monitoring and sustainable management of aquifers in water stressed areas.

Main instrumentation:

  • ASTM standard sieves, densimeters, standard equipment for determining consistency limits, pycnometers; core extruder, agitator, ovens, series of precision scales, dryers;
  • Equipment for performing the methylene blue test;
  • ACE EmS - Automatic servo controlled system for consolidation tests;
  • SHEARMATIC EmS - Automatic servo-controlled electro-mechanical system for direct/residual shear tests;
  • Equipment for the construction of retention curves (Hyprop);
  • Manual auger and sampler;
  • Phreatometers;
  • Quickdraw tensiometer;
  • Ring infiltrometer;
  • SATURO infiltrometer;
  • Constant load permeameter;
  • Inclinometer probe;
  • Slope monitoring stations (tensiometers, TDR probes, water content probes, heat dissipation sensors, rain gauge, anemometer, hygrometer and radiometer).

Activities performed:

  • Geotechnical and hydrological characterisation of soils affected by shallow landslides and subsidence (physical, hydrological and mechanical properties).
  • Study of agricultural soil management techniques to increase the resilience of vineyards against extreme rainfall or drought events and reduce the occurrence of shallow landslides in order to limit damages to agrosystems and the loss of organic matter.
  • Study of the shear strength and deformability of soils for slope stability, taking into account the role of vegetation and the root reinforcement.
  • Study of swelling and shrinkage of clayey soils (swelling pressure and free swell).
  • In situ hydrological and geotechnical monitoring (Ksat, Infiltration, Roots, density and penetrometric resistance, shear stress, cohesion, water content, pore water pressure, electrical conductivity) in order to identify the mechanisms that trigger shallow landslides and the water stress.

For further details: Prof. Claudia Meisina,


The Environmental Hydraulics and Hydraulic Risk Laboratory EH2R_lab (Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture) carries on research activity in the field of Hydraulics, with a focus on Hydraulic Risk, Environmental Hydraulics and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). EH2R_lab includes a laboratory facility for the realization of small- and medium-scale experiments in hydraulic flumes, as well as a variety of instrumentation for flow-rate measurements in irrigation channels and natural streams (propeller flow meters, ADV Acoustic Doppler Velocimeters, ADCP Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers, etc...). Beyond several national and international research collaborations, the EH2R_lab cooperates with public agencies such as the Po River Basin Authority (AdBPo), the Interregional Agency for the Po River (AIPo), the Environmental Protection Agency (ARPA) of Lombardy, the Lombardy Region, the Pavia Province and the International Commission for the Protection of the Italian-Swiss Waters (CIPAIS).

For further details: Prof. Stefano Sibilla,


The Laboratory of Geomatics LABGEO (Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture) operates since more than 40 years in the field of land survey and of geographical information. The laboratory develops its research activities mainly in the fields of classical and satellite topography, aerial and drone photogrammetry, aerial and terrestrial LIDAR, remote sensing and GIS science. More recently, it has been also involved in the application of machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques to the mentioned fields. The research carried out in the laboratory is mainly dedicated to methodological aspects and partly focused on applicative topics, always addressed in the context of multidisciplinary collaborations carried out with sector specialists in: agronomy, archeology, geotechnical engineering, geology, hydraulic engineering, urban planning, epidemiology, structural engineering and air pollution control. To support teaching and research activities, the laboratory is equipped with a wide and modern variety of instrumentation (high precision total stations, multi-constellation GNSS receivers, digital levels, several high-profile workstations for management and elaboration of complex datasets, high-quality stereoscopic viewers). The laboratory also hosts a permanent GNSS station which contributes to the definition of the Italian geodetic reference system. Finally, the laboratory manages a historical archive and a territorial database for Pavia and its Province, consisting of aerial images, digital and raster maps, LIDAR data, satellite images, Digital Terrain Models (DTM) and ortophotos.

For further details: Prof. Vittorio Casella,


The Telecommunication and Remote Sensing Lab (Department of Electrical, Computer and Biomedical Engineering) features more than 25 years of record track in research on Remote Sensing, Earth Observation and Communication topics including sensor networks and IoT. The focus is on fusion and joint analysis of data from spaceborne Earth observing sensors, networks of local sensors and other geospatial information to support applications especially in the field of urban and agricultural monitoring. Processing techniques range from traditional approaches to Machine Learning and Deep Learning. On the side of educational activities, the research group supports a record track on “Space Communication and Sensing” set up within the graduate course in Electronic Engineering at the University of Pavia; the companion FabSpace Lab is part of the global FabSpace network, endorsed by the European Space Agency. The research group can boast a vast network of international cooperations.

For further details: Prof. Stefano Sibilla,


Nutraceutical & Food Chemical-Toxicological Analysis Laboratory (Department of Drug Sciences) features more than 20 years of experience in the development and validation of extraction and analysis methods useful for the recovery of food and food waste bioactive components (toxic compounds and nutraceutics). For ten years, the Lab has set up in vitro static and dynamic methods for bioaccessibility and bioavailability studies of nutrients and healthy compounds. Moreover, the Lab supports companies in the development of food supplements and functional foods performing stability studies on the ingredients and developing new products. On the side of education activities, the research group supports student formation within the graduate course of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology at the University of Pavia. In addition, the Lab chief coordinates a post-degree Master (Master level II) "Nutraceuticals and food supplements: from raw material to marketing with clinical application".

For further details: Prof. Adele Papetti,