Gabriele Volpato is a research fellow in the project “Food Systems for Sustainable Development in Africa” and teaches courses in Ecology and Gastronomic Zoology at Unisg. He has a degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Padua and a PhD in Social Sciences and Anthropology from the University of Wageningen (Netherlands).
For his doctorate, he conducted research in Western Sahara and Algeria among Saharawi refugees and nomads, studying their subsistence practices and ethnobiological knowledge, especially in relation to the use of desert resources and the breeding of dromedaries. As part of a post-doctorate at the University of Georgia (US), Volpato conducted research at the Maasai communities of Laikipia (Kenya), analyzing resilience and adaptations in their pastoral system using dromedary breeding and practices of beekeeping as case studies.
As a scholarship holder for Wageningen University, Volpato also analyzed the importance of traditional and ethnobiological knowledge in creating resilience in Cuba in a context of transition and relocation of the national food system. His research and interests are interdisciplinary and include human ecology and use and management of natural resources, ethnobiology, food systems, sustainability and bio-cultural diversity, pastoralism and breeding systems and human-animal relations in general.