Between the mountains and the sea…

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Nice, funny and always ready to spare a positive thought for the people she works with (even if she is often in a hurry). Let’s get to know Elisa Furlan, researcher within the Risk Assessment and Adaptation Strategies (RAAS) Division at CMCC.

Interview by Ottavia Carlon

What’s your job at the CMCC Foundation?
I work as a researcher in the RAAS Division, where I develop and implement methodologies for the analysis of climate change-related risks on land. My specific focus is on coastal and marine areas. The goal is to foster an integrated territorial planning including development, conservation and adaptation.

What led you to the CMCC?
I started in 2013 as a PhD candidate in the Science and Management of Climate Change programme, co-organized by CMCC and Ca’ Foscari University. Then, from 2014 I was hired by CMCC as a researcher.

Is your current job the one you had dreamed of when you were a kid?
To be honest, when I was a little kid I wanted to be a fashion designer! I had a real passion for everything fashion related. Now, being constantly in a rush to keep up with work and my three-year-old daughter, I don’t have much time left to develop this interest of mine…However, thinking about a connecting point between my background and my current job, I have to say that I have always loved maps. I am fascinated by the different ways in which humans represent space graphically. Hence, we could say that my interest for territorial spatialization and planning comes from there.

Could you tell us the most important moment in your career life at CMCC?
The most beautiful moment at CMCC for me was last year right before Christmas, when I came to know that a Horizon 2020 research project to which I had actively contributed had received funding. This made me immensely happy as it allowed me to continue my research on marine and coastal areas and the planning of management measures. I wish to add that much satisfaction also comes from the Master’s students of Ca’ Foscari University, with whom I have the pleasure to collaborate during their work on their dissertations: it is amazing to see their commitment and interest. Learning that, some years later, some have won prestigious scholarship and that they have succeeded in making research their job is very rewarding.

What’s on your workstation?
Entropy! It is quite a mess… But apart from this, jasmine green tea is never missing – leftover from my latest trip to China, a bit of ginger for my constantly-sore throat, and quite a lot of stationery: I love highlighters!

How do you travel to work?
Until recently I used to travel by train from Padua, because I am in favour of public transportation. However, since Gioia, my little daughter, has arrived I am forced to use the car to arrange our daily routines.

What do you do in your spare time?
I love cooking and find it quite relaxing: I also like to try new and different cuisines. Finally, now I can involve also my daughter in these tests as she is now old enough for new tasting experiences. I like to spend with her most of my free time and to do group activities with my family. When the weather allows it, we go on bike trips or to the mountains. The smell of trees and grass relaxes me a lot: this feeling probably comes from my childhood, when I used to trek in the woods with my father on our holidays.

Cinema or literature?
Cinema. I read so much for work that when I reach the end of the day, I have a really hard time concentrating: therefore, reading a book becomes almost a burden instead of a pleasure. Watching a movie instead stimulates my eyes and my ears and allows me to relax more. The movie that changed my whole taste forever is Blade Runner: I have always been passionate about science-fiction. I was lucky enough to find a partner who shares this passion with me… So choosing a movie is never a hassle in my house!

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