From a fossil to Antarctica

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A conversation with Selvaggia Santin.

Florence Colleoni sees through the daily irony that has followed her from an early age to the ice of Antarctica.

What’s your job at the CMCC Foundation?
I am a researcher and I deal with numerical modeling of the dynamics of the polar caps and the paleoclimate.

Which road led you to CMCC?
In France, I studied Earth Sciences and I got my PhD in modeling of past ice ages at IGE, the institute of the French National Research Center. I then worked for a year in Sweden at the University of Stockholm.

Is your current job the one you had dreamed of when you were a child?
Yes, definitely! When I was a child, I found a fossil in the sandbox at the nursery school playground: it was love at first sight. I cultivated this passion and got my PhD It took many years of patience to do what I love.

Could you tell us the most memorable moment in your life as a CMCC researcher?
The National Research Program in Antarctica opened the doors to the Pole for me! I was 30 years old when I won a climate service to the Swedish Nuclear Waste Management Company (SKB) and to the Finish Nuclear Waste Management Compagny (POSIVA), and a project funded by PNRA; moreover, I had the great opportunity to join the 32nd Italian Antarctic Campaign. It was an important moment for my career.

What’s on your workstation?
The skeleton of a dinosaur and my topographical maps of Antarctica and the Arctic.

How do you get to work in the morning?
I love walking to work. It takes me 30 to 40 minutes, and this allows me time to reflect and to see situations in a detached way. I think it’s really necessary to develop creativity.

What do you do in your spare time?
I like cooking. And I love travelling on the first regional train that I find at the station. I admit that I have difficulty with reading in recent years as I spend a lot of time reading at the office. When I’m free, I prefer to devote myself to manual activities like cooking.

Cinema or literature: give us a title and explain your choice
I loved “The Evolution Man or how I ate my father”. A family experiences various technological changes through the various ages and with the related psychological aspects, all in a sarcastic tone. In a sense, it’s a bit of a parody of us as scientists. It highlights the contrast between us, innovators, and conservatives. I really like self-mocking. My Swedish supervisor told me that scientists in Sweden are considered to be artists and they can therefore afford to be a little crazy and original.

Look at Florence’s photogallery on the CmccClimate Facebook page.

Read also:

The news “Tale of an oceanic Antarctic campaign“.

The news “Antarctica: the CMCC polar adventure started“.

The news “Antarctica: ice, climate change and what might happen“.

The news “A glaciation scenario for a nuclear power plant“.

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