13/12/2018

A conversation with Laura Caciagli

Cinema, music, drawing, books, comics, diving and photography. Her passion for the ocean and science are in good company. Get to know Dorotea Iovino, the most eclectic oceanographer at CMCC in Bologna.

What’s your job at the CMCC Foundation?
I work at Bologna’s ODA Division, where I coordinate the work of the “Ocean and Sea Ice Modeling” research unit. We deal with the development and implementation of numerical models to simulate the ocean/sea ice system at the global scale. This may seem boring, but it’s a great job!

Which road led you to CMCC?
I met and started to collaborate with Dr. Simona Masina (ODA Division Director, ndr) immediately after my degree in Physical Oceanography at Università Parthenope (Naples, Italy). Then, I left Italy for my PhD, where I split time between Norway and US, and then my post-doc in Paris. It took me ten years to convince myself to come back to Italy. Meanwhile, the CMCC was born and here I am.

Is your current job the one you had dreamed of when you were a child?
Yes, also thanks to my middle school science teacher who helped me to discover and comprehend the wonders of nature, arousing my curiosity and passion for science. This, combined with my passion for the ocean (sea is part of my identity), made me an oceanographer.

Could you tell us the best moment in your career life at CMCC?
Obviously, I find big achievements very satisfying, but in my daily work I find the informal chats with my colleagues an extraordinary way to learn with minimum effort.

What’s on your workstation?
Confusion! Papers to be read, notes, scattered sheets and post-its everywhere. Despite appearances, there’s a sort of organization, but I periodically lose control and have to clean.

How do you travel to work?
Usually on foot or by bike. I live a few km away from the office. By car if I have to take care of my dog before or after work.

What do you do in your spare time?
The majority of my spare time is dedicated to my dog Poppea, a 4-year-old tireless dog. For the rest, I engage in everything I find interesting, in an eclectic way. I love cinema, especially independent cinema, even better if it is Asiatic. I’m never without music, even at the office. Moreover, my partner is a musician, dealing especially with ancient and baroque music – Monteverdi practically lives with us!. Drawing is among the few things able to relax me, and it’s often the last thing I do before going to sleep. Perhaps, this is the reason why I love comics, too.
Photography and diving are two passions (I would say almost two obsessions) I can’t give up. Living far away from the sea, I try to do at least one trip a year to the best destination for diving and underwater photography.

Cinema or literature: give us a title and explain why you chose it.
“Faraway, so close!” by Wim Wenders (by far my favourite movie director). A movie that shows all the queerness and simplicity of the human beings. And also “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring” by Kim Ki-duk, in my opinion the best Korean movie ever. A Zen experience!
Speaking about comics, I like to mention “Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi, an Iranian feminist.