Jacopo is an Associate Professor in the School of Politics, Security and International Affairs at the University of Central Florida. He is also a member of the National Center for Integrated Coastal Research.
Previously he was Assistant Professor of human-environmental modelling at Utah State University, department of Environment and Society. He holds a BA in Economic and Social Sciences from the University of Milan Bicocca, a Master in Development Economics and a PhD in International Development from the University of East Anglia and funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). He worked as a Postdoctoral research associate at the Center for Behavior, Institution and the Environment (CBIE), Arizona State University.
You can hear a bit more about me and my approach to research listening to this dialogue with Michael Cox and Courtney Hammond-Wagner for the InCommon Podcast on multiple research methods.
You can find my updated CV Here.
PhD in International Development, 2011
University of East Anglia
MA in Development Economics, 2007
University of East Anglia
Bsc in Economics and Social Sciences, 2005
University of Milano-Bicocca
Maturità Classica, 1999
Liceo Classico G. Parini
For featured publications scroll down to the featured section
For a full list of publications click HERE
Solving complex problems, from biodiversity conservation to reducing inequality, requires large scale collective action among diverse stakeholders to achieve a common goal. Research relevant to meeting this challenge must model the interaction of stakeholders with diverse cognitive capabilities and the complexity of the problem faced by stakeholders to predict the success of collective action in various contexts. Here, we build a model from first principles of cognitive abilities, diversity, and socio-environmental complexity to identify the sets of conditions under which groups most effectively engage in collective action to solve governance problems. We then fit the model to small groups, U.S. states, and countries. Our model illustrates the fundamental importance of understanding the interaction between cognitive abilities, diversity, and the complexity of socio-environmental challenges faced by stakeholders today. Our results shed light on the ability of groups to solve complex problems and open new avenues of research into the interrelationship between cognition, institutions, and the environments in which they co-evolve.
Knowledge production is a co-evolutionary process where scientific topics and concepts are debated, discussed and assessed between scientists. We assess, we analyze, we “interpret” the world, and, at the same time, we communicate with one another, and we value certain knowledge more than other knowledge, based on some measure of prestige, conformism or past events. Here we analyze the evolution of research topics over the past 30 years (from 1990 to 2019) and assess how research topics have evolved by jointly analyzing topic evolution and the citation network related to climate change adaptation, mitigation or transformation. We found that (1) the research focus has evolved from emissions and modelling to social impacts (i.e. local policies), (2) research on climate change (and possibly research in general) is often confined within specific research areas, hinting that interdisciplinary and convergent work may open opportunities for integrative research able to foster innovative thinking in climate science, and (3) the climate change literature is increasing in overall complexity, requiring novel tools to make sense of the literature such as the implementation of more refined machine learning and natural language process algorithms to identify causal mechanisms and synthesize the body of work to generate new knowledge.
On a planet experiencing global environmental change, the governance of natural resources depends on sustained collective action by diverse populations. Engaging in such collective action can only build upon the foundation of human cognition in social–ecological settings. To help understand this foundation, we assess the effect of cognitive abilities on the management of a common pool resource. We present evidence that two functionally distinct cognitive abilities, general and social intelligence, improve the ability of groups to manage a common pool resource. Groups high in both forms of intelligence engage in more effective collective action that is also more consistent, despite social or ecological change. This result provides a foundation for integrating the effects of cognitive abilities with other dimensions of cognitive diversity to explain when groups will and will not sustainably govern natural resources.
This book aims to shed light on the use of various modelling tools and simulation techniques in the domains of tourism and hospitality. It offers an essential introduction to the most popular methods used for modelling and simulating systems and phenomena of interest, and an overview of these techniques and methods. The main concept of each technique and method is examined and case studies and links to free online tutorials and other helpful resources are provided. The volume aims to encourage students, researchers and practitioners in tourism and hospitality to enhance and enrich their toolbox in order to achieve a better and more profound knowledge of their field.
Cognitive abilities underpin the capacity of individuals to build models of their environment and make decisions about how to govern resources. Here, we test the functional intelligences proposition that functionally diverse cognitive abilities within a group are critical to govern common pool resources. We assess the effect of two cognitive abilities, social and general intelligence, on group performance on a resource harvesting and management game involving either a negative or a positive disturbance to the resource base. Our results indicate that under improving conditions (positive disturbance) groups with higher general intelligence perform better. However, when conditions deteriorate (negative disturbance) groups with high competency in both general and social intelligence are less likely to deplete resources and harvest more. Thus, we propose that a functional diversity of cognitive abilities improves how effectively social groups govern common pool resources, especially when conditions deteriorate and groups need to re-evaluate and change their behaviors.
Resource management boundaries seldom align with environmental systems, which can lead to social and ecological problems. Mapping and analyzing how resource management organizations in different areas collaborate can provide vital information to help overcome such misalignment. Few quantitative approaches exist, however, to analyze social collaborations alongside environmental patterns, especially among local and regional organizations (i.e., in multilevel governance settings). This paper develops and applies such an approach using social–ecological network analysis (SENA), which considers relationships among and between social and ecological units. The framework and methods are shown using an estuary restoration case from Puget Sound, United States. Collaboration patterns and quality are analyzed among local and regional organizations working in hydrologically connected areas. These patterns are correlated with restoration practitioners' assessments of the productivity of their collaborations to inform network theories for natural resource governance. The SENA is also combined with existing ecological data to jointly consider social and ecological restoration concerns. Results show potentially problematic areas in nearshore environments, where collaboration networks measured by density (percentage of possible network connections) and productivity are weakest. Many areas also have high centralization (a few nodes hold the network together), making network cohesion dependent on key organizations. Although centralization and productivity are inversely related, no clear relationship between density and productivity is observed. This research can help practitioners to identify where governance capacity needs strengthening and jointly consider social and ecological concerns. It advances SENA by developing a multilevel approach to assess social–ecological (or social–environmental) misalignments, also known as scale mismatches.
Network analysis provides a powerful tool to analyze complex influences of social and ecological structures on community and household dynamics. Most network studies of social–ecological systems use simple, undirected, unweighted networks. We analyze multiplex, directed, and weighted networks of subsistence food flows collected in three small indigenous communities in Arctic Alaska potentially facing substantial economic and ecological changes. Our analysis of plausible future scenarios suggests that changes to social relations and key households have greater effects on community robustness than changes to specific wild food resources.
Governing common pool resources (CPR) in the face of disturbances such as globalization and climate change is challenging. The outcome of any CPR governance regime is the influenced by local combinations of social, institutional, and biophysical factors, as well as cross-scale interdependencies. In this study, we take a step towards understanding multiple-causation of CPR outcomes by analyzing 1) the co-occurrence of Destign Principles (DP) by activity (irrigation, fishery and forestry), and 2) the combination(s) of DPs leading to social and ecological success. We analyzed 69 cases pertaining to three different activities: irrigation, fishery, and forestry. We find that the importance of the design principles is dependent upon the natural and hard human made infrastructure (i.e. canals, equipment, vessels etc.). For example, clearly defined social bounduaries are important when the natural infrastructure is highly mobile (i.e. tuna fish), while monitoring is more important when the natural infrastructure is more static (i.e. forests or water contained within an irrigation system). However, we also find that congruence between local conditions and rules and proportionality between investment and extraction are key for CPR success independent from the natural and human hard made infrastructure. We further provide new visualization techniques for co-occurrence patterns and add to qualitative comparative analysis by introducing a reliability metric to deal with a large meta-analysis dataset on secondary data where information is missing or uncertain.
For a full list of Grants and Awards click HERE
For a full list of Invited and Conference Presentations click HERE
If you are interested in working with me click the link below! (where you can also find information on current and past students and post-docs).