I graduated in Geological Sciences with first class honours at the University of Palermo (Italy) in 1993.I went on to do my PhD at the University of Naples “Federico II” working  on the Neogene to Recent tectono-stratigraphic evolution of the North Sicilian Continental Margin (southern Tyrrhenian Sea). During this time, I developed the ability to integrate disciplines that include a wide range of processes and time scales. Since my PhD, my main scientific interests have focussed on the study of the tectono-stratigraphic evolution of continental margins of the Central Mediterranean. I have conducted case studies on offshore western Calabria, north Sicily, the Sicily Channel and the Ionian Sea.

My academic career started at the Department of Geology and Geodesy of the University of Palermo in 2006. My current position is Associate Professor, and I carry out my teaching and research activities at the Department of Earth and Sea Sciences in Palermo, a department made up of many people of great expertise and academic standing.


I am a marine geologist with wide experience in quantitative tectonics. Since 1993 I have participated in numerous oceanographic cruises aimed at acquiring geophysical data, in particular high-resolution seismic reflection data. It was during my first years as a researcher that I designed and implemented a multi-channel seismic data acquisition system, which was widely used to acquire seismic data in the southern Tyrrhenian Sea. The ability to process and interpret high-resolution mono- and multi-channel seismic data was a further  skill acquired during this period. I have also learned to use numerical models during periods spent at the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam. I like combining different geophysical and geological data acquired at the smaller scale of basins with that of larger regions in order to link marine geology to a tectonic approach.


I have given a number of courses in different disciplines and at different levels. Some of the most important are: Marine Geology, Oceanography, Basin Analysis and Field Geology.


My main research objective on a regional scale was the reconstruction of the architecture and Late Neogene to Recent tectono-stratigraphic evolution of North Sicilian and Western Calabrian continental margins. The reconstruction of the pattern and rate of post-20 ka vertical tectonic motion based on offshore geomorphological indicators was at the centre of the work I carried out around the Capo Vaticano Promontory (W Calabria, Italy). I then moved to: a) the offshore area between the Southern Apennines and Calabrian Arc, analyzing active deformation in a supposedly stable crustal sector; b) offshore south-western Sicily, analyzing active deformation in an area close to the macroseismic zone of destructive earthquake sequences; c) the Gulf of Patti and its onshore sector, which represents one of the most seismically active regions of the Italian Peninsula.

Current research projects focus on: 1) the development of an innovative method to identify the geometry of active offshore faults and calculate their average long-term slip rates; 2) the reconstruction of the fore-arc deformation in the Paola Basin segment (Offshore Western Calabria) of the TyrrhenianIonian Subduction System; 3) the identification of the relationships between tectonics and volcanism on offshore western Calabria and in the Sicily Channel; 4) analysis of active deformation within the Neapolitan Yellow Tuff caldera, offshore the Campi Flegrei (Naples), using ultra-high-resolution 3D seismic data.


Department of Science of Earth and Sea
University of Palermo
Via Archirafi, 22
90123 Palermo
  • +39 091 23864667
  • +39 333 9289 437
  • fapepe367