Sonia Silvestri

Sonia Silvestri

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Primary Appointment

Earth & Ocean Sciences Division

Silvestri received her doctoral training in Environmental System Modelling at the University of Padova, with a focus on remote sensing and the interdependence of salt marsh morphology and halophytic vegetation. She received her Laurea in Environmental Sciences from the University Ca’ Foscari in Venice. Silvestri joined the Nicholas School (Duke University) in 2011, where she teaches “Introduction to Satellite Remote Sensing” and “Remote Sensing of Coastal Environments”. Moreover Silvestri is the director of a Duke summer program at the Venice International University “Environmental Management in a Changing World: coping with Sea Level Rise”. Her research focuses on: - Remote Sensing applied to vegetation mapping, soil studies, hydrology, tidal morphology – Remote sensing of coastal water quality - Hyperspectral imagery analysis - Salt marsh evolution modelling - Relationship between wetlands morphology and vegetation - Large-scale multi-criteria analysis (GIS) - Remote sensing and GIS applied to the identification of illegal landfills and contaminated sites – Mosquitoes population dynamic. The Venice lagoon and its watershed have been her principal research sites in the last 15 years. In particular she is expert in the use of satellite remote sensing to monitor the Venice lagoon water quality (turbidity, phytoplankton, water temperature, etc.) and tracing the dynamic of the submerged vegetation. She has been extensively working on the Venice lagoon salt marshes and specifically on using data from a variety of sensors to study the halophytic vegetation and its interaction with the morphology.

In The News


Carniello, L, Silvestri, S, Marani, M, D'Alpaos, A, Volpe, V, and Defina, A. "Sediment dynamics in shallow tidal basins: In situ observations, satellite retrievals, and numerical modeling in the Venice Lagoon." Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 119, no. 4 (April 2014): 802-815.
Jian, Y, Silvestri, S, Belluco, E, Saltarin, A, Chillemi, G, and Marani, M. "Environmental forcing and density-dependent controls of Culex pipiens abundance in a temperate climate (Northeastern Italy)." Ecological Modelling 272 (January 24, 2014): 301-310.
Jian, Y, Silvestri, S, Brown, J, Hickman, R, and Marani, M. "The temporal spectrum of adult mosquito population fluctuations: conceptual and modeling implications." PloS one 9, no. 12 (January 2014): e114301-.
Volpe, V, Silvestri, S, and Marani, M. "Remote sensing retrieval of suspended sediment concentration in shallow waters." REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT 115, no. 1 (January 17, 2011): 44-54.
Teatini, P, Tosi, L, Viezzoli, A, Baradello, L, Zecchin, M, and Silvestri, S. "Understanding the hydrology of the Venice Lagoon subsurface with airborne electromagnetics." Journal of Hydrology 411 (2011): 342-354. (Academic Article)


ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects (ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects)
ENVIRON 590: Special Topics (ENVIRON 590: Special Topics)
EOS 791: Independent Study (EOS 791: Independent Study)
EOS 393: Research Independent Study (EOS 393: Research Independent Study)


Ph.D., University of Padua (Italy) (2001)
B.A., Universita Ca' Foscari Venezia (Italy) (1997)