University of Salento
via prov. Lecce Monteroni sn,
73100 Lecce, Italy

Italy is one of the founders of LifeWatch ERIC and hosts its Service Centre. LifeWatch ERIC has always been strongly supported by the national scientific community, as well as regional and national institutions, since Italy is a biodiversity hotspot in Europe, with more than 57,400 animal and 6,500 plant species. Italian landscapes and protected areas are natural laboratories for biodiversity and ecosystem research.

The LifeWatch Italy webportal provides a networking interface for the biodiversity and ecosystem community, offering learning and training opportunities, semantic resources and data, ICT services & VREs, supporting research activities and science-based policymaking.

What We Do


LW ITA implements controlled vocabularies and ontologies to support the interoperability of different data infrastructures.
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LW ITA provides platforms and learning environments combined with gaming resources, specifically designed for students.
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Data & Metadata

LW ITA makes data and metadata accessible, interpretable and reusable.
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Citizen Science

LW ITA is currently working on the release of its brand new Citizen Science platform.


LW ITA ICT provides and shares ICT Services for the study of biodiversity and ecosystems.
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LW ITA develops and makes available VREs dedicated to major scientific issues (e.g. alien species, Phytoplankton).
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The Italian Ministry for Universities and Research (MUR) and the Italian National Research Council (CNR) lead the Italian contribution to LifeWatch ERIC and the activities of its distributed centre, in close cooperation with the Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea Protection.

Organised as a Joint Research Unit (JRU), LifeWatch Italy is coordinated by the department of Earth system science and environmental technologies of the CNR. The General Assembly and the Coordination and Management committees oversee its governance.

The JRU counts among its many members the most important institutions active in this domain, including the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic (Castelporziano Presidential Estate), the National Academy of Sciences, the National Institute for Nuclear Physics, the National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics, the Anton Dohrn Zoological Station and the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari, as well as many universities, regional agencies and private bodies (please see here for the full list of members).


News from LifeWatch Italy

General Assembly Members

Alberto Basset

Alberto Basset

Alberto Basset's Bio

Alberto Basset is the interim Director of the LifeWatch ERIC Service Centre and Member of the LifeWatch ERIC General Assembly. He is full professor of Ecology at the University of Salento, his research interests being in biodiversity organisation and ecosystem functioning with a focus on aquatic ecosystems.

He is past President of the EEF and the EuroMedLag and is on the board of editors of various international journals. He is Manager of the Joint Research Unit LifeWatch-ITA, which represents the Italian LifeWatch Support Committee, and has coordinated and participated in several EU projects.


The Bulgarian National Distributed Centre is represented by the  Agricultural University-Plovdiv.

To know more about how Bulgaria contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.


The Spanish National Distributed Centre is supported by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, the Regional Government of Andalusia and the Guadalquivir River Basin Authority (Ministry for Ecological Transition-MITECO). Moreover, Spain is the hosting Member State of LifeWatch ERIC, the location of its Statutory Seat & ICT e-Infrastructure Technical Office (LifeWatch ERIC Common Facilities). 

To know more about how Spain contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.


The Slovenian National Distributed Centre is led by the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU). It focuses on the development of technological solutions in the field of biodiversity and socio-ecosystem research.

To know more about how Slovenia contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.


The Portuguese National Distributed Centre is managed by PORBIOTA, the Portuguese e-Infrastructure for Information and Research on Biodiversity. Led by BIOPOLIS/CIBIO-InBIO – Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, PORBIOTA connects the principal Portuguese research institutions working in biodiversity.

To know more about how Portugal contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.


The Dutch National Distributed Centre is hosted by the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam. Moreover, The Netherlands hosts one of the LifeWatch ERIC Common Facilities, the Virtual Laboratory and Innovation Centre.

To know more about how The Netherlands contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.


The Italian National Distributed Centre is led and managed by the Italian National Research Council (CNR) and is coordinated by a Joint Research Unit, currently comprising 35 members. Moreover, Italy hosts one of the LifeWatch ERIC Common Facilities, the Service Centre.

To know more about how Italy contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.


The Greek National Distributed Centre is funded by the Greek General Secretariat of Research and Technology and is coordinated by the Institute of Marine Biology, Biotechnology and Aquaculture of the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, in conjunction with 47 associated partner institutions.

To know more about how Greece contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.


The Belgian National Distributed Centre makes varied and complementary in-kind contributions to LifeWatch ERIC. These are implemented in the form of long-lasting projects by various research centres and universities distributed throughout the country and supported by each respective political authority.

To know more about how Belgium contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.