High success for the International School "Wood and charcoals in Mediterranean forest ecology: anatomical identification and functional traits to interpret past and current climate changes" held at the Department of Agricultural Sciences of the University of Naples Federico II at Portici (Naples, Italy) on 19-23 February 2024.

The International School provided basic, innovative, and transdisciplinary knowledge on different aspect of wood and charcoals analysis. It focused on the study of wood anatomy, providing knowledge and tools to study and interpret environmental data inferred from wood and charcoals stored in natural and archaeological contexts in the Mediterranean area. The main topics were history and biogeography of Mediterranean woody species, wood/charcoal identification, and quantification of wood anatomical functional traits and radiocarbon dating of samples.

The International School was held under the joint auspices of the International Association of Wood Anatomists (IAWA), the EGU (European Geophysics Union), the Association of Tree-ring Research (ATR), the Dept. of Agricultural Sciences and MUSA of the University of Naples Federico II, the Società Botanica Italiana (SBI), the Società Italiana di Selvicoltura ed Ecologia Forestale (SISEF), The Parco Archeologico di Ercolano.

The very full and intensive program consisted of theory, field-work training and hands-on laboratory sessions where the students had the opportunity to analyse their own samples. The venue of the meeting at the Royal Palaces of Portici offered a nice background to escape from the tight schedule and to relax during lunch breaks and evening hours. The School was welcomed remotely by Yafang Yin, the Executive Secretary of IAWA, and was headed by 14 Instructors and Lecturers: Angela Balzano, Mauro Bernabei, Luciano Bosso, Paolo Cherubini, Alessia D’Auria, Claire Delhon, Veronica De Micco, Mauro Antonio Di Vito, Frederic Lens, Fabio Marzaioli, Fabio Scarciglia, Francesco Sirano, Ilana Shtein and Elisabeth Wheeler, and was attended by 21 Students from 9 countries from all over the world.

Special thanks go to all colleagues who contributed to the success of the school as Organizing and Local Committee: Veronica De Micco, Gaetano Di Pasquale, Alessia D’Auria, Chiara Amitrano, Angela Balzano, Francesca Petracca, Claudia Pone, Stefania Cuocolo, Ernesto Avino, Adriana Forlani, Antonietta La Storia.

Although the organization of this School was very intensive and demanding, the feedback received from instructors and participants was so enthusiastic and positive that we will be back soon with another edition.


Veronica De Micco, Italy