• PhD in Fluid Dynamics and Environmental Engineering Processes, University of Genova, Department of Environmental Engineering. Dissertation: Numerical solutions for hydrodynamic, morphodynamic and mudflow modelling (2003).
  • MA in Environmental Engineering, University of Genova, Italy. Dissertation: A one-dimensional model for studying the hydro-morphodynamics of rivers (1999).
Academic career and teaching activities


  • Senior Scientist and Lecturer Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology, ETH Zurich, 2013-2019.
  • Postdoc – Research Fellow, University of Trento, 2006-2012.
  • Postdoc – Research Fellow, University of Genova, 2003-2006.
  • Ph.D in Environmental Fluid Mechanics, University of Genova, (Italy), 2003.
  • MSc in Environmental Engineering University of Genova, (Italy), 1999.

TEACHING ACTIVITIES (last two years)

Master courses

  • Fluid Mechanics (University of Trento);
  • Hydrodynamics (University of Trento)
  • Ecohydraulics and Habitat Modelling (ETH Zurich).

PhD courses

  • Integrated river morphodynamics (University of Trento, together with Prof. G. Zolezzi and Prof. W. Bertoldi)


Current Postdocs 

  • Dolcetti G. (DICAM, University of Trento). Quantification of green house gas emissions from alpine rivers, (2022-2024)

Current Ph.D students

  • Colombo C. (DICAM, University of Trento). One-dimensional numerical modeling of the cardiovascular system for clinical applications, (2021-2024)
  • Cunico I. (DICAM, University of Trento). River Ecomorphodynamic modeling, (2020-2023)
  • Salerno L. (Polytechnic University of Turin). Rivers as catalysts of carbon sequestration (2018-2022). Co-supervision with Prof. C. Camporeale (Polytechnic University of Turin)

Former Ph.D students

  • van Rooijen E. J. (ETH Zurich). The development and application of a new automatic fluvial mesohabitat approach, (2018-2022).
  • Caponi F. (ETH Zurich). BASEveg Eco-morphodynamic modelling for gravel bed rivers, (2015-2019)
  • Peter S. (ETH Zurich). Dam break analysis under uncertainty, (2013 - 2017)
  • Facchini M. (ETH Zurich). Re-establishment of the sediment continuum at an alpine reservoir: influence on river morphology, ecology and flood prevention, (2013-2017)
  • Vanzo D. (University of Trento). Hydro- and Thermopeaking : effects, modelling and possible mitigation strategies, (2011-2015)
  • Stecca G. (University of Trento). Numerical modelling of gravel-bed river morphodynamics, (2009-2012)

Visiting Ph.D students

  • Carraro F. (University of Ferrara). Development of a new strategy for river morphodynamic upscaling to be used for long term simulations, (April – July 2016);
  • Adami L. (University of Trento). River dynamics and alternate Bars in Alpine Rivers: numerical modeling over long spatial and temporal scales, (September 2014 – March 2015).


Supervision and Co-supervision of more than 30 M.Sc. and B.Sc. theses.

Research interests

My current research focuses on three different topics. 

  1. The first  topic is in the fields of environmental fluid mechanics and ecomorphodynamics, with special emphasis on river systems. The research activity deals with the development of numerical modeling, the understanding of ecomorphodynamic processes of rivers. Part of my work is also devoted to the development of numerical methods particularly suitable for practical applications.
  2. The second  foucses on the analysis of the physical processes and ecological impacts generated by  water releases from hydro-power plants.
  3. The third aspect of my reseach is on the development of numerical models for biofluidmechanics in collapsible tubes.


Major topics of the research can be listed as follows:

  • River Ecohydraulics;
  • River Morphodynamics and Ecomorphodynamics;
  • Numerical analysis;
  • Hydropeaking, Thermopeaking, and Carbopeaking;
  • Biofluidmechanics.
Research work


  • Reviewer for:  Physical Review Letters; Geophysical Research Letters; Scientific Reports; Journal of Geophysical Research; Water Resources Research; Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Journal of Computational Physics, Aquatic Sciences, Advances in Water Resources, Computers & Fluids, Computers & Geosciences, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, Ecohydrology, Frontiers, Geomorphology, Hydrological Processes, International Journal of Sediment Research, Journal of Ecohydraulics, Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, Journal of Hydraulic Research, Journal of Hydrology, Natural Hazards, River Research and Applications, Science of Total Environment.
  • Reviewer for the following funding institutions: Swiss National Science Fundation, The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.
  • Guest Editor of the special issue "Hydropeaking in regulated rivers - from process understanding to mitigation measure design". Science of the Total Environment (with C. Hauer from BOKU University and G. Zolezzi from University of Trento) (2017).
  • Guest Editor of the special issue "Numerical modelling of river morphodynamics". Advances in Water Resources. Volume 93, Part A, pp. 1-150 (July 2016) (with A. Crosato from UNESCO-IHE Delft).
  • Guest Editor of the special issue "Dam operations for sustainable regulated river management". River Research and Applications. Volume 28, Issue 6, pp. 675–792 (2012). (with M.C. Bruno, Fondazione Mach, Trento)


  • PhD thesis examined at Delft University of Technology, Université de Paris-Est, University of Genéve, EPFL, Lausanne, ETH Zurich and several italian universities.
  • Organizer of River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics (RCEM) virtual sessionEcomorphodynamics”, 02 nd December, 2021
  • Organizer of workshop "Dam breach analysis". STK/VAW-Workshop, Bern 26 th April, 2017 (nearly 60 participants both from parctice and academia)
  • Convenor of the European Geophysical Union (EGU) session: Numerical modelling of river morphodynamics, Wien, Austria (2014)
  • Convenor of the European Geophysical Union (EGU) session: Dam operations: abiotic and biotic effects, release management and mitigation/restoration options, Wien, Austria (2010 and 2011)
Memberships in societies and scientific committees

Member of the Editorial Board of: 

  • International Journal of Sediment Research (2017-present);
  • Journal of Ecohydraulics (2016-present);
  • Advances in Water Resources (2015-present).
Conferences and lectures


  • Chaotic behaviour of Gravel Bed Rivers morphological trajectories: analysis and implications for modeling predictions. Gravel Bed Rivers: Processes, resilience and management in a changing environment (Gravel Bed Rivers 9), Chile, January 2023.
  • Modeling of mixed-sediment morphodynamics in gravel bed rivers using the active layer approach: insights from mathematical and numerical analysis. Gravel-bed Rivers: Processes and Disasters (GBR8), Japan, 2015.

INVITED SEMINARS (last four years)

  • Eco-Morfodinamica fluviale: uno spostamento di paradigma. Accademia dei Lincei, World Water Day 2021, Rome.
  • Modeling vegetation controls on gravel bed river morphodynamics. Advances in Mathematical Modelling of Hydraulic and Morphodynamic Problems, Deltares (Delft), 2019.
  • Riverbed and surface composition adjustments in a gravel-bed river subject to repeated sediment bypass tunnel operations. Swiss Competence Center for Energy Research Suply and Electricity (SCCER- SoE) Annual Conference, Luzern 14th September, 2018
  • Feedbacks between plant roots and river morphodynamics: a modelling appraoch. Pre-conference short course of River Costal and Estuarine Morphodynamics (RCEM) conference, Padova, Italy (2017)
  • Modelling the interactions between vegetation and morphodynamics in gravel bed rivers. EDF, Laboratoire d’Hydraulique Saint-Venant, France (2017).

Recent contributions to conferences

  • Massera G., Siviglia A, Tubino M., Cohen T., Laronne J.B., Dorman M., Reid I, Powel M.D. (2022) Formation of repeating bedforms (bars-flats) in ephemeral channels: from field observations to modelling. River Flow 2022
  • Cunico I., Caponi F., Bertoldi W., Siviglia A. (2022). Butterfly effect in a deterministic ecomorphodynamic model. River Flow 2022.
  • Müller L., Spilimbergo A, Siviglia A., Toro E.F., (2022). Splitting methods for a generalized blood flow equation model applied on networks. xviii i nternational conference on hyperbolic problems theory , numerics, applications Málaga, June 20-24.
  • Casalucci A, Müller L, Siviglia A., Toro E.F., Repetto R. (2022) Computational study of retinal blood flow coupled to a global circulation model. 27th Congress of the European Society of Biomechanics, June 26-29, 2022, Porto, Portugal
  • Colombo C. , Siviglia A. , Toro E.F. , Müller L. (2022). Tube law parameter estimation using ovine and human in vitro data: a mathematical properties-preserving approach. 7th International Conference on Computational and Mathematical Biomedical Engineering - CMBE2021
  • Cunico, I., Siviglia, A., Bertoldi, W., & Caponi, F. (2022). Intermediate hydro-morphodynamic disturbances amplify riparian vegetation dynamics (No. EGU22-8495). Copernicus Meetings.
  • Salerno, L., Moreno-Martínez, A., Izquierdo-Verdiguier, E., Clinton, N., Siviglia, A., & Camporeale, C. (2022). The long-term floodplain forest modifications of a regulated tropical river (No. EGU22-13063). Copernicus Meetings.
  • Caponi, F., Vetsch, D. F., Siviglia, A., & Vanzo, D. (2022). BASEveg: A modelling framework integrating vegetation dynamics and river hydro-morphodynamic processes (No. EGU22-8683). Copernicus Meetings.
  • Salerno, L., Moreno-Martínez, Á., Izquierdo-Verdiguier, E., Clinton, N., Siviglia, A., and Camporeale, C.: High-resolution mapping of floodplain vegetation changes in large tropical rivers, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12994, 2021.
  • Fink, S., van Rooijen, E., Vanzo, D., Vetsch, D. F., Siviglia, A., and Scheidegger, C.: A hierarchical approach linking hydraulic and ecological modeling for habitat predictions for riverine pioneer vegetation, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-6450,, 2021.
  • Cunico, I., Fantin, D., Siviglia, A., Bertoldi, W., Bätz, N., and Caponi, F.: Modeling groundwater-driven morphodynamic evolution of a gravel bed river in presence of riparian vegetation, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10083, 2021.
  • van Rooijen, E., Toma, L., Vetsch, D. F., Boes, R., Siviglia, A., & Vanzo, D. (2020, December). Quantification of Flood Induced Fish Habitat Changes in an Alpine River. In AGU Fall Meeting 2020. AGU.
  • Caponi, F., Wild, P., Vetsch, D. F., Boes, R., Siviglia, A., & Vanzo, D. (2020, December). Quantifying the Role of Hydropeaking Regimes on Reach-Scale Vegetation Recruitment in a Gravel Bed River. In AGU Fall Meeting 2020. AGU.
  • Caponi, F., Vetsch, D. F., & Siviglia, A. (2020, May). Influence of plant traits on biogeomorphic patterns of gravel bed rivers. In EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts (p. 11453).
  • Siviglia, A., & Caponi, F. (2019, January). Modeling the effects of plant allometry on biogeomorphic feedbacks in gravel-bed rivers. In Geophysical Research Abstracts (Vol. 21).
  • Siviglia, A., & Caponi, F. (2018, December). Plant root controls on riverbed evolution: a numerical modeling study. In AGU Fall Meeting 2018. AGU.
  • Facchini, M., Bertoldi, W., Boes, R., Vetsch, D. F., & Siviglia, A. (2018, December). Effects of natural and anthropogenic repeated water and sediment inputs to gravel-bed rivers: a numerical study. In AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts (Vol. 2018, pp. EP31A-05).
  • Caponi, F., Koch, A., Siviglia, A., Vetsch, D. F., & Bertoldi, W. (2018, December). Vegetation Pattern Evolution on the Alternate Bars in the Alpine Rhine River: Image Analysis and Numerical Modelling. In AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts (Vol. 2018, pp. EP41D-2708).