Walter Bertoldi

Via Mesiano, 77 - 38123 Trento
tel. 0461 282440
walter.bertoldi[at]unitn [dot] it

2005: on-line master  “Cooperación internacional: Tecnologías para el Desarrollo Humano” (Ingenieria Sin Fronteras e Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Espana)

2004: PhD in “Environmental Engineering” at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Trento
Thesis title: “River Bifurcations”
Supervisor: prof. Marco Tubino

2000: 5-year level degree in “Environmental and Landscape Engineering”, at the University of Trento, Faculty of Engineering, graduation 110/110
Supervisor: prof. Marco Tubino
Thesis title: “On the formation of braided rivers: experimental observations. Part one: plani-altimetric evolution”

1994: High school certificate at the “Liceo Scientifico B. Russell”, Cles (TN)


Carriera accademica ed attività didattica

Lecturer  in Geomorphology at University of Trento, Faculty of Engineering

September 2009 - December 2010: Research Associate in Physical Geography in the School of Geography at Queen Mary University of London, working on the project “BIOGEOMORPHOLOGY OF RIPARIAN SYSTEMS: SPACE, TIME AND NEW INFORMATION SOURCES” founded by The Leverhulme Trust (PI prof. A.M. Gurnell).

August 2006 - August 2009: Research Associate in Fluvial Geomorphology at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Trento.

July 2004 – July 2006: Research grant: “Morphodynamics of braided streams – analytical, experimental and filed analysis of the morphology and plani.altimetric evolution of braided networks” at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Trento.

July - October 2003: “Visiting scientist” at the Department of Geography, University of Western Ontario (London, Canada).
Supervisor: prof. P.E. Ashmore
Participation at the international field campaign on the Sunwapta River (Canada).



Walter Bertoldi is currently teaching the course of Geology and Geomorphology in the Environmental Engineering program (since 2011/2012) and is associated lecturer in the course of Fluvial Morphology and Ecology (since 2005/2006).

In 2013 and 2014 he was guest lecturer in the MSc module GEG7307 “Hydrogeomorphology: river and floodplain appraisal and management” at the School of Geography, Queen Mary University of London. In January 2013 he participated to the Erasmus Teaching Staff Exchange Programme.

Walter Bertoldi has experience as supervisor of MSc (about 40, currently 7) and PhD students (Zanoni, graduated 2008; Welber, 2013; Garcia Lugo, 2015; Adami, 2016) currently 6, including co-supervision under the SMART programme).

Since 2011 he is member of the Academic Board of the Erasmus Mundus European Joint Doctorate Programme SMART (Science for Management of Rivers and their Tidal Systems).


Attività di ricerca

Walter Bertoldi’s research focuses on braided river geomorphology, with a particular interest in understanding linkages between flow, sediments and vegetation. In his research activity he focussed the attention on the identification of spatial and temporal scales that control braided rivers evolution, analysing and modelling sediment transport processes, bar formation and river bifurcation. He also investigated the role of vegetation in controlling river morphology, considering both riparian vegetation and large wood dispersal in braided rivers. The research is mainly based on laboratory modelling and field investigation, in relationship with mathematical and numerical modelling of fluvial processes. He used different remote sensing techniques, ranging from close range imagery, to lidar survey and satellite images. Preferential field site of his research in the last few years is the River Tagliamento (Italy) a morphologically intact system where river flows, sediment transport and riparian trees interact across a range of climatic and hydrological conditions in an essentially unmanaged setting.

Walter Bertoldi is engaged in a number of international collaborations with academic institutions. The main collaborations are with: prof. A. Gurnell, prof. J. Brasington, dr. G. Harvey, dr. A. Henshaw, prof G. Wharton (Queen Mary University of London, UK), prof. P. Ashmore (University of Western Ontario, Canada), dr. Franz Holker (IGB, Germany), prof. K. Tockner (FUB, Germany), dr. N. Surian (University of Padova, Italy), prof. Yasuhiro Takemon (University of Kyoto, DPRI, Japan), dr. F. Comiti (Free University Bolzano/Bozen, Italy), dr. L Mao (Pontificia Universidad Catolica, Santiago, Chile), dr. Virginia Ruiz-Villanueva (University of Geneva, Switzerland), dr. Damià Vericat (University of Leida, Spain).

Appartenenza a società e comitati scientifici

Member of the British Society for Geomorphology, the European Geophysical Union, the American Geophysical Union, the Associazione Italiana di Geomorfologia, and the Gruppo Italiano di Idraulica.

Premi e riconoscimenti

Walter Bertoldi has been awarded the Wiley-Blackwell Award 2010 for the best paper in Earth Surface Processes and Landforms for 2009.

Convegni e conferenze

Invited speaker at: GeoItalia 2009 (Rimini); AGU 2010 and 2011 (S. Francisco); International Workshop on Habitatology 2011 (Kyoto); HYDRALAB General Meeting 2012 (Wallingford); GESTRANS workshop 2012 (Grenoble); 5th Water Research Horizon Conference 2014 (Berlin); 18th Annual Meeting of Ecology and Civil Engineering Society 2014 (Tokyo); Gravel-Bed River Conference GBR8 2015 (Kyoto).

Altre attività

Walter Bertoldi is referee for international journals (Water Resources Research, Geophysical Research Letters, Journal of Geophysical Research, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, Advances in Water Resources, Geomorphology, River Research and Application, Aquatic Sciences, Hydrological Processes, Ecohydrology, PLOS-ONE, Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, Journal of Hydraulic Research). He was Associate Editor of a special issue on River Research and Application (Volume 25, 2009) with contributions from the 2008 ECRR Conference in Venice; of a Special Issue on Earth Surface Processes and Landforms "Dynamic riverine landscapes: the role of ecosystem engineers" (Volume 40(12), 2015); and of a Special Issue on Geomorphology "Dynamics and ecology of wood in world rivers" (Volume 279, 2017).

He was member of the organizing committee and chairman of the Braided Rivers Worskshop (Die, June 2014) and was member of the Scientific committee of the "Wood in world rivers" Conference, Padova, July 2015.

Walter Bertoldi was awarded the National Scientific Qualification as Associate Professor in the Scientific Sectors 04/A3 (Applied Geology, Physical Geography and Geomorphology) and 08/A1 Hydraulics, Hydrology, Hydraulic and Marine Structures.


Updated on January 2017