Riccardo Valentini's acquaintance with the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia began in 2012, when the director of the Department of landscape design and sustainable ecosystems (at that time the Chair of Gardening and Landscape Design) Elvira Dovletyarova and deputy director Vyacheslav Vasenev thought about creating a double master's program. That time Ricardo Valentini served as senator of the province of Lazzo (Italy) and thanks to his professionalism and interest RUDN University managed not only to open a joint program with the University of Tusia “Management and design of urban green infrastructure”, but also to build reliable cooperation with many Italian colleagues. Since 2014 the master's program has more than 60 alumnies from Russia and Italy, a grant Erasmus + Key Actions and is accredited as an international program not only in Russia but also in Italy and the European Union.
In 2018, Riccardo Valentini creates and leads the laboratory “Smart Technologies for Sustainable Urban Development under Global Changes (SUN Laboratory)” at the RUDN University. One of the breakthrough areas of the scientific work of the laboratory is the development of a unique technology for monitoring the state and stability of trees in real time, implemented using tools to assess the physiological state of tree plantations (Tree Talker, Tree Talker +, Tree Talker 2.0) and vertical tree resistance (TT -G).
The results of the monitoring of green spaces, conducted not only in Moscow, but also in St. Petersburg, Voronezh, and in the future in other cities of Russia, became the first step to the global project - Global Urban Trees. The project for monitoring trees in the city, according to the ambitious plans of Riccardo Valentini and his colleagues from the SUN Laboratory, began in Russia and will unite the whole world.
Another achievement led by Riccardo Valentini is the first for RUDN University mega-grant of the Russian Science Foundation given for the implementation of the scientific project “Smart technologies to monitor, model and evaluate ecosystem services provided by urban green infrastructure and soils to support decision making in sustainable city development under global changes”. Scientists from different scientific fields work in the team of the project: ecologists, soil scientists, biologists, climatologists, geographers, sociologists and mathematicians, and the plans of such an interdisciplinary team for a four-year period are truly grandiose. One of them is the development of a joint postgraduate program “URBAN GREEN INFRASTRUCTURES AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT”, which content will be based on the results of scientific research, and PhD students will be able to join the project and gain experience in an international team led by outstanding scientist and genuine leader Riccardo Valentini.
December 11, Riccardo Valentini celebrates his 60th anniversary. We congratulate Riccardo and wish him new achievements and new projects.
Elvira Dovletyarova: “Riccardo Valentini is an amazing person. He is a real scientist, but at the same time he is a person with whom you want to interact, in whose team you want to be. He is a very enthusiastic person, always making his dreams come true. Riccardo is a true friend and comrade who communicates outside borders, outside posts, outside hierarchies. He communicates with everyone. And when you say, “Ricardo Valentini”, whether you are in New York or in Paris, or in Berlin, many know his name. And not only because he is a real scientist who has many publications and citations in international journals, but also because he is a real man of the world, who loves science, who loves people and who believes that people should make something good for nature in order to make their life really good. "
A chemist from RUDN University has developed a catalyst for the production of eugenol acetate, a substance that destroys the larvae of mosquitoes transmitting dangerous diseases, being a safe chemical for human health.
RUDN soil scientists have revealed a direct correlation between the rate of soil formation of carbon dioxide, called CO2 emissions, and the content of microbial biomass in it. It is known that CO2 emission from soil is mainly conditioned by respiration of soil microorganisms and plant roots. The more CO2 soil emits, the more microbial biomass it usually contains. It was shown that CO2 emission by chernozem of different ecosystems (or different types of land use) correlates with the content of microbial biomass, and most closely with the rate of its microbial respiration. And the soil with good microbial properties has the “best quality”, is more fertile, provides the highest yield of crops and other plant biomass.
A RUDN chemist has synthesized a catalyst for the production of gamma-valerolactone — an energy-intensive “green” biofuel. The catalyst based on zirconium dioxide and zeolite has shown high efficiency in converting the waste of wood plant materials — methyl levulinate — to gamma-valerolactone.