Prof Porto has a broad background in the field of hydrology, erosion and sediment transport and has focused his interest and recent work on soil erosion problems in Mediterranean area, and more particularly southern Italy. His research was given a major stimulus by previous Fellowships held at Fort Collins (USA) in 1996, and Exeter (UK) in 1999, where he was able to gain valuable experience in the field of soil erosion and sediment transport investigations. Whilst providing Prof Porto with experience of this research field, the Fellowships also enabled him to test the gained experience in southern Italy and to refine existing procedures to facilitate the applications of the new techniques developed during the previous years. He has made an important contribution to the use of fallout radionuclides in semi-arid Mediterranean environments and he has continued to develop this work after returning to Italy. The papers that he has published on the use of 137Cs and 210Pbex provide clear evidence of his initiative, originality and innovative capacity.
Prof Porto presented some of his results at the IASWS Symposium held in Banff, Canada in May, 2002; at the IAHS International Symposium held in Moscow, Russia in August 2004; at the IASWS Symposium held in Bled, Slovenia in 2005; at the ISRS International Symposium in Moscow, in 2007; at the 5th International Congress of ESSC (European Society for Soil Conservation) in Palermo (Italy), 2007, at the Workshop “The Impact of Environmental Change on Sediment Sources and Sediment Delivery” held in Perugia (Italy), in 2007; at the IASWS Symposium held in Esperance, Australia in February, 2008; at the ISRS Symposium held in Stellenbosch, South Africa in September, 2010; at the IASWS Symposium held in Dartington, UK in June, 2011; at the IUGG Symposium held in Melbourne, Australia in July, 2011. During all these meetings he chaired a main session and his papers were well received and provoked considerable interest. The papers published in the Journal of Hydrology, in Catena,in Land Degradation and Development, in the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, in Water, Air and Soil Pollution, in Journal of Marine and Freshwater Reearch, in Hydrological Processes are particularly important contributions, since they represent the first published validations of the use of fallout radionuclide measurements to estimate erosion rates from a forested/rangeland and cultivated sites in southern Italy.