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Alessio Costa

Alessio Costa
PhD student in the Department of Crop Production Ecology, inquiring the potential of crop diversification in reducing the environmental impact, ensuring sufficient and nutritious food production, and promoting climate adaption of cropping systems.


I am currently investigating how crop rotation diversity affects staple crop yields over the long-term, and how it regulates the relation between yields and climatic conditions in Europe and North America, using a combination of long term agricultural experiment data and historical climate data.

The aims of my project are 1) to establish how varying degree of crop rotation diversity and fertilisation rates affect staple crop yields and whole rotation macro-nutrient output over the long-term 2) to evaluate whether and how increasing crop rotation diversity can reduce the negative impact of detrimental climatic conditions on staple crop yields, and/or increase positive impacts of favourable climatic conditions 3) to determine whether diverse crop rotations provide higher outputs of energy and nutrients compared with monocultures and cereal-only rotations 4) to determine whether diversifying cropping systems provide parallel economic and ecological benefits that outweighs profits of input-intensive cropping systems.

The project is mainly supervised by Giulia Vico, and co-supervised by Riccardo Bommarco and Giuliano Di Baldassarre and is part of a collaboration with Monique Smith in gathering long term agricultural data from various European and North American cropping systems.  


Having completed my bachelor studies in Natural Sciences, part of my background is based on a olistic knowledge of biotic and abiotic earth sciences subjects. I further specialized my background in ecology and nature conservation by obtaining a MSc in Ecology and Conservation in Uppsala University.

Through the study of ecological theories and applied ecological methods within conservation biology I have acquired a deeper understanding of the anthropological impact on natural environments and which approaches can be effective in restoring biodiversity and threatened species.

Selected publications

Smith ME, Vico G, Costa A, ..., Bommarco R (2023), Increasing crop rotational diversity can enhance cereal yields, Communications Earth & Environment, 4, 89


Research Engineer at the Department of Ecology; NJ, Ecology and environmental research unit
Telephone: +4618672434
Postal address:
Inst för Ekologi, Box 7044
750 07 UPPSALA
Visiting address: Ulls väg 16, Uppsala