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VITAL is a group of experts working on solutions to enhance and restore the natural capital of the Venetian Lagoon and the services offered by its ecosystem.

Coordination Team

Jane Da Mosto

Jane Da Mosto is co-founder of We Are Here Venice. She received her scientific training at the University of Oxford and Imperial College London. She has been living and working in Venice since 1995 and is involved in consulting and activism in the field of climate change and the safeguarding of Venice and its Lagoon, collaborating with the local administration and various international organisations.

Marcantonio Brandolini

Marcantonio Brandolini is the Creative Director of Laguna B, a company that aims to reinterpret and introduce innovations into the glass industry in Venice to fully exploit its artistic and commercial potential. He is one of the initiators of the OFFSET Project, through which the business world can become more sustainable and help safeguard Venice's natural capital.

Eleonora Sovrani

Eleonora Sovrani, WahV art director, is a researcher and curator. She has worked on visual communication concerning the impact of large cruise ships on the city of Venice and investigated its social and cultural aspects. She documents the different projects of VITAL and oversees their cultural and artistic aspects.


Camilla Bertolini

Camilla Bertolini, WahV chief scientist, is a marine ecologist specialised in the development of models for the quantification of ecosystem services, an activity which has been accompanied by intensive field research. She has worked in particular on the restoration of oyster reefs. She holds a PhD from Queen's University of Belfast, and is currently holds a Marie Curie Fellowship at the Ca' Foscari University of Venice.

Paolo Peretti

Paolo Peretti is a hydraulic engineer who specialises in the design of river maintenance works. He has in-depth knowledge of the problems of the Upper Adriatic rivers and the lagoons of the Po Delta, and has taken part in numerous studies and projects commissioned by the Veneto Region. He is a partner in Ipros Ingegneria Ambientale, a company that deals with hydraulic civil engineering design with the aid of mathematical models.

Laura Onofri

Laura Onofri is an environmental economist who specialises in the development and application of methodologies for the valuation of natural capital and ecosystem services. She holds a PhD from the University of Maastricht and is an associate professor at the University of Padua. Parallel to her academic career, she has worked as a consultant for various international institutions, including the World Bank, FAO and the World Trade Organisation. She is a member of the WahV Advisory Board.

Carolyn Smith

Carolyn Smith is a PhD candidate in Geography at the University of Cambridge. An architect by training, she has spent years researching the urban dynamics of the historic city of Venice. She analysed and mapped both historic and contemporary Lagoon restoration projects for VITAL, contributing to the identification of the pilot project location for OFFSET.


Claudia Zoccarato

Claudia Zoccarato is a researcher in Environmental Engineering at the University of Padua. She obtained her PhD in 2016 with a thesis entitled "Data Assimilation in Geomechanics: Characterization of Hydrocarbon Reservoirs". Her research interests are in the field of mathematical modelling of subsidence due to natural processes and anthropogenic activities related to the exploitation of underground resources.

Tom Spencer

Tom Spencer is Professor and Director of the Coastal Research Unit at the University of Cambridge. He works on physical geography at the intersection of the geological and biological sciences, and his research focuses on coastal geomorphology, coral reefs and related ecosystems. He is co-editor of Flooding and Environmental Challenges for Venice and its Lagoon.

Pietro Teatini

Pietro Teatini is Associate Professor of Hydrology and Hydraulic Constructions at the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, University of Padova. He received the "Paolo Gatto" International Prize of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei for modelling of the aquifer system beneath the Venice Lagoon. He is president of the UNESCO-IHP Land Subsidence International Initiative. His research topics are related to the modelling of natural and anthropogenic subsidence.


Margherita Scapin

Margherita Scapin is an environmental activist. She is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Environmental Sciences at the University of Geneva. During her internship at We Are Here Venice she conducted research for her bachelor thesis, studying the role of blue carbon in climate change mitigation with Venice as a case study.

Pietro Bortoluzzi

Pietro Bortoluzzi is an environmental engineer and is currently studying for his Master's degree in Environmental Sciences at the Ca' Foscari University of Venice. He graduated in applied water management technologies at the University of Applied Sciences in Vlissingen, the Netherlands, and undertook an internship in Bangkok for a published research paper on microalgae.


VITAL works closely with different organisations from the worlds of civil society, business and academia. Currently, it has active collaborations with the following partners:

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