Profile: Concetta Rispoli (PhD student,University Federico II, Naples)

icelandName: Concetta (Tina) Rispoli

Job Role: PhD Student (Applied Mineralogy)

Organisation: University Federico II, Naples (Italy)

Education Background:

  • Undergraduate degree in geology and applied geology
  • Master’s degree in innovative diagnostic methodologies for the safeguard, use and conservation of cultural heritage

1. What inspired you to take up a career in the Geosciences?

My career in the geosciences is born from love for the land where I live – Italy. Land of volcanoes and wonderful landscapes. I come from the province of Naples in Campania (South Italy) and every morning since I was a little girl, the first thing I see when I open the balcony of my room is Vesuvius. Vesuvius is the only active volcano in continental Europe,  the most studied in the world, and one of the most dangerous because of the population in the surrounding area. I had no chance about the subject to love at school.

2. What does your current job role involve?

Currently I am a PhD student in applied mineralogy. The three-year course will end in February when I shall get a PhD degree. My research project concerns the study of ancient Roman mortars in order to improve the mix design, the provenance of raw materials and secondary minerogenetic processes. Furthermore, this project research could offer important information about how to do restoration work.

I would love it could remain in the context university research, but how we use say in Italy: “Time will tell”.

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3. What do you enjoy most about your job?

Almost all!!!

I got into geology because I love being outside, so fieldwork in the beautiful parts of the world is always fantastic. With geology, I have had the chance to do fieldwork in Iceland, Sardinia and  in amazing archaeological sites such as Pompeii. Just spending a day touching and trying to understand the secrets about how are made structure erected about 2000 years ago is absolute bliss.

I also love conferences – the idea of people gathering from all over the world to talk about geology really appeals to me.

4. Why do you think it’s important to encourage more girls into Geoscience?

Because unfortunately there are still too many stereotypes which do not permit the female growth in a series of geology sectors.

The fierce competition that you meet along the road of career, requires aggressiveness considered more typically masculine, and also the rationality of scientific activity might seem incompatible with the image of women oriented more towards the emotional aspects that favor the subjectivity.

We “geology ladies” have to demonstrate that our determination, attention to the detail and spirit of sacrifice are some real strengths that can allow us to challenge for the top jobs.

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5. If you could give a piece of advice to girls currently thinking about a career in the Geosciences, what would it be?

Be flexible! Jump at the chance to do something interesting, even if it is difficult or a bit uncomfortable. The more you are willing to do something you know little about it, going to a new place, or learning a language you have never spoken before, the more future opportunities you will get.


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