Marco Bittelli is Associate Professor of Soil and Environmental Physics in the Department of Agriculture and Food Sciences, at the University of Bologna. He was born in Bologna on February 16, 1967. He received a Bachelor of Science at the University Bologna in 1994. In 1996, he was awarded a European Commission scholarship to study in the United States, and in 1998 completed a Master in Soil Physics, followed by a Ph.D. in Soil Physics in 2001 at Washington State University, under the mentoring of Prof. Gaylon S. Campbell and Prof. Markus Flury. He spent a year as a visiting scientist at the Institute of Environmental Physics at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, working in the research group of Prof. Kurt Roth. In 2003, he was selected for the Italian Brain Drain Project, a program financed by the Italian Ministry of Education with the aim of bringing highly qualified scientists back to Italy. He became Adjunct Professor at the University of Bologna in 2003, Researcher in 2006 and Associate Professor at the Department of Agriculture and Food Sciences at the University of Bologna, in 2016. While faculty at the University of Bologna, he also was appointed Associate in Research at the Institute of Applied Physics (IFAC), National Research Council, Italy. He was nominated Honorary Member of the Institute of Advanced Study at the University of Bologna, in 2010. Bittelli conducts research in a variety of soil and environmental physics areas, with special focus on the exchange of mass and energy in the soil-plant-atmosphere system, numerical modelling in the earth sciences, non-linear processes and electromagnetic methods in ecosystems. He was principal investigator in many international field and laboratory experiments, including collaborative projects in Italy, Germany, United States, Spain, Thailand, India and Turkey. His research has been published in prestigious international journals in collaboration with colleagues from many universities and research institutes. He has published 60 papers, 8 book chapters and 2 books published with Oxford University Press. He teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate level, including Soil and Environmental Physics, Data Analysis with R, Non-Linear Time Series Analysis, Philosophy of Science and Scientific Methods. He has also taught courses and workshops as a guest lecturer in many universities and research centers, including at the University of Florida, Washington State University, Indian Institute of Science, University of Heidelberg, University of Leipzig, University of Milan, University of Krakow, University of Zagreb, University of Florence and Suratthani University. He is currently Associate Editor of Vadose Zone Journal and he has been editor of the journals Measurement Science and Technology, Geophysics and Water. He coordinated an International Masters in Land and Water Conservation, between the University of Bologna, Washington State University and University of Florida as well as a collaborative exchange between the University of Bologna and the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India. He was selected as Invited Speaker for the prestigious Campbell Lecture at WSU in 2019.
Alongside his scientific career, Bittelli is also a jazz guitar performer and composer. He began studying guitar at age 12 with the noted Italian guitarist, Jimmy Villotti. While in the United States attending graduate school, he played in the WSU Big Band, attended classes in compostition and improvisation with Gregory Yasinitsky and Horace A. Young and performed in clubs in the Pacific Northwest and Italy. His original compositions were released in three albums by the jazz label, Pacific Coast Jazz, based in San Diego, California and are available for download on Amazon, iTunes and Spotify.