Elena joined the Graduate School in February 2015 as a Teaching Fellow. She has 15 years’ international experience in the Higher Education sector. She speaks and has studied in three languages - Italian, French and English. Throughout both her doctorate and postdoctoral work, Elena has worked as a teaching assistant and has been involved in the supervision of both undergraduate and Master’s students.
She started teaching in 2001 in order to pass on to students her passion for ecology and science, as she considers that effective teaching mainly depends on the engagement and interest in the subject that can be inspired in learners. Her teaching is represented by this comment from her PhD supervisor: “Just keep in mind that it [teaching] is a dynamic equilibrium as internal (you) and external (your audience) conditions are always changing resulting in the equilibrium being put in jeopardy” (Prof. D. Fontvieille – December 2015). These experiences led her to become a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and she has a MEd in “University Learning and Teaching”. Building on her expertise, she is the leader of the Research Communication Programme, the Director of the Global Fellows Programme Imperial College London - Technical University Munich, and a tutor on the Graduate School residential retreats.
Elena’s studies focussed on ecology, she graduated from the Università degli Studi di Milano with a Master’s degree in “Natural Sciences”, with a research project in glacial geomorphology and lacustrine ecology, followed by a second Master’s at the Université de Savoie, improving her earlier research with international data. She obtained a joint-tutored PhD in “Natural and Environmental Sciences” (Università degli Studi di Milano) and in “Population and Ecosystem Biology” (Université de Savoie), working and developing her background in Freshwater Ecology. Her topic was the analysis of the inter- and intra-population phenotypic and genotypic variability in Simocephalus vetulus (Crustacea, Cladocera), a model organism for the littoral lacustrine environment.
She has held a range of international post-doctoral positions from 2006 to 2015. As a post-doctoral researcher she researched in freshwater ecology analysing the genotypic intra-population variability in Simocephalus vetulus at KU Leuven, Belgium in 2006 and its metabolic rate at Université de Savoie, France in 2007. From 2008-2011 she worked as a Research Associate for the Nematode project for the European Space Agency, Thales Alenia Space Italia and Università degli Studi di Milano, in Italy. This was followed by a position at Ulster University, Northern Ireland, from 2012-2015 working on the Dolmant project concerning the Development of Lake Management Tools. To see her publications please visit her researchgate page https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Elena_Forasacco.