Name: Claudio Natali

Date and place of birth: May 24th 1977, Portomaggiore (FE)

Telephone: Home +39 0532 974667 – Mobile +39 334 6673436




Italian: native

English: very good

French: good



In 2004 Dr. Claudio Natali obtained the Master Degree in Geological Sciences with full marks at the University of Ferrara, discussing the thesis “Isotopic analyses on calcium oxalate patina of the Torcello Island (VE)”.

In 2008 Dr. Claudio Natali got the Ph.D. in Earth Sciences with full marks at University of Ferrara, defending the thesis “Petrogenesis and geodynamic significance of the Northern Ethiopian Plateau volcanism”. In the framework of the doctorate program, he spent two months (September-October 2007) at the Laboratories of the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (SUERC), East Kilbride - Glasgow, Scotland (UK), for the analyses of radiogenic isotopes (Sr-Nd-Pb-He) in volcanic, mantle rocks and associated minerals, in collaboration with Prof. Rob Ellam and Prof. Finlay Stuart. This thesis has been awarded by the Institute of Superior Studies of the University of Ferrara (IUSS 1391) as the best PhD work of the XX° Doctorate Cycle in Earth Sciences (

In the period 2008-2010 he has been Research Assistant in Petrology and Geochemistry at the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Ferrara.

From the end of 2010 to March 2012 Dr. Claudio Natali has been Research Assistant at the Terra&AcquaTech Labs of the Ferrara Technopole (European Union for regional development funded)

From March 2012 to October 2013 he has been Post-Doc Researcher for the RESPIRA Project (Tuscan serpentinitic reservoirs: from potential pollutant to environmental resource) at the Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources, National Council of Research (IGG – CNR), Pisa. In this framework, he spent research and laboratory activities (June-July 2012) at the Dept. of Chemical Engineering of the Columbia University (New York – US) the to carry out mineral carbonation experiments on serpentinite and asbestos containing materials (ACM), in collaboration with Prof. A.-h. Park.

Since March 2014 he is Research Assistant in Isotope Geochemistry at the Department of Physics and Earth Sciences of the University of Ferrara.



The scientific activity of Dr. Claudio Natali has been jointed in two main research fields concerning the study of igneous petrology and of the elemental and isotope geochemistry.

Studies of igneous petrology

The study of igneous petrology began since 2005 when, in the framework of the PhD program (2005-2008), Dr. Claudio Natali carried out petrological researches on the genesis of the basic magmatism of the Oligocene Northern Ethiopian plateau, coupling the study of lavas and mantle xenoliths sampled in several key sections of the outcropping area. In this framework, he joined many sampling missions in Africa and developed relevant analytical skills through the intense laboratory activity which dealt with major and trace element analyses on whole rock (Laboratories of the Dep. of Earth Sciences of the University of Ferrara) and on constituent mineral phases of lava and mantle xenolith samples. The experience on Electron MicroProbe (EMP) and Laser Ablation-Plasma Coupled Inductively-Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) analyses, matured joining the Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources (IGG-CNR) Labs of Padova and Pavia (Italy), respectively. During the PhD Dr. Claudio Natali has been also involved in an international research program aimed to the analysis of the radiogenic isotopes (Sr, Nd, Pb, He) on whole rock and mineral separates of lavas and mantle xenoliths sampled from various Ethiopian volcanic districts. This activity has been carried out in collaboration with Prof. Rob Ellam and Dr. Finlay Stuart at the Laboratories of the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre of Glasgow (UK). This integrated field and analytical approach, coupling thermobarometric estimates of the melt generation with a precise delineation of the magmatic chemical zonation, led to develop a three dimensional representation of the genesis of the volcanism of the Northern Ethiopian Plateau. The results of these researches gave rise to a publication on Journal of Petrology as well as to 5 communications at international (GOLDSCHMIDT2007, IGC2008, GOLDSCHMIDT2009) and 4 at national (FIST2007, FIST2009) congresses.

In the three years following the attainment of the PhD, Dr. Claudio Natali continued the research fellowship in the petrological and geochemical fields at the Department of Earth Sciences of the Ferrara University. During this period he was involved in studies on the Cenozoic magmatism of the Mediterranean area, with particular attention to the genesis of the orogenic and anorogenic volcanic associations. The results of these researches originated two scientific papers published on Lithos,  one on Journal of Virtual Explorer, as well as a communication at a national congress (SOCGEOL2010). Moreover, in these years he also pursued its researches on the Ethiopian volcanism, studying both plateau-related Oligocene bimodal associations of transitional magmatic series (basalts/picrites-rhyolites) and alkaline magmatic series (basalts-trachites/syenites) originated by a late and peripherial activity of the Afar plume. These studies led him to improve the knowledge of magmatic differentiation processes by the application of several thermodynamically constrained geochemical modelling (software PELE, MELTS) to the above cited study cases, with the aim to reproduce the major and trace elements fractionation path and to provide a comprehensive interpretation of the significant “Daly gap” observed in these volcanic suites.

The increased knowledge of the GIS environment, coupled with a detailed map and field works especially in Ethiopia (years 2004-2006-2009-2012), led him also to apply this technology to the above cited study cases to carry out  a precise estimate of the erupted volumes, with the aim to validate the results obtained by the geochemical modelling. These works have been published in two papers (Contribution to Mineralogy and Petrology, Earth and Planetary Science Letters) and have been the object of one communications at international (EGU2010) and 4 at national (FIST2009, SIM2010, FIST2011) congresses. This integrated approach have been also successfully applied to a different geodynamic setting, such as the Western Mediterranean (Tyrrhenian Sea, Southern Italy), allowing to put new insights on the genesis of the observed Plio-Pleistocene bimodal associations (article recently published on Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research).

The study on the genesis of primary magmas in Large Igneous Provinces recently pursued thanks to intensive sampling campaigns in the Northern Ethiopian and  Yemeni plateaus, mainly focused to the collection of picritic lavas and associated rhyolites/ignimbrites. This allowed to a more detailed reconstruction of the metasomatic agents and of the thermal regime of the Afar plume, and to highlights some volcanological aspects of picritic lavas. These results have been published on a recent paper on Gondwana Research. In the last period, the research activity has been focused  on the petrogenesis and mode of emplacement of some alkaline-carbonatitic complexes of Western Gondwana (paper submitted to Gondwana Research) and their tectonomagmatic significance in relation the coeval Continental Flood Basalt (Karoo, Deccan, Paranà).

Dr. Claudio Natali also carried out studies of mantle xenoliths from distinct African volcanic districts, Saharan (Morocco) and Sub-Saharan (Ethiopia-Kenya), with the aim to identify the main extraction events of basic melts, as well as to define the nature of metasomatic processes occurred at these mantle sections. The achieved results have been obtained through an integrated petrographic-petrological and geochemical approach involving major and trace elements as well as radiogenic isotope data, and highlight the systematic differences in the geological processes occurred at mantle sections located in distinct geodynamic settings. These researches originated two papers published on peer-reviewed international journals (Chemical Geology, Journal of South American Earth Sciences) and one paper published on  a special volume of the “Geological Society of America (GSA)”, as well as one communications at international (GOLDSCHMIDT2011) and 4 at national (SIMP2010, SOCGEOL2010, FIST2011) congresses. These results have been obtained also thanks to the fruitful collaboration established with the University of New Hampshire (Prof. Julie Bryce) and with the CNRS of Lione (Prof. Jeanne Blichert-Toft). These ongoing researches generally dealing with the evolution of the volcanism of the Afro-Arabian system, coupling with the study of the underlying mantle, have recently been complemented by a paper on mantle xenoliths from Yemen published on Tectonophysics. The competences and analytical facilities of these institutions led Dr. Claudio Natali to improve the knowledge and application of new isotope systematics (Lu-Hf) that represent an important contribution in the last above cited studies. The last work on this topic regarded a petrographic and petrological study on mantle and crustal xenoliths from Western Mediterranean area with the aim to reconstruct the petrogenesis of lamproitic magmas in an area characterized by a complex geodynamic evolution (Tallante, Betic Cordillera).


Studies of elemental and isotope geochemistry

Following the first approach to isotope geochemistry gained during the MSc thesis (which has recently published on International Journal of Architectural Heritage) , in the period 2010-2012 Dr. Claudio Natali owned a research fellowship at the Terra&Acqua Tech Labs in the framework of a EU funded project dealing with the creation of the Technopole of Ferrara University. In these years he set-up and developed the water stable isotopes (oxygen and hydrogen) laboratory, and he focused his research on low-temperature applied geochemistry with particular attention to the mobility of some heavy metals (Cr, Ni, Pb) in the water-soil/sediments system. The experience in microanalysis and geochemical data handling gained during the PhD activities led him to develop a comprehensive approach to the study of the mobility of metals in these matrices. The results of these researches originated the publication of three papers on peer-reviewed international journals (Journal of Soils and Sediments, Ofioliti, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment) and 5 communications at national congresses (FIST2009, FIST2011, SOCGEOL2012, FIST2013). In this framework, he also deepened the knowledge of the stable isotope geochemistry (H, N, O, C) both in solid and liquid matrices.

From March 2012 to October 2013 Dr. Claudio Natali owned a Post-Doctoral fellowship in the EU funded RESPIRA (Tuscan serpentinitic reservoirs: from potential pollutant to environmental resource) Project at IGG-CNR of Pisa where he pursued the studies on water-rock and water-soil interaction focusing on the mobility of some transition metals in serpentinite aquifers. The mobility of transitional metals in these systems was investigated by several approaches, including microanalysis and Selective Sequential Extraction tests (SSE) on the aquifer forming mineralogical assemblage. The results of this research have been presented as 4 communications at international (EGU2013, GOLDSCHMIDT2014) and one at national (FIST2013) congresses.

In the framework of the RESPIRA Project he also faced studies of mineral carbonation of serpentine and serpentinite rocks, with the double aim to quantify their carbon sequestration potential and to evaluate the morphological changes underwent by chrysotile after this process. The ex-situ carbonation experiments were carried out in collaboration with Prof. Park of the Department of Chemical Engineering of the Columbia University, where Dr. Claudio Natali worked in the period 2012 June-July. The results of this research collaboration have been published Journal of Hazardous Materials and have been the object of 2 communications at international (ACEME2013, GOLDSCHMIDT2013) and one at national (FIST2013) congresses. During these activities he improved his analytical skills through the set-up and management of the Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM-EDS) Laboratory at IGG-CNR of Pisa.

After the conclusion of the RESPIRA Project at the CNR of Pisa, Dr. Claudio Natali gathered the collaboration with the Ferrara university owning a research fellowship in isotope geochemistry, where he set-up the new stable isotope laboratory, equipped by EA-IRMS system for the elemental and isotopic analyses of Carbon and Nitrogen in solid matrices. In this period he developed a new methodology for the precise and rapid determination of the various species of carbon in environmental matrices of different origin: the results of this work originated a paper published on International Journal of Environmental Quality which have been awarded by European Society for Soil Conservation (ASWEP2014), and another paper on . Environmental Science and Pollution Research that include a further refinement of the procedure. In the same year Dr. Claudio Natali contributed to the advances in the studies of water isotope geochemistry (δ18O, δD) both on local hydrological systems (Po and Adige river, Northern Italy) and on superficial and groundwaters from the Main Ethiopian Rift with the aim to apply these geochemical tracers as climate change indicators. These researches originated two papers on Environmental Science and Pollution Research and a chapter in the book “Landscapes and Landforms of Ethiopia” edited by Springer. The study of the spatio-temporal variability of the isotopic composition (C-N-S) of the Po river water, in collaboration with Prof. Kay Knöller (UFZ-Halle, Germany), brought to another publication on Isotopes in Environmental and Health Studies. The study of the geochemical and isotopic composition of the suspended load in the Po river and in its delta originated other two publications on Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei.

Further researches have been recently carried out on the geochemical and isotopic (C-N) characterization of hydromorphic soils of the Po alluvial plain with the aim to define the SOM benchmark for the extremely different types of soils characterizing this agricultural area. Other research in this framework are involving the submerged substrates of Mediterranean coastal lagoon in order to evaluate the geochemical background (article accepted by EQA) and their role in the shellfish farming ecosystem (article published on EQA).



2005-2006: Tutor in “Petrography and Petrology” at the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Ferrara. During this activity I drove students in the learning of Optical Microscopy and in the classification of magmatic and metamorphic rocks

2009: Teacher of the post-Graduate course: “The GIS system for geological-environmental and land management monitoring” at En.A.I.P Regional Professional Learning Centre, Ferrara. During this activity I owned a 3 months course of land management based on GIS applications (medium level) for Geological Science and Environmental Engineer graduate students.

a.y. 2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2010-2011: Teaching Assistant to the class and labs exercitations of the “Petrography “, “Magmatism and Geodynamics” and “Ore Geology” at the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Ferrara.

a.y. 2013-2014,2014-2015, 2015-2016:: Teaching Assistant to the class and Labs exercitations of the “Environmental Geochemistry” at the Department of Physics and Earth Sciences of the University of Ferrara.



2004: Scientific collaboration with the Department of Earth Sciences at University of Ferrara for the Digitalization of the Geological Map of Horn of Africa (Merla et al., 1973) and creation of the associated database.

2005: Arcview GIS (rel. 3.2. and 9) course at Department of Earth Sciences – University of Ferrara, June 20th–24th 2005.



2007: EMAW 2007. European Mantle Workshop. “PETROLOGICAL EVOLUTION OF THE LITOSPHERIC MANTLE FROM ARCHEAN TO PRESENT”. Ferrara, August 29th-31th 2007.

Theoretical and practical course “INTRODUZIONE ALLA SPETTROMETRIA DI MASSA AL PLASMA (ICP-MS) E ALL’USO DELLE CELLE DI REAZIONE-COLLISIONE” at Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ferrara, June 25th-26th and  October 22th-23th 2007. Teacher: Dr. Sandro Spezia (Thermo-Fischer Scientific).

2007-2008: Scientific collaboration with GEOTEMA S.r.l. SpinOff company (, Ferrara) for GIS and Remote Sensing application.

2008: Theoretical and practical course “ISOTOPE GEOCHEMISTRY AND APPLICATIONS” at Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ferrara, April 2008. Teacher: Prof. Robert M. Ellam (Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre).


2010: Advanced Studies School - I.U.S.S. Ferrara 1391. “MONITORAGGIO E SOSTENIBILITÀ DEI SISTEMI IDRO-AGRO-AMBIENTALI”. Ferrara (Italy), June 28th – 30th 2010.

Theoretical and practical course “PHREECQ: HYDROGEOCHEMICAL TRANSPORT MODELLING COURSE”, at Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ferrara, September 28th -  October 1st 2010. Teacher: Boris van Breukelen (University of Amsterdam).

2012: Scientific training “Isotope mass Spectrometry” San Michele all’Adige (TN), April 11st – 13rd 2012.

2013: Theoretical and practical course: “BASIC INSTRUMENT AND APPLICATION TRAINING EA-IRMS” at Department of Physics and Earth Sciences, University of Ferrara,, December 2nd-5th 2013 by Filip Volders (Isoprime-Elementar).

2016: Theoretical and practical course: “1° IRMS-day” San Michele all’Adige (TN), May 9th – 11st 2016.



  • Wet chemistry basics
  • Rock/Soil sample preparation for geochemical (XRF, ICP-MS, EMPA, SEM-EDAX) analysis
  • Elemental separation/enrichment laboratory procedures for isotope analyses
  • Capability to use elemental analyzer (EA) coupled with Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer (IRMS) for the determination of elemental CHNS and their stable isotopes in solid samples.
  • Capability to use spectroscopy CRDS (Cavity Ring Down Spectroscopy) for the determination of oxygen and hydrogen isotopes in water samples.
  • Capability to use Electron Microprobe and SEM-EDAX
  • Capability to use Ion Chromatography (IC) system


  • Complete knowledge of Microsoft Office package (all rel.)
  • Very good knowledge of GIS software packages  (ArCGis 3.x e 9.x, GRASS)
  • Very good knowledge on database managing
  • Good knowledge of C++, Pascal, software languages
  • IDL and Matlab programming
  • Good knowledge of ENVI 3.x and 4.x software
  • Very good knowledge of petrologic-thermodynamic based software as MELTS, PELE, ArcBasalt Simulator, PHREEQC