Andrea Giometto

Andrea Giometto

Assistant Professor
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Hollister Hall, Room 265

Biography

Andrea Giometto completed his Ph. D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in 2015. He received the Earth’s Science Award from the EPFL School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering for his doctoral work on the role that stochastic fluctuations play in shaping ecological patterns and processes. Since 2015, Andrea has been a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Physics and in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University, where he used genetic engineering techniques to investigate experimentally the spatiotemporal dynamics of microbial populations. His research at Harvard was supported by Postdoctoral Fellowships from the Swiss National Science Foundation. He joined the faculty of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell in the Summer 2020.

Andrea received his master’s degree in Theoretical Physics and his undergraduate degree in Physics both from Padua University. He has been a visiting scientist at Imperial College London, where he developed his master’s thesis in the Centre for Complexity Science, and at Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, where he conducted part of his doctoral work.

Research Interests

The main focus of Andrea's research is the spatial growth of microbial communities. Andrea seeks to understand how ecological and evolutionary processes play out in spatially extended populations. Andrea uses a combination of statistical and nonlinear physics methods, experiments with microbes, and genetic engineering to investigate the spatiotemporal dynamics of biological invasions, how biological interactions such as cooperation and conflict affect ecological and evolutionary processes in spatially extended landscapes, how competition for resources affects the coexistence of multiple species in microbial communities, and how scaling patterns characterizing the distribution of species, their abundances, and body sizes emerge in natural ecosystems.

Selected Publications

  1. Giometto, A., Nelson, D. R. and Murray, A. W. (2018). Physical interactions reduce the power of natural selection in growing yeast colonies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) 115(45), 11448-11453.
  2. Zaoli, S.*, Giometto, A.*, Maritan, A. and Rinaldo, A. (2017) Covariations in ecological scaling laws fostered by community dynamics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) 114(40), 10672-10677. The symbol * denotes equal contribution.
  3. Giometto, A., Formentin, M., Rinaldo, A., Cohen, J. E. and Maritan, A. (2015). Sample and population exponents of generalized Taylor’s law. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) 112(25), 7755–7760.
  4. Giometto, A., Altermatt, F., Maritan, A., Stocker, R. and Rinaldo, A. (2015). Generalized receptor law governs phototaxis in the phytoplankton Euglena gracilis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) 112(22), 7045–7050.
  5. Giometto, A., Rinaldo, A., Carrara, F. and Altermatt, F. (2014). Emerging predictable features of replicated biological invasion fronts. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) 111(1), 297–301.
  6. Giometto, A., Altermatt, F., Carrara, F., Maritan, A. and Rinaldo, A. (2013). Scaling body size fluctuations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) 110(12), 4646– 4650.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Postdoc.Mobility Fellowship, Swiss National Science Foundation, Aug 2018
    Project title: Spatial structure and social interactions in growing microbial populations
  • Early Postdoc.Mobility Fellowship, Swiss National Science Foundation, Oct 2016
    Project title: Evolutionary fitness in temporally fluctuating range expansions
  • Earth Science award, Oct 2016
    Awarded by the EPFL School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering for the best PhD thesis related to Earth Science.
  • Progetto Lauree Scientifiche scholarship, Sep 2006
    Awarded to 43 students enrolling in a Physics degree in Italy. Selection based on a test at national level.

Education

  • Docteur ès Sciences (PhD), Feb 2015
    Environmental Engineering, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
    Thesis title: The role of fluctuations in ecological patterns and processes
  • Certificate of Completion, Oct 2006 – Jun 2012
    Galilean School of Higher Education, University of Padova
  • M. Sc. in Physics, Oct 2009 – Jul 2011
    University of Padova, Italy
    Thesis title: Self-organised criticality and absorbing phase transitions in the deterministic lattice gas
  • B. Sc. in Physics, Oct 2006 – Jul 2009
    University of Padova, Italy
    Thesis title: Fluctuation theorems and non-equilibrium