Paolo Pirazzoli

Paolo Antonio Pirazzoli, was born in Venice (Italy) in 1939 and naturalized French citizen in 1979.

Paolo Pirazzoli had a background in civil engineering, coastal geomorphology and physical geography. He had been the international leader of IGCP (Unesco-IUGS) Project 200 “Sea-level correlation and applications” (1983-1987: over 600 participants from 67 countries) and took part actively in several subsequent IGCP international research projects related to sea-level changes in the Quaternary.

He was a partner in several European Commission research projects: “Investigation of past and future European sea-level changes and their impacts” (1987-1990); “Climate change, sea-level rise and associated impacts in Europe” (1991-1993); “Relative sea-level changes and extreme flooding events around European coasts” (1993-1995). He also took part in the EC project “Storminess and environmentally sensitive Atlantic coastal areas of the European Union” (1997-2000), in the Interregional (U.K.-France) project “Beaches at Risk” (2003-2005), and in several scientific cooperation programmes between France and Greece (1990-1991), France and Italy (1996-1997 and 1999-2000), and France and Hong Kong (2001-2003). In the late 1990s he contributed to a working group of the City of Venice for an assessment of safeguard activities against flooding in the lagoon. More recently, he had been an active partner in the French project related to near-future sea-level extremes “Discobole” (2004-2007) (

His field experience includes geomorphological surveys in several countries of the Mediterranean area, of the Pacific region (Japan, Taiwan, French Polynesia), Africa (Senegal, Mauritania, Kenya) and the Indian Ocean area (Seychelles, Indonesia, Iran, French “Iles Eparses”).

He had published several books and more than 250 articles in scientific journals and was Editor of the journal Global and Planetary Change (Elsevier) since its foundation in 1989.

Paolo Pirazzoli, beyond an excellent scientist and acclaimed researcher, he was a wonderful partner, teacher, mentor.

He loved research and he served it until the very last moment. His last paper was published few days before his last journey…. He served science with pride, honesty, dignity, as was his whole attitude towards life.

Few years ago, in the beginning of winter for 10 continuous days he was swimming and diving along the rocky coasts of Euboean Gulf from sunset to sundown. He was there, always first, always with a smile and a willingness to pass on his knowledge and experience. When he went back home, he had an open heart surgery. Few months later he was fearless, proud, tireless, in the central Aegean, swimming and diving in the middle of nowhere in the name of research!

Nothing could stop him from accomplishing what he wanted!

Paolo Pirazzoli was a great teacher, a unique mentor!

He left, but he will always be here! Because his morals, his character, his personality has shaped many of us! Not only in science! But for the rarest of all! To reach the top, and still be a simple, moral, decent person, like when he started….and Paolo Pirazzoli did that.

Paolo has showed the way for many of us….He will always be in our hearts, he will always be our consciousness!


Have a nice journey Paolo, our dear colleague, partner, friend, teacher, mentor, father……