Teaching Portfolio

Dr Mario V Balzan: Over the past few years, I have taught at various higher education institutions (including, most recently, the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology and the University of Malta) and have also acted as coordinator for environmental engineering graduate courses for several years.

I am currently delivering the following modules at graduate and post-graduate levels:

  • Biodiversity and Conservation (MQF Level 6)

  • Sustainable Development (MQF Level 6)

  • Principles of Ecology (MQF Level 6)

  • Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Nature-Based Solutions (MQF Level 7)

  • Agribusiness Education (MQF Level 7)

  • Developing a vocational pedagogy for agribusiness education (MQF Level 7)

  • Teaching and learning in agribusiness (MQF Level 7)

Training Schools

The ReNature Project Training Courses

The ReNature project 1st training course on biodiversity and ecosystem services monitoring was held in Malta between the 7 and 9 May 2019. This course provides participants with an understanding of the basic concepts and the tools for mapping and assessing biodiversity, green infrastructure and ecosystem services. More information about the ReNature 1st Training Course is available from here.

The ReNature project 2nd training course on mainstreaming nature-based solutions (NbS) in planning and policy-making took place in Dublin from 11 to 13 June 2019. Invited practitioners gave an overview of environmental and societal issues and highlighted the sustainability potential of nature-based solutions, as well as their benefits, such as lower maintenance necessity and price.

The ReNature project 3rd training course on nature-based solutions in urban planning, held in Trento between the 6 and 8 February 2020. Combining lectures on ecological foundations, urban ecosystem services and NbS design, the training course provided a solid base for a real-life urban planning exercise. More info here.

The ReNature project 4th training course on nature-based solutions in rural areas took place in Malta between the 24 and 25 February 2020. More info is available from here.

The ReNature project 5th training course on nature-based solutions and the science-policy interface was held online. Recordings are available from here.

ReNaturing Cities: Interdisciplinary Summer School

The first ReNaturing cities: 1st Interdisciplinary Summer School brought together around 40 students and international experts from different backgrounds to discuss and outline innovative ideas for nature-based solutions in Malta. The Summer School took place from 30th September to 4th October in Malta. The exercises carried out by the students were focused on local problems as flooding and tourism pressure. Participants presented their innovative and efficient ideas, which can be implemented on the island to enhance people’s connectivity with nature. The summer school was organised by the ReNature Horizon 2020 project and the Circular City COST Action. More information is available from here.

2nd Interdisciplinary Training School: Planning nature-based solutions in cities

ReNature held the project’s second and last of the series interdisciplinary training school on planning nature-based solutions (NbS) in cities. From 15 to 18 March 2021 more than 50 people from all around the world attended the four-day training, held in an entirely online environment. The training school included keynotes by guest speakers and the project team, and the students were given problem solving tasks related to the planning and implementation of NbS in three case study areas - Marsa Sports Complex, Ta’ Qali Action Plan and Hal-Ferh area Local Plan.

SUPER-B Training School

A total of 15 trainees from 15 different countries attended the SUPER-B Training School in Malta on the identification of wild bees.

Student Research


Training material and presentations

Mapping and assessing ecosystem services at national scale in Malta (ESMERALDA Horizon 2020 project)

Assessing ecosystem services in the Valletta (Malta) urban area (ReNature Horizon 2020 project)

Ecological succession and vegetation assemblages in a Mediterranean climate (ReNature Horizon 2020 project)