Graduated in Geology from the University of Perugia (1983), he received a PhD in geography from the University of Bonn (2006), with a thesis on landslide risk. A senior research scientist with the Italian Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) since 1985, since December 2011 he is the Director of the CNR Research Institute for Geo-Hydrological Protection (IRPI).

He participated in a number of national, European and US projects. From 1992 and 2002 he coordinated the project AVI – Aree Vulnerate Italiane (Italy's Affected Areas), producing a large wealth of information on historical landslide and flood events (MORFEO DORIS, LAMPRE) and for operating landslide forecasting (SANF).

He coordinated the CNR technical and scientific activities in the area affected by the L'Aquila earthquake of April 6th, 2009. From 2012 he is member of the "Commissione Nazionale Grandi Rischi" (National Commission for Big Risks). He served as President of the Natural Hazards Division of the European Geosciences Union (EGU, www.egu.eu), and received the EGU Union Service Award (2008).

He also contributes to POLARIS (http://polaris.irpi.cnr.it), a portal for spreading informations about ordinary and flood-induced landslides in Italy.