F. Anselmucci PhD (Floriana)

Postdoctoral research associate

About Me

Floriana Anselmucci Ph.D. is a postdoctoral researcher within the Soil Micro Mechanics team of the Engineering Technology faculty.

Dr. Anselmucci holds a Ph.D. in Civil engineering (Geotechnics and Geomechanics), a M.Sc. in Geomechanics and Geomaterials from University Grenoble Alpes (France) and a M.Sc. in Geotechnical engineering and a B.Sc. in Civil and Environmental engineering from University of Calabria (Italy). In addition, she is a licensed engineer in Italy, with expertise in civil engineering and working in urban regeneration design.


Floriana's early research work focused on the development of a methodology to estimate and quantify the hydro-mechanical effects of vegetation on soil micromechanics.

In 2017, she was research assistant at The James Hutton Institute (UK) developing a methodology to replicate at lab scale, in-situ condition for vegetated granular soils.

Between 2017 and 2020, Floriana was a doctoral candidate in the Geomechanics group at the Laboratoire 3SR (France). Her research aimed to study the physical processes of the root-soil interaction  through x-ray microtomography and digital image correlation (DIC). To this end, she developed different image processing tools to translate information given by the tomography into 4D measurements to quantity the plant roots growth in time and their effects on the soil microstructure. Additionally, she design and ran experimental studies using x-ray tomography investigating; - robotic locomotion of an earthworm inspired probe in granular media; - the effect of shallow cavities in granular soil; - the pore space evolution of sand under shearing loads.

In 2018, she became visiting researcher in the geosystems group at the Georgia Institute of Technology (USA), where she numerically investigated the behavior of living roots in granular soils.


Engineering & Materials Science
X Rays
Earth & Environmental Sciences
Wetting-Drying Cycle
X-Ray Tomography


Dr. Anselmucci current research focuses on the bio-hydro-mechanical properties of the vadose zone: addressing the investigation on the effects on soil matrix induced by climate change and developing experimental and numerical tools to:

  • Find a statistical correlation between age of plant, leaf index, and fluorescence spectral measurements to quantify the in-vivo root biomass.
  • Link the effects of plant properties (e.g. age, root biomass) to the water retention properties of the soil.
  • Quantify the mechanical strength of a root-reinforced soil.


She is currently working in collaboration with the department of Biomechanical Engineering to develop a burrowing robot capable of measuring the in-situ mechanical properties of the surrounding soil.



Anselmucci, F., Andò, E., Viggiani, G., Lenoir, N., Peyroux, R., Arson, C., & Sibille, L. (2021). Use of x-ray tomography to investigate soil deformation around growing roots. Geotechnique Letters, 11(1), 96-102. https://doi.org/10.1680/jgele.20.00114
Borela, R., Frost, J. D., Viggiani, G. , & Anselmucci, F. (2021). Earthworm-inspired robotic locomotion in sand: An experimental study with X-ray tomography. Geotechnique Letters, 11(1), 66-73. https://doi.org/10.1680/jgele.20.00085
Anselmucci, F., Andò, E., Viggiani, G., Lenoir, N., Arson, C., & Sibille, L. (2021). Imaging local soil kinematics during the first days of maize root growth in sand. Scientific reports, 11(1), [22262]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-01056-1
Patino-Ramirez, F. , Anselmucci, F., Andò, E., Viggiani, G., Caicedo, B., & Arson, C. (Accepted/In press). Deformation and failure mechanisms of granular soil around pressurised shallow cavities. Geotechnique. https://doi.org/10.1680/jgeot.21.00136
Anselmucci, F., Andó, E., Sibille, L., Lenoir, N., Peyroux, R., Arson, C., Viggiani, G., & Bengough, A. G. (2019). Root-reinforced sand: Kinematic response of the soil. In E. Ibraim, & A. Tarantino (Eds.), 7th International Symposium on Deformation Characteristics of Geomaterials, IS-Glasgow 2019 [12011] (E3S Web of Conferences; Vol. 92). EDP Sciences. https://doi.org/10.1051/e3sconf/20199212011

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Lecturer of the Image Analysis module of the course Advanced Programming in Engineering (APiE) 

Affiliated Study Programmes



Contact Details

Visiting Address

University of Twente
Drienerlolaan 5
7522 NB Enschede
The Netherlands

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Mailing Address

University of Twente
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands

Additional Contact Information

Office number: Z228

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