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In Profile: Roman Stocker finds big effects from tiny organisms (MIT)

**Roman Stocker**

_Photo: M. Scott Brauer_

Roman Stocker was introduced to the world of civil engineering early, often,
and all over the place. Born in Vienna to parents from the South Tyrol, a
bilingual region in northern Italy, Stocker says, “We moved around a bit.”
That’s a bit of an understatement.

Stocker’s father is a civil engineer who moved wherever his work took him. The
family’s time in Vienna coincided with his work managing the construction of a
bridge; they then moved to Nigeria for the construction of a large dam. After
two years, the Stockers relocated to a remote desert in Yemen, site of a new
highway to Saudi Arabia.

From a very early age, Stocker says, he was exposed to large construction
sites. He grew up experiencing firsthand the rigors, and the excitement, of
these remote conditions, far from most modern conveniences, where many things
needed to be built from scratch. These early experiences also kindled a
lifelong interest in languages, cultures, ecosystems, travel, and the
varieties of human experience and natural environments.

Often during his childhood, Stocker accompanied his father on remote hiking
trips. They would dam up little streams with rocks and dirt and ...

MIT

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