Prof. JoAnn Cassar

Prof. JoAnn Cassar

Prof. JoAnn Cassar



Room 207
Built Environment Building
University of Malta
  +356 2340 2866
Prof. JoAnn Cassar is Full Professor and Head of the Department of Conservation and Built Heritage within the Faculty for the Built Environment, University of Malta, and Deputy Dean of the Faculty. She is a Fellow of the International Institute for Conservation (FIIC), Fellow of the Geological Society (FGS), Chartered Chemist and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (CChem, FRSC) and Chartered Scientist (CSci). She is a Board member of the Maltese national agency for museums, conservation practice and cultural heritage -Heritage Malta. She has been carrying out research on stone characterization, deterioration and conservation for over thirty years, including specifically on the Maltese Prehistoric Megalithic Temples. She is currently leading projects, within the Department, on the Conservation of the Great Siege Cycle of Wall Paintings at the Palace of the President of the Republic (Valletta, Malta) – with Ms Jennifer Porter from the same Department; on an evaluation of the behaviour of the shelters over the Prehistoric Megalithic Temples of Malta - with Heritage Malta, on the behaviour of traditional and modern local roofs - with Dr Charles Galdies, Institute of Earth Systems. She is also leading Malta’s participation in the transnational project IPERION HS and spearheading, with local Heritage organisations, Malta’s participation in E-RIHS - the European Research Infrastructure for Heritage Science. She has directed the nomination, and acceptance, of Malta’s Globigerina Limestone as a Global Heritage Stone Resource by the IUGS. She has lectured widely in foreign universities, has given numerous presentations at international conferences and is a regular reviewer for scientific and cultural heritage journals. She has over seventy scientific publications on conservation-related topics to her name, and is the co-editor of seven books.
  • Conservation education
  • Conservation science
  • Climate change and cultural heritage
  • Earth observations for cultural heritage
  • Conservation of archaeological sites
  • Deterioration and conservation of building materials

CASSAR, J., GALDIES, C., MUSCAT AZZOPARDI, E., 2021. A New Approach to Studying Traditional Roof Behaviour in a Changing Climate—A Case Study from the Mediterranean Island of Malta.. Heritage, 4(, pp. 3543-3571.

CASSAR, J., STRLIC, M., 2021. The opportunities of a global, shared research infrastructure for the conservation community, BRIDGLAND J., ed. In: Transcending Boundaries: Integrated Approaches to Conservation. ICOM-CC 19th Triennial Conference Preprints, Beijing, , 17–21 May 2021 2021, Paris: International Council of Museums.

ROUSSEL E., VAUTIER F., VOLDOIRE O., ANDRÉ M-F., CASSAR J., FRONTEAU G., PHALIP B., THOMACHOT-SCHNEIDER C., TOUMAZET J-P., 2021. Quantifying 450 years of limestone weathering induced by salt crystallization on fortifications in Malta and Gozo. Geomorphology, 378(,.

SESANA E., GAGNON A.S., CIANTELLI C., CASSAR, J., HUGHES J.J, 2021. Climate change impacts on cultural heritage: A literature review. WIREs Clim Change, (e710.,.

GRØNTOFT T., C.J., 2020. An assessment of the contribution of air pollution to the weathering of limestone heritage structures in Malta

. Environmental Earth Sciences, 79:288(,.

VALANTINAVICIUS, M., MICALLEF, D., CASSAR, J., CARUANA, J., CIANTELLI, C, 2020. Sheltering megalithic Temples in Malta – evaluating the process through data collection and modelling , IOP Conf. Series: Materials Science and Engineering 949 (2020) 012035 doi:10.1088/1757 899X/949/1/012035, 14-16 October 2020 2020.

CASSAR, J., 2019. Impacts of climate change on archaeological heritage, with a case study from Malta. In: N.C. VELLA, A.J. FRENDO and H.C.R. & VELLA, eds, The Lure of the Antique. Essays on Malta and Mediterranean Archaeology in Honour of Anthony Bonanno. Peeters, pp. 87-100.

CASSAR J., CEFAI S., GRIMA R., STROUD K., 2018. Sheltering archaeological sites in Malta: lessons learnt. Herit Sci (2018) 6: 36, 6(36),.

CASSAR, J., STANDING, J.R., 2017. Geomaterials: aggregates, building stone and earthworks: papers from 50 years of QJEGH. Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology, Thematic set: QJEGH 50th Anniversary Review Paper(Online first), pp.

BECHERINI, F., CASSAR, J., GALEA, M., BERNARDI, A., 2016. Evaluation of the Shelters over the Prehistoric Megalithic Temples of Malta: Environmental Considerations. Environmental Earth Sciences, 75(14),.

CASSAR J., TORPIANO A., ZAMMIT G., MICALLEF A.., 2016. Proposal for the nomination of Lower Globigerina Limestone of the Maltese Islands as a “Global Heritage Stone Resource”. Episodes Vol. 40, No. 3 DOI: 10.18814/epiiugs/2017/v40i3/017025, , pp. 221 - 231.

CASSAR, J., 2016. Climate Change and Archaeological Sites: Adaptation Strategies. In: R.-. LEFÈVRE and C. SABBIONI, eds, Cultural Heritge  From Pollution to Climate Change. 1st edn. Italy: Edipuglia, pp. 119.

CASSAR, J., 2016. The Historic and Archaeological Heritage: Pollution and Non-Urban Sites. In: P. BRIMBLECOMBE, ed, Urban Pollution and Changes to Materials and Building Surfaces. 2nd. edn. World Scientific, pp. 255.

WEYER, A., ROIG PICAZO, P., POP, D., CASSAR, J., ÖZKÖSE, A., VALLET J-M., AND SRŠA, I, ed, 2015. EwaGlos - European Illustrated Glossary of Conservation Terms for Wall Paintings and Architectural Surfaces. 1st ed. edn. Germany: Michael Imhof Verlag.

CASSAR, J., WINTER, M.G., MARKER, B.R., WALTON, N.R.G., ENTWISLE, D.C., BROMHEAD, E.N., SMITH, J.W.N., 2014. Introduction to Stone in Historic Buildings: Characterization and Performance. In: J. CASSAR, M.G. WINTER, B.R. MARKER, N.R.G. WALTON, D.C.B. ENTWISLE E.N. and J.W.N. SMITH, eds, Stone in Historic Buildings: Characterization and Performance. SP 391 edn. Geological Society, London, .

CASSAR, J., WINTER, M.G., MARKER, B.R., WALTON, N.R.G., ENTWISLE, D.C., BROMHEAD, E.N., SMITH, J.W.N., ed, 2014. SP391 Stone in Historic Buildings: Characterization and Performance. London: Geological Society.

CASSAR, J., WINTER, M.G., MARKER, B.R., BROMHEAD, E.N., SMITH, J.W.N., TOLL, D.G., WALTON, N.R.G., ENTWISLE, D.C., DIJKSTRA, T.A., 2013. Introduction to the Stone Cycle and the Conservation of Historic Buildings. Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology, 46, pp. 363.

CASSAR, J., GALEA, M., GRIMA, R., STROUD, K., TORPIANO, A., 2011. Shelters over the Megalithic Temples of Malta: debate, design and implementation. Environmental Earth Sciences Special Issue DOI: 10.1007/s12665-010-0735-8.i, .

ROTHERT, E., EGGERS, T., CASSAR, J., RUEDRICH, J., FITZNER, B., SIEGESMUND, S., 2007. Stone properties and weathering induced by salt crystallization of Maltese Globigerina Limestone. In: B.J.S. R.PŘIKRYL, ed, Building stone decay: from diagnosis to conservation. London: Geological Society, London, Special Publication, 271, pp. 189-198.

VERGÈS-BELMIN, V., ANSON CARTWRIGHT, T., CASSAR, J., CHAROLA, E., DE WITTE, E., DELGADO-RODRIGUEZ, J. ET AL., 2004. An internet-accessible multilingual illustrated glossary on stone deterioration. Stone 2004, 10th International Congress on Deterioration and Conservation of Stone,  Stockholm, Sweden., 27 June-2 July, 2004 2004, pp. 699-706.

CASSAR, J., VELLA, A.J., 2003. Methodology to identify badly weathering limestone using geochemistry: case study on the Lower Globigerina Limestone of the Maltese islands. Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology, 36(1), pp. 85-96.

CASSAR, J., 2002. Deterioration of the Globigerina Limestone of the Maltese Islands.
Natural Stone, Weathering Phenomena, Conservation Strategies and Case Studies.
London: Geological Society of London, pp. 33-49.

  • BLH3421 - Traditional Building Materials
  • BLH4027 - Traditional Materials and Techniques 1
  • BLH5311 - Heritage Building Materials and Technology
  • BLH5331 - Deterioration and Conservation
The Department of Conservation and Built Heritage is currently involved in a number of high-
level projects where Professor Cassar is the lead researcher.
These are:
- Evaluating the behaviour over the megalithic Temples of Malta through Computational Fluid
Dynamics (CFD) modelling

- Earth observation for heritage buildings conservation and sustainability (EO4HBCS)

- Conservation of the wall paintings by Perez d'Aleccio in the Throne Room of the
President's Palace, Valletta



The Department, led by Professor Cassar, is also a main main beneficiary of ERDF funds which
have resulted in the purchase of high-level portable and other equipment, dedicated to
Heritage Science research. These will be a core component of the Heritage Science
laboratories in the Sustainable Living Comples (SLC) currently being built.