M. Sc. in NATURAL SCIENCES; CONSERVATION OF NATURE AND ITS RESOURCES. Università degli Studi di Trieste; 14th July 2004 (110 / 110 cum laude). Dissertation title "ROLE OF PICOPLANKTONIC CYANOBACTERIA IN THE GULF OF TRIESTE"
12-month-stage aimed to researches for the degree thesis, developed at the MARINE BIOLOGY LABORATORY IN TRIESTE (July 2003 – July 2004)
PhD in Polar Sciences at the Siena University defended on May 6th 2009. Thesis title: “Prokaryotes in the Ross Sea: patterns of diversity and activity in seawater and sea-ice”.
Since April 2010: Fixed term Researcher at the Biological Oceanography Department (now Oceanography Section) of OGS (Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e Geofisica Sperimentale)
August 2008 - March2010: Post-doc position in Microbial Ecology at the Department of Biological Oceanography of OGS (Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e Geofisica Sperimentale) in the framework of the project “Definition of food and energy requirements of Mytilus galloprovincialis”.
March 2006 - July 2008: Post graduate fellowship in Marine Ecology “Microbial Ecology” at the Department of Biological Oceanography of OGS (Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e Geofisica Sperimentale) within the framework of the INTERREG “ECOMADR” project.
March - December 2005: Graduate fellowship ENAIP Friuli Venezia Giulia financed by Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, European Social Found and the Italian Ministry for Work and Social Politics, carried out at the MARINE BIOLOGY LABORATORY IN TRIESTE. Researches on marine microbial ecology, with project named “Coastal waters monitoring techniques”.
Technical skills and competencies:
Computer skills: use of Microsoft® Office, Statistics programs (Grapher, Surfer, Primer, STATISTICA, R), DNA and protein sequences alignment (ClustalX, CLC Free Workbench).
Utilization of the main Microbiology Laboratory equipment, especially optical and epifluorescence microscopes, spectrofluorometer, spectrophotometer, b-counter, flow cytometer, filtration systems.
Utilization of the main Molecular Biology equipment as thermocycler, ultracentrifuge and electrophoresis run systems (agarose gel, DGGE).
Synthetic description of the research activity
Research activity in Marine Microbial Ecology.
Research activity focuses on the synecological and physiological study of planktonic Bacteria and Archaea in the North Adriatic coastal and paralic systems, in particular on the role played by these organisms in organic matter production, utilization and degradation.
Studies on the ecophysiology of Antarctic bacterial strains isolated in the Ross Sea, aimed to evaluate the role of such prokaryotes on organic matter degradation/utilization and carbon dioxide production have been performed.
Subsequently, researches have focussed on the qualitative composition of bacterioplankton communities through molecular biology analytical methods. Several studies have been carried out in order to depict spatial and temporal variability of prokaryotic communities in different environments (from the Southern Ocean, through the Mediterranean to the Arctic Ocean) and their link to degradation and production processes in pelagic and benthic systems.
More recently researches are focussing on the effect of increased CO2 in the marine environment on diversity and functionality of planktonic and benthic microbial assemblages.
In the last years investigations on deep-sea prokaryotic metabolism (heterotrophic production, dissolved inorganic carbon fixation, respiration) have been carried out in the Mediterranean Sea, in the Ross Sea and in the Barents Sea.
Principal Investigator of the project DEEPROSSS (DEEP ROSS Sea ecosystem functioning: new insights on the role of ventilation on microbial metabolism and diversity) funded by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research in the framework of the Italian Antarctic Research Program. 2014-2016.
Involvement in the following regional, national and EU projects:
- Interreg III A Italy – Slovenia “Studio dello Stato Trofico e delle anomalie del sistema alto Adriatico” (2003-2005)
- Interreg III CBC Phare Italy – Slovenia OBAS (Biological Oceanography of the Northern Adriatic Sea 2004-2006)
- CORILA: Consortium for Coordination of Research Activities Concerning the Venice Lagoon System II Research Programme (2004-2006)
- SESAME: Southern European Seas: Assessing and Modelling Ecosystem changes) (2008-2009)
- Interreg III A Italy-Slovenia ECOMADR (ECOlogia del MAR ADRiatico) (2005-2007)
- VulnErabilità delle Coste e degli ecosistemi marini italiani ai cambiamenti climaTici e loro ruolO nel ciclo del caRbonio mediterraneo (VECTOR) (2007-2009)
- Ostreopsis ovata e Ostreopsis spp.: nuovi rischi di tossicità microalgale nei mari italiani (2009)
- Sostenibilità della mitilicoltura triestina (SosteMiTs) (2007-2009).
- Sviluppo e applicazioni di tecnologie genomiche avanzate per il
controllo della contaminazione biotica in mitili destinati al consumo
- Interreg III B CADSES (Central European Adriatic Danubian South-Eastern European Space) (2005-2006)
- CLIMA: Climatic Long-term Interactions of the Mass balance in Antarctica (2005-2006)
- Polar DOVE: Polar Deep Ocean Ventilation variability and its influence on global circulation
-EGLACOM: Evolution of a GLacial Arctic COntinental Margin: the southern Svalbard ice stream-dominated sedimentary system (2008-2009).
- Research into Impacts and Safety in CO2 Storage (RISCS) 2010-2012.
-MEDSEA: MEDiterranean SEa Acidification in a changing climate 2011-2013
-ECO2: Sub-seabed CO2 Storage: Impact on Marine Ecosystems 2011-2014.
-RITMARE (RIcerca ITaliana per il MARE) (2012-2016)