Biologist interested in the health and behaviour of social and solitary bees. Investigates animal behaviour and the multifaceted impacts of anthropic and environmental drivers using bees as model organisms, also bioindicators of environmental health.
Uses traditional and novel lab, semi-field, field, and in silico methods to study bee health and behaviours, including flight, navigation, locomotion, thermoregulation, nutrition, reproduction, phototaxis, and immunity. Contributes to risk assessments to assist human societies protect bees and the environment. Also a beekeeper.
Inspired by nature and his rural worker origins.
First generation University student. He/him.
2021 — ongoing
Assistant Professor (tenure-track)
Department of Agricultural, Forest, and Food Sciences (DISAFA); University of Turin
2019 — 2020
Postdoctoral research (Make Our Planet Great Again fellowship of the President of the Republic)
Animal Health Laboratory; French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES)
2016 — 2018
Postdoctoral research fellow
Section of Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution; Division of Biological Sciences; University of California San Diego (UCSD)
San Diego, California, USA
Agriculture and Environment Research Centre, Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA-AA)
PhD in Agricultural, Environmental and Food Science and Technology (final evaluation: excellent)
Department of Agricultural Sciences; University of Bologna
Visiting scholar at University of Pretoria, Department of Zoology and Entomology.
Pretoria, South Africa.
Master of Science in Ecology and Evolution, Applied ecology (final evaluation: 110/110 cum laude)
Department of Biology and Evolution Laboratory; University of Ferrara
Bachelor of Science in Biological sciences, Ecosystem curriculum (final evaluation: 110/110)
Department of Biological Sciences; University of Bologna
Biodiversity and management of pollinating insects. Master’s Degree. UNITO
Techniques for sustainable disease and pest management. Bachelor's Degree. UNITO
Beekeeping. Master’s Degree. UNITO
See our Publications page
External Scientific Expert and Working Groups member for the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA: MUST-B, HEALTHY-B, HMF WG, Food and Feed WG).
Scientist Expert for the European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural productivity and Sustainability (EIP-AGRI) of the European Commission, Directorate General Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI). Bee health and sustainable beekeeping Focus Group.
Academic Editor of PlosOne, Topic Editor of Insects, Guest Editor of Frontiers of sustainable food
Invited peer reviewer for more than 20 scientific journals, including Nature Ecology and Evolution, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Environmental Science & Technology, The Science of the Total Environment, Chemosphere, Scientific Reports, Microbial Biotechnology, PLoS One, Environmental Pollution.
Invited peer reviewer of scientific grants, including "Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions" and "Graduate Women in Science".
Media consultancy and appearance, including "The last bee" (PRESADIRETTA, TV prime-time news show by R. Iacona, National Italian State Broadcasting Corporation - Rai 3), “Bee Conscious” (documentary by Envision Cinema Conservatory Production, IMAX - In Focus), “Urban beekeeping could save the world” (documentary by E. S. Huffman, UPROXX).
Supervised more than 40 students, postdocs.
Selected honours and awards
Laura Bassi Scholarship for assistance to research focusing on neglected topics of study. Editing Press, Canada
Special Member of the Entomology Department Graduate Faculty, University of Maryland, USA
“Make Our Planet Great Again” awardee, international research initiative funded by the French President of the Republic and the French ministries of "Europe and foreign affairs" and "Higher education, research, and innovation"
Early career researcher initiative award by EFSA for the presentation "Synergy as future challenge for risk assessment: pesticides, nutrition, and behaviour" ("Advancing risk assessment science - Environment")
“Luca Franzini” award for best publication on social insect topics (2014-17) (International Union for the Study of Social Insects − IUSSI, Italian Association for the Study of Social and Presocial Arthropods − AISASP).
Graduate student award by the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees (www.preservationofhoneybees.org)
COLOSS Award for best early stage researcher presentation ("Role of temperature on honey bee susceptibility to pesticides")
European Food Safety Authority
EFSA is the agency of the European Union (European Commission, European Parliament, Member States) that provides independent scientific advice on existing and emerging risks (food and feed, animal health and welfare, plant health, nutrition). Scientific expert, member of the working groups such as MUST-B (Development of a holistic approach for the risk assessment on MUltiple STressors in Bees, Scientific Committee and Emerging Risks Unit), HEALTHY-B (Assessing the health status of managed honeybee colonies, Animal Health Panel), HMF (assessment of HMF risks for bees, Contamination Panel), Food and Feed (pollen feed for bees, Food and Feed/GMO applications). Among others, we published the MUST-B Scientific Opinion, the HEALTHY-B Scientific Opinion, a Technical Report on modelling multiple stressors, and an Event Report on bee health.
EIP-AGRI (European Commission)
The agricultural European Innovation Partnership (EIP-AGRI), European Commission (DG Agriculture and Rural Development) works to foster competitive and sustainable farming and forestry that 'achieves more and better from less'.
Scientist Expert member of the 'Bee health and sustainable beekeeping' Focus Group, aiming at ensuring the sustainability of beekeeping in the face of challenges linked to pests and diseases, intensification of agriculture and climate change. We published a Final Report, a Minipaper on the mitigation of major bee stressors, and a Minipaper on bee monitoring.
University of California San Diego
The University of California San Diego (UCSD) is a public research and education university, located in beautiful La Jolla and part of the larger University of California system. It is recognized as one of the top public research universities worldwide. Our collaboration with UCSD started many years ago and focuses on the investigation of the health and behaviour of multiple bee species.
The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES, Paris) is a French governmental agency which main mission is to assess food and environmental health risks, within the domains of human health, animal health and welfare, and plant health. ANSES is dedicated to bee health and is the European Union Reference Laboratory for honey bee health (EC), the National Reference Laboratory for honey bee health (French Ministry), and the Reference Laboratory for honey bee diseases (OIE). We are working to refine risk assessments and investigate the multifaceted impact of pesticides on bee health.
University of Maryland
The collaboration with the University of Maryland (UMD) aims at investigating the major drivers of bee health through analysis of monitoring data. We use real-world data on the health status of honey bee colonies, pesticide contamination and exposure, land use, and various other factors to predict and interpret environmental influence on bee health.
The Prevention of honey bee COlony LOSSes (COLOSS) is an international, non-profit researcher association that aims at improving the well-being of bees. This association involves researchers, veterinarians, agriculture extension specialists, and students. Active member since 2009, coordinates the Nutrition Task Force and various experiments for the APITOX Task Force.
University of Pretoria
The collaboration with the Social Insects Research Group based at the Department of Zoology and Entomology of the University of Pretoria (UP), South Africa, was aimed at investigating the impact of pesticides on honey bee foraging and thermoregulation (for example this publication). We studied the local species, Apis mellifera scutellata.