Foto del docente

Barbara Mantovani

Full Professor

Department of Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences

Academic discipline: BIO/05 Zoology

Curriculum vitae

She got degrees in Biological Sciences in 1979 at the University of Bologna, where she started her university career as researcher of Zoology for the Faculty of Science in 1983. She is associate professor of Zoology from the 1st november 2000 and Professor of Zoology from the 1st october 2007.


She published over 110 scientific papers on both Italian and international journals and presented many communications/posters at national and international Congresses on: lymphopoiesis and cell-mediated responses in anurans; biochemical and/or molecular taxonomy of bivalves, crustaceans, insects (mites, isopterans, emipterans, snout beetles and lepidopterans), fishes; morphological, biochemical and molecular taxonomy, reproductive biology, microevolution and cladogenesis in Phasmatodea (genera Bacillus and Leptynia). In particular, within the genus Bacillus she described hybridogenesis and androgenesis and analyzed genetic differentiation, phyletic relationships and speciation mechanisms. More recently attention has been paid to the evolutionary dynamics of repetitive sequences (satellite DNA; rDNA; mobile elements) in different reproductive milieau mainly given by arthropods with reproductive modes that deviate from canonical panmictic gonochorism for different aspects:

- CRUSTACEA, BRANCHIOPODA: Notostraca (genera Triops and Lepidurus); these animals exploit different sexual condition even within the same taxon (gonochorism, hermaphroditism, unisexuality and androdioecy);

- INSECTA, ISOPTERA, Rhinotermitidae (genus Reticulitermes) and Kalotermitidae (genus Kalotermes); the eusocial way of life of termites produces reproductive bottlenecks that take place both in time and space with a significant impact on genetic variability dynamics, further enhanced by instances of asexual queen succession;

- INSECTA, PHASMIDA, genus Bacillus; these stick insects represent the most well known example of reticulated evolution, with instances of facultative and obligatory parthenogenesis, hybridogenesis and androgenesis that taken together with the occurrence of interspecific hybridization make this genus an unique model system.

Morphological, karyological and molecular analyses have been also carried out in these animal groups to gain taxonomic and phylogenetic data. Recently, genomic analyses have been undertaken through NGS.

For research activity updating see:


 Most recent collaborations are:

-  BOLD, WG1.9 Terrestrial Bio-Surveillance - Stick and leaf insects - Phasmida (Project Manager: B. Mantovani; Frequent Collaborators: Paul Brock, Great Britain; Alex V. Borisenko, Biodiversity Institute, Ontario, Canada; ongoing).

- Chromosome repatterning in Bacillus stick insects (Miroslav Plohl, Laboratory for structure and function of heterochromatin, head; ; Department of Molecular Biology; Ruder Boskovic Institute, Zagreb, Croatia).


Most recent fundings (aside from local University RFO and Canziani funds):

- 2009-2010:  III. Executive Programme of Scientific and Technological Co-operation 2009 -2010 between Croatia and Italy, funded by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia and Italian MAE for the exchange of researchers; project “Origin and evolution of satellite DNAs in two economically relevant Venerupis bivalve molluscs of the Adriatic Sea"(M. Plohl, RuÄ‘er BoÅ¡ković Institute, Zagreb, Croatia).

- 2009 - Fondazione del Monte di Bologna e Ravenna; project: “Pirosequenziamento di genomi di Artropodi modello†(leader B. Mantovani)

- 2010   PRIN 2008 (Italian Ministry of University, MIUR) - Title: "Retrotransposon dynamics and inbred genomes: the termite diplo-diploid eusocial model" (leader B. Mantovani).

 - 2013 - FARB Unibo Prot. RFBO125984: “Assessing Temporal Genome Changes in the bluefin TUNA (ATGC-TUNA): environmental and natural history induced evolution of transposable elements and putative adaptive genes†(B. Mantovani, coordinator). 


Other activities :

- Referee for: Australian Journal of Zoology, Biology Letters, Caryologia, Central European Central European Journal of Biology, Entomologica Fennica. European Journal of Entomology,  Gene, Genetica, Genome, Heredity,  Heredity,  Insectes Sociaux,  Italian Journal of Zoology, Journal of Biology, Journal of Evolutionary Biology,  Journal of Fish Biology,  Marine Ecology Progress Series,  Molecular Biology and Evolution,  Molecular Genetics and Genomics,  Molecules, PLOSone, Redia, Trends in Ecology and Evolution.

Associate Editor “ ZOOTAXA


- Member of the panel of the Research Observatory for the  CUN 05 area at the University of Bologna (2011-2013).

- Member of the Gruppo di Esperti della Valutazione, 05 area of the National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes (VQR 2004-2010; )

- Referee for the evaluation of National  research projects (PRIN).

- Member of the Pool of Reviewers (European Science Foundation; May 2008-April 2012); ).

- Coordinator of the PhD in Biodiversity and Evolution (linked to Mares - (2009-2013).

 - Member of the PhD Board (29°-33° cycles) and Coordinator of the PhD in Scienze della Terra, della Vita e dell'Ambiente (Earth, Life and Environmental Sciences)  (2014-2017)