Since January 2017: Senior Assistant Professor at the Department of Agricultural and food Sciences of the University of Bologna. Research theme: Ecophysiology of fruit trees with special focus on the study of fruit/tree water relations and vascular flows.
Coordinator of the EUFRIN Working Group in “Water Relation and Irrigation”
Member of the EIP-AGRI Fous Group in “Water and Agriculture”
In possession of the scientific national qualification for Associate Professor.
11 May 2006 PhD in “Fruit crops, woody and ornamental agro-ecosystems” released by the University of Bologna. Dissertation Title: Xylem and phloem regulation in peach fruit growth. Supervisor: Prof. Luca Corelli Grappadelli.
July 2002 Degree Magna cum Laude in “Agricultural Sciences and Technologies” released by the University of Bologna. Thesis Title: Ecophysiological efficiency in peach: relationships between light interception, gas exchanges and crop load.
2014-2016: Junior Assistant Professor at the Department of Agricultural Sciences of the University of Bologna.
2012-2014: Post Doc fellow at the same Department working on a project titled: “Determination of vascular flows to/from the fruit and characterization of leaf photosynthetic efficiency in species with different drought stress tolerance” Research on drought stress tolerance have been conducted whithin the FP7 EU project “FRUITBREEDOMICS” whereas studies on innovative strategies to deal with water scarcity have been conducted whithin the ARIMNET project: “ApMed: Apple and Peach in Mediterranean Orchards”.
February-August 2013 : Maternity leave
2011: Post Doc position working on a project titled “Characterization of iron nutrition in grapevine”
January-April 2006: Maternity leave.
March 2010- February 2011: Maternity leave
2008-2010: Post Doc position at the same Department, working on a project titled “Effect of environmental conditions on vascular flows in peach and apple”. The support for this project was also provided by the “ISAFRUIT” Project. This study focuses on the use of innovative management techniques to improve carbon metabolism and fruit quality.
December 2005 – April 2006: Maternity leave
2006 –2007: Post Doc position at the same Deparment, working on a project titled “Crop load effects on carbon metabolism in peach leaves and fruit”. I have conducted similar work in apple in the context of the EU Integrated Project ISAFRUIT of the VI FP (2006-2010). I have also been involved in several competitive grants (see below) at Italian level. In particular I have focused on water relations and fruit growth mechanisms in kiwifruit (PRIN 2005)
2003-2005: PhD student at the same Department. The research involved the development of a sensor for the accurate determination of fruit diameter variations during the day. This sensor was later used for the study of xylem, phloem and transpiration flows in and out of the fruit in peach. As part of the Doctoral program.
2000-2002: Graduate student (Master Degree) at the Department of Fruit Tree and Woody Plant Sciences at the University of Bologna. Topic of the study: yield efficiency of peach in relation to light interception, gas exchanges and fruit load in peach. Daily light interception profiles of various peach training systems were also carried out.
MAIN RESEARCH PROJECTS
My scientific activity has been completed by an intense involvement in the proposal preparation of several research projects submitted to regional, national and international calls (COOPERATION 7PQ, CAPACITIES 7PQ, ARIMNET; H2020”) by the lab of Ecophysiology of the Department of Agricultural Sciences and, since formally possible, as scientific leader (JPI WATER “WATERWORKS 2016”, Operational Groups EIP-Agri).
Furthermore, I’ve been directly involved in the implementation of the following research projects:
- EU 6PQ “ISAFRUIT (2006-2011)
- “COOPERATION” EU 7PQ “FRUITBREEDOMICS” (2011-2015)
- “ARIMNET” EU 7PQ “ApMed – Apple and Peach in Mediterranean Orchards” (2011-2015)
- “CAPACITIES” 7PQ “APPLEGENIE” (2014-2017)
- THEMATIC NETWORK H2020 “EUFRUIT” (2016-2019)
- Prin 2003: profilo dei carboidrati in piante di actinidia in funzione del carico di frutti e di condizioni microclimatiche
- Prin 2004: effetto della disponibilità idrica sulle potenzialità di accumulo di carbonio in un meleto in produzione
- Prin 2005: effetto dei fitormoni, della concimazione minerale e della funzionalità del sistema conduttore su trasporto e accumulo del calcio in frutti di actinidia. (2006-2008)
- Prin 2009: Influenza di diverse strategie di irrigazione sui flussi vascolari da e verso il frutto di kiwi (2010-2013)
- Progetto AGER “Innovapero” (2010-2013)
- Progetto AGER “Apple fruit quality in the post genomic era” (2010-2014)
- Sviluppo di protocolli per il monitoraggio e la previsione precoce delle potenzialità produttive e qualitative in kiwicoltura (cv Hayward) (2010-2013)
- Progetto sisma: “Qualità e valorizzazione della pera Abate Fétel” (2014-2015)
Since 2015 I’m involved in carrying out research activities for a growers cooperative with a project focused on improving the irrigation of Cherry orchard at harvest and post-harvest.
From March to August 2004 I spent 6 months at the Horticulture Department of the University of Florida in Georgia (U.S.) working with Dr. Mark Rieger where I carried out research activities whithin my PhD studies. The work was focused on studying carbon metabolism in peach fruit and leaves through the application of biochemical essay for the determination of enxymatic activity.
Appointed teacher of “Fruit tree Ecophysiology” within
- the “International Master in Horticultural Science” offered by the Department of Agricultural Sciences of the University of Bologna (in English)
- the Master in Agricultural Sciences and Technology offered by the Department of Agricultural Sciences of the University of Bologna (in Italian)
During the past academic years I carried out integrative teaching activities including seminars and practical exercitations within the courses of “Ecosystems and Plant Ecophysiology” and “Fruit Crops” with contributions on the following subjects .
- Fruit growing mechanisms and vascular flows
- Kiwifruit, apple and peach fruit growing strategies
- Origin of fruit species and their fruit growing stretegies
- Water potential determinations using the Scholander pressure chamber
- Assessing leaf gas exchanges with portable gas exchange analyzers
- Monitoring fruit growth with custom-built automatic fruit gauges
I taught classes on “Capacities” project development within the PhD programme of the Department of Agricultural Science of the University of Bologna
I’ve been supervisor and co-supervisor of 3 and 7 Master degree dissertations, respectively.
In 2015 I’ve been external member of the evaluation committee for the PhD defence of Dr. Jochen Hansess, at the University of Gent (Belgium).
- Representative for the Department of Agriultural Science of the “Focus Group Water Emilia Romagna” joining the main stakeholders involved in the regional water management.
- Referee of several scientific journals including Annals of Botany, Journal of Plant Physiology, Irrigation Science, Scientia Horticulturae, Agricultural Water Management, Journal of American Society of Horticultural Science etc.
- Knowledge transfer activity to local cooperatives, consultants and growers through the regular participation as invited speakers to local conferences, field days and growers meetings.
- Co-convener of the Symposium on Evaluation of Cultivars, Rootstocks and Management Systems for Sustainable Production of Deciduous Fruit Crops, that will be held in Instambul (Turkey) from August 12th to August 16th within the XXX International Horticoltural Congress (IHC2018)
- Member of the Scientific Committee and Organizing Committee of the XI ISHS Symposium on Integrating Orchard Systems and Environmental Physiology, Bologna August 28th –September 2nd 2016.
- VII International ISHS Workshop on sap flow. Sevilla, Spain, October 21-24 2008 with an oral contribution titled: “Is late stage reduction of kiwifruit sap flow due to loss of xylem functionality?”
- VII International Peach Symposium Llleida, Spain, June 8-11 2009 with an oral contribution titled: “Variations in the orchard environmental conditions affect vascular and transpiration flows to/from peach fruit “.
- 28th International Horticultural Congress, Lisbon, Portugal, August 22-27 2010 with an oral contribution titled: “Apple and peach: a different role for fruit transpiration?” and 2 poster contributions titled: “Effects of drought stress in the growth, water relations and vascular flows of young Summerkiwi fruit” and “Reflective mulches affect the daily patterns of vascular and transpiration flows to/from peach fruit “
- VII International Symposium on Kiwifruit, Faenza, Italy, September 12-17 2010 with an oral contribution titled: “Leaf gas exchanges affect water flows to kiwifruit berries during the day “.
- VIII International ISHS Workshop on sap flow. Volterra, Italy, May 8-12 2011 with an oral contribution titled: “How changes in weather conditions affect growth, vascular and transpiration flows in young apple fruit ”
- VII International ISHS Symposium on Irrigation. Geisenheim, Germany, July 16-20 2012 with an oral contribution titled: “How irrigation level affects the daily growth pattern of young pear fruit of the cv. 'Abbé fetel'”
- ERIAFF Workshop on “Regional Cooperation for innovation on water management in horticulture”. Bruxelles, Belgium, March 18 2015 with an oral contribution titled: “ EUFRIN Working Group on Water Relation and Irrigation: views from the fruit research institutes”
- VIII International ISHS Symposium on Irrigation. Lleida, Spain, June 8-11, 2015 with an oral contribution titled: “The fruit as a potential indicator of plant water status in apple”
- Symposium on “Good Water Management in orchards” organized within the final project meeting of the “ApMed” project, Montpellier, Francia 15-16 giugno 2015, with an oral contribution titled: “Mesure en continu du calibre du fruit pour le pilotage en temps reel de l’état hydrique de l’arbre et la prévision du calibre du fruit à la récolte”.
- I International ISHS Symposium on Sensing Plant Water Status, Potsdam, Germany, October 4-7, 2016 with an oral contribution titled: “Effects of mild water shortage on water relations, leaf gas exchanges, fruit growth and vascular flows of two different cherry cultivars”
- VIII Giornate Scientifiche SOI. Sassari May 4-7 maggio 2007, with an oral contribution titled: “La crescita del kiwi durante il suo stadio finale” and poster titled: “Relazioni tra rapporto foglie:frutti, efficienza fotosintetica e biosintesi di sorbitolo nel pesco”.
- VI Convegno nazionale sulla peschicoltura meridionale. Caserta March 6-7 2008 with an oral contribution titled: “Efficienza produttiva del pesco: relazioni tra intercettazione luminosa e scambi gassosi”
- XXVI Convegno peschicolo, Pievesestina di Cesena, November 5 2009 with poster contribution titled: “Frutto di pesco: dinamica giornaliera di accrescimento”.
- IX Giornate Scientifiche SOI. Firenze 10-12 marzo 2010, with oral presentation titled: “Il carico di frutti influenza le relazioni idriche ed i flussi vascolari nel frutto di pesco” .
English: C1 (Cambridge Certification