Paola Mattarelli is Researcher teaching Environmental Microbiology at the Department of Agriculture and Food Sciences (DISTAL) at Bologna University (Italy). The research focuses on microbial taxonomy and identification, in particular related to the family Bifidobacteriaceae, by the use of molecular and traditional methods. Some of these results lead to the description of 15 new Bifidobacterium species. The research activities include microbial ecology of human and animal gastrointestinal microbiota and also probiotics and prebiotics. She carries out studies on the antimicrobial activity of natural and synthetic chemicals. Coauthor of chapters dealing with bifidobacteria in the III Edition of "The Prokaryotes" (2001-on line and 2006-paper version) and in the vol.5 “The Actinobacteria” (of the II Edition of "Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology" (2012). Responsible of BUSCoB (Bologna University Scardovi Collection of Bifidobacteria) microbial collection which comprises about 9000 strains of bifidobacteria. She is author of more than 50 peer reviewed papers.