Researcher at CNR since 2002, involved in studies on the effects of biotic stressors on the functionality of tree plants and in particular on the defense and adaptation mechanisms implemented by trees at a morpho-functional, genetic and biochemical level in response to the attack of fungal pathogens; selection and deployment of resistant or tolerant genotypes to sustain production and ensure the quality of the environment and the health of the population.
Transfer of the technological innovation acquired on the cypress-bark canker pathosystem. Use of selected varieties in demonstration and pilot projects for the protection of the environment against natural hazards, production of quality timber, mitigation of pollinosis, sustain to the rural economy and nurseries, conservation and recovery of the landscape and restoration and of trees and plantations of historical and monumental value, the recovery of degraded sites.
Main research topics:
- genetic improvement forest species and selection of host genotypes resistant to pathogens;
- environmental effect on the host-pathogen interaction;
- study of resistance mechanisms, their variability and heritability;
- conservation of host and pathogen biodiversity;
- characterization of pathogenic and endophytic fungal populations of forest trees by molecular, physiological and morphological assays;
- epidemiology of fungal pathogens populations;
- control of tree diseases by integrating traditional and innovative and environmentally friendly control methods;
- diagnosis and control of pathogenic disorders of ornamental and urban trees; cure and restoration of historic and monumental plantations;
- in situ and ex situ conservation of biodiversity of forest trees.
In course projects
Coordinator of the LIFE4FIR project Life18 Nat/It/000164 “Decisive in situ and ex situ conservation strategies to protect the critically endangered Madonie Fir (Abies nebrodensis) in Sicily” 2019-2023
Beneficiary of the Project Life18/CCA/ES/001110 Mycorestore “Innovative use of mycological resources for resilient & productive Mediterranean forests threatened by climate change” 2019-2023
Scientific responsible on behalf of CNR of the projects financed by the Leghorn Provincial Council for the care and enhancement of the monumental Viale di Bolgheri: execution of phytosanitary surveys, planning of interventions, support to sanitation and replanting, selection of autochthonous cypress clones resistant to cypress canker disease (from 2007 to 2019).