Pica Feliciana


publications: Orcid
personal details and research activity: People
Curriculum Vitae

I studied and got my degree in Agricultural Science and Technology with a specialised curriculum in Plant Medicine at the University of Florence, I carried out an experimental thesis entitled ‘Development of Tenebrio molitor on cereal waste and lipid profile of larvae’. These studies enabled me to acquire fundamental knowledge on the recognition and integrated and biological management of organisms that are harmful to crops of agricultural interest. I also learned and developed breeding methods from a circular economy perspective by exploiting organic waste to obtain alternative proteins for feed purposes. During my post-graduate internship at the Institut Valencià d’Investigacions Agràries (IVIA) in Moncada, Spain, I was involved in the breeding and laboratory assays of different species of agricultural interest, in particular some parasitoid species of the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata, such as Diachasmimorpha longicaudata and Aganaspis daci. I have also conducted sampling activities of some Pseudococcus species such as Planococcus citri, Pseudococcus viburni, Delottococcus aberiae and study of their symbiotic relationship with several ant species on plants of the genera Diospyros and Citrus. I carried out sampling and monitoring of field populations of the main vectors of the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa. In 2022, I won a scholarship under the scientific responsibility of Dr Umberto Bernando as part of the URCoFi project. This activity is continuing with a research grant under the scientific responsibility of Dr Francesco Nugnes. My activities involve field monitoring of quarantine invasive insect species, using pheromone traps and sampling, morphological recognition with the support of molecular analyses, studies on biology and methodologies for eco-sustainable control. The latter include the setting up and maintenance of breeding on natural and artificial diets of certain phytophagous insects and related parasitoids (Ceratitis capitata, Baryscapus silvestrii, Halyomorpha halys, Aleurocanthus spiniferus) and field trials on cash crops.