I am interested in the taxonomy, systematics and population genetics of hymenopteran wasps and their bacterial endosymbionts, with a focus on exploring different types of data and ways to integrate them in an Integrative Taxonomy approach. I am also interested in invasive species and their natural enemies, in particular in the phylogeography of pests and parasitoids and in investigating patterns of adaptation of native parasitoids.
As a Marie Curie International Outgoing Postdoctoral Fellow in the Hunter laboratory at the University of Arizona, I am involved in two projects: In one, I am studying the nuclear and symbiotic contributions to speciation in two closely related Encarsia species, one infected by the endosymbiont Cardinium that induces cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) and one uninfected. In another, I am looking at the cytological events in the early embryogenesis of an egg affected by CI-Cardinium.
Recently, I have been learning next generation sequencing techniques, in particular Restriction-site associated DNA sequencing (RADseq), and applied it to non-model organisms.