I am a plant eco-physiologist and my research is embedded in the field of plant and halophyte physiology, plant transport biology and plant volatile organic compound (VOC) research. The University of Western Australia (UWA) provided an excellent setting in which I have been able to start my career researching plant stress physiology and halophyte physiology mentored by Prof. Colmer and A/Prof Barrett-Lennard. During my PhD I investigated plant responses to heterogeneous salinities. A subsequent Endeavour fellowship in 2016 enabled me to further extend my work on plant responses on saline soils, focusing on the role of hydraulic redistribution in shaping plant physiology and survival in saline soils. After my PhD at UWA, I moved back to Italy in 2012 and I have since worked at the University of Florence. My work here at UNIFI focuses on investigating different aspects of plant stress physiology (including drought, heavy metal and biotic stresses and VOC signaling in plants/soil). In parallel at the end of my PhD, I initiated a collaboration with Prof. Sergey Shabala (University of Tasmania), world leading expert in plant cell physiology and electrophysiology, that has resulted in 2016 in the award of a Global Marie Curie fellowship. This grant enabled me to explore novel research questions pertaining to transport system in epidermal salt bladders in the halophyte Chenopodium quinoa, a unique unexplored avenue for bladder cell-based desalination breeding in non-halophytes.
04/2007 – 04/2011
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - School of Plant Biology, University of Western Australia, Australia. Thesis title: Response of the halophyte Atriplex nummularia to non-uniform salinity in the root-zone.
09/2000 – 04/2006
Magistral degree in Agricultural Sciences and Technologies (110/110 cum laude) - University of Florence, Italy.Thesis title: Morphological characterisation on new germplasm of Biserrula pelecinus
01/01/2023 – Ongoing – Assistant Professor - Department of Biology, University of Florence, Italy.
01/09/2020 – 31/12/2022 - Post Doctoral position - Department of Agrifood Production and Environmental Sciences (DAGRI), University of Florence, Italy.
01/12/2019 – 31/08/2020 - Maternity leave
01/12/2016 – 30/11/2019 - Global Marie Curie Fellow – University of Florence, The University of Tasmania and Würzburg University, Germany.
10/11/2015 – 09/10/2016 - Endeavour Research Fellow - School of Plant Biology and Centre of Excellence in Ecohydrology, The University of Western Australia, Australia.
25/02/2015 – 09/11/2015 - Maternity leave
04/2012 – 25/02/2015 - Post Doctoral position - Department of Agrifood Production and Environmental Sciences (DISPAA), University of Florence, Italy.
07/2010 – 01/2012 - Research associate - School of Plant Biology and Centre of Excellence in Ecohydrology, The University of Western Australia, Australia.
FELLOWSHIPS AN DAWARDS
12/2016 – 11/2019 - Global Marie Curie Individual Fellowship, European Union
10/11/2015 – 09/05/2016 - Endeavour Research Fellowship, Australian Government, Department of Education and Training
02/04/2007 – 10/04/2010 - Scholarship for International Research Fees, The University of Western Australia, Australia
02/04/2007 – 10/04/2010 - Top-up Scholarship for PhD Research proposal,ARWA/Centre for Ecohydrology, The University of Western Australia, Australia
02/04/2007 – 02/04/2008 - Endeavour Europe Award, Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST), Australia
- Plant eco-physiology and plant stress physiology
- Root physiology
- Halophyte eco-physiology
- Plant transport biology
- Cellular biology
- Plant communication