Born 10 Oct. 1965, Livorno, Italy
Ph.D. in Animal Biology (Ethology), Univ. of Florence, Italy, 1997
Master degree in Biological Sciences with full marks and honours, University of Pisa, Italy, 1989.
2020-present: Full professor at the Department of Biology; University of Pisa, Italy
2014-2019: Associate professor at the Department of Biology; University of Pisa, Italy
2004-2014: lecturer at the Department of Biology; University of Pisa, Italy
1997-2004: research technician at the Department of Ethology, Ecology, Evolution; University of Pisa, Italy
Pre-doctoral: Department of Ethology, Ecology, Evolution; University of Pisa, 1995-1997 (advisor Prof. F. Papi).
Post-graduation: “Dott. G. Guelfi” fellowship by the Italian Academy of Science, 1990-1994 (research work at the Department of Ethology, Ecology, Evolution; University of Pisa; supervisor Prof. F. Papi)
Pre-graduation: Department of Ethology, Ecology, Evolution; University of Pisa, 1988-1989 (advisors Prof. S. Benvenuti and V. Fiaschi).
“Dott. Giuseppe Borgia” Foundation award for Biological Sciences by the Italian Academy of Science, 1998
Main research interests
My scientific activity has been mainly carried out in the field of Animal Behaviour, especially regarding animal orientation and navigation. Initially, my research has concerned homing pigeon navigation, studying the nature of the effects produced by artificial magnetic fields and the orientation mechanisms involved in homing behavior from familiar sites.
I have then focused on the phenomena of long-range navigation in the marine environment, and particularly on the migration and orientation abilities of marine turtles. For this, I relied on satellite telemetry techniques to reconstruct the migratory routes of various turtle species, sometimes applying experimental treatments such as magnetic disturbances and/or displacements in the oceanic environment. These studies have led to important results in the field of animal navigation, for example highlighting the role of geomagnetic cues and of wind-borne information in the open-sea navigational processes. Most recently I have extended these researches to other long-distance navigators, such as marine birds.
I also participated to research works on the behavioural and physiological effects produced by exposure to artificial magnetic fields, particularly on pain perception systems and on stress responses both in animals and humans. Additional research interests include the diving and foraging behaviour of marine birds, short-range orientation in crabs and bird song variability.
The major part of these researches has been carried out within specific research projects to which I participated, both at national and international level (funds from the Italian Ministry of Scientific Research and the French National Research Agency). As a result, I have collaborated with a number of researchers of different countries, including France, United States, South Africa, Sweden, Canada and, especially, the U.K.
Main teaching activity
2015-onward: course “Zoology”, Department of Biology, University of Pisa
2015-onward: course “Ethology”, Department of Biology, University of Pisa
2017-onward: course “Animal Orientation and Migration”, Department of Biology, University of Pisa
2006-2009: course “Comparative Ethology”, Faculty of Medicine, University of Pisa