Microbiome dynamics in natural environments.
Main research topics
Microbial ecology in extreme environments
Studying the microbial communities in extreme environments (e.g. acidic or extremely cold, such as solfataric and Antarctic environments) to identify new enzymes and/or metabolic pathways of biotechnological interest. Biochemical and enzymatic characterization of novel “extremozymes” suitable for biotechnological applications.
Microbial ecology of soil and plant-microbes interactions
Exploration of soil and plant-associated microbiome. Identification of molecular mechanisms underlying the interaction between plants and microbiome and involved in pathogenesis, antagonism or symbiosis. Understanding how to exploit microorganisms for the improvement of soil and plant productivity. Exploitation of microbial consortia for bioremediation of polluted soils. Isolation and characterization of secondary microbial metabolites for the development of new biotechnologies and biological products for the defense and improvement of agricultural production.
Wastes and biomasses valorization
Development of novel biosystems and biocatalysts for the valorization of municipal waste, agricultural biomasses, wastewaters of urban or industrial origin. Exploitation of microbial consortia for the production of novel biomaterials and biofuels. Development and validation of mathematical models driving ecological processes.