1998-2014: Assistant Professor in Zoology (SSD BIO/05) at the Faculty of Sciences, University of Trieste;
2014-present: Associate Professor in Zoology (SSD BIO/05) at the Department of Life Sciences, University of Trieste.
His research interest focuses on the mechanisms underlying the control of growth, reproduction and stress responses in crustaceans. In recent years the research has focused on the development of innovative methods for the management and control of populations of alien invasive crayfish species.
The results achieved include:
- the identification of the key role of the Crustacean Hyperglycemic Hormone (CHH) in the cascade of reactions to various stresses;
- the identification of domains crucial for biological activity of CHH;
- the demonstration of the role of post-translational changes (c-terminal amidation and isomerization of amino acid residues) for the proper activity and functional diversification of the CHH;
- the chemical synthesis of neuropeptides with functionality comparable to that of natives;
- the plasticity of reproductive cycle of the red swamp crayfish;
- the set up of new methods for the oral delivery of bio-active peptides in crustaceans.
The chemical synthesis of crustacean eyestalk neuro-peptides, fully functional in vivo, and the set up of methods for their administration via baits opens new scenarios for the managing of the alien invasive crustacean species.
He is author of over 60 publications in peer reviewed journal.