- Technical high school for Agricultural Sciences (ITAS Anzilotti Pescia, Italy)
- BSc degree in Biotechnology at the University of Florence (Italy)
- MSc degree in Plant and Microbial Biotechnology at the University of Pisa (Italy)
- PhD in Agricultural Sciences and Biotechnology at the University of Udine (Italy)
I was in high school when I decided I wanted to be a scientist: A Levels granted me a place at the University of Florence, where I studied biotechnology. Here, I started exploring the fascinating world of molecular biology – the field of biology that studies DNA, RNA and proteins and their relationships inside cells – and microbiology – the disciplines that studies microscopic organisms such as fungi and bacteria. A BSc degree allowed me to keep studying Biotechnology at the University of Pisa, where I got an MSc degree. My MSc got me a job as junior research fellow at the same University. I then moved far away from home, in the Alps, to get my PhD. It’s thanks to my PhD that I got the job I am currently doing at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in London.
- Junior research fellow in grapevine genetics at the University of Pisa (Italy)
- Side job as ground steward at the “Christmas at Kew” event
Research assistant in Comparative Fungal Biology
Royal Botanic Gardens Kew – London
My pronouns are:
I am a molecular biologist, a trumpet player and a mountaineer. I am lucky enough to have a job that allows me to be outdoors and use my creativity while exploring the wonders of the Fungal Kingdom.
I study the diversity of fungi by sequencing their DNA
How has your work progressed recently?
I am studying some interesting fungi that grow on... pony poo! They might not be gourmet, but they are really pretty!
What have you got planned for your research over the next year?
Collecting loads of those overlooked, tiny little fungi and try to place them in the Tree of Life. It will be fun!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
trumpet-playing DNA geek
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
My high school Science teacher - I owe him my career choices!
What was your favourite subject at school?
What did you want to be after you left school?
A scientist, of course!
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Well, I guess my school did not appreciate when I accidentally blew up a few glass flasks in the chemistry lab. But hey, I was experimenting!
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I would be an archaeologist in constant search of ancient artifacts
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Wardruna - I love the eerie sounds of Nordic Folk!
What's your favourite food?
Freshly made pasta with home made basil pesto and grated Parmigiano cheese
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Crawling for seven hours in a dark cave during a speleological expedition in the Alps
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Having a big garden, a pet raven and living next to the mountains