Enhance fertilizer efficiency and reduce fertilizer use
My group has expertise in plant physiology and crop management with a focus on perennial crops. The research aims at reducing the use of xenobiotic pesticides and fertilizers, without reducing crop production and quality. To achieve this goal, the research focused on deciphering the plant-microbe interactions . The group has long term international collaborations on the development and validation on bacterial biological control agents and plant growth promoting microorganisms. Finally, the research elucidated the role of plant and microbial organic volatile compounds (VOCs) in regulating ecological interaction, plant physiology and resistance to abiotic and biotic stress. This knowledge has been implemented for practical use in crop production using VOCs as biomarker to tailor human inputs on plant health and physiological status.
The University of Bologna, Alma Mater Studiorum (UNIBO, http://www.unibo.it), was founded in 1088 and is
considered to be the oldest university in Western Europe. It accounts for 100,000 enrolled students, 23 faculties, 69 departments, 3,000 academics and 3,000 administrative staff. UNIBO is the first Italian University for the success rate in participating to European Research proposal. In H2020, the University of Bologna successfully participated in 350 projects achieving funds for over €148 million. Furthermore, UNIBO was selected for 26 ECR proposals. The UNIBO research group is formed by 5 researchers working in the Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences (DISTAL, https://distal.unibo.it/). DISTAL boasts strong research activities with more than €12 million in annual revenues for research projects. Among these, it coordinates 12 European projects and is a partner in 34. DISTAL is 2018-2022 Department of Excellence for Ministry of university and Research (MIUR) and has contributed significantly to the University of Bologna attaining 44th position in the "Agriculture & Forestry" sector of QS World University Ranking 2018. DISTAL offer a multidisciplinary environment for both scholars and students covering all sectors of agricultural and food sciences. DISTAL has two main locations, one in Bologna and one in Cesena, but it also carries out both teaching and research activities in Ozzano, Cadriano, Imola and Tebano.. DISTAL offers 7 bachelor's degree programmes, 3 national and 3 international master programs. The Department also has a PhD programme with a strong international bent and close ties to industry.