I was born in Angera, a small town in the North of Italy squeezed between the Alps and the Lake Maggiore. As a kid, my dream was to become a marine biologist, not because I was dreaming of swimming with dolphins but because I was in love with tiny colorful fish and nudibranchs. My passion for small creatures brought me where I am now, studying the diversity and stability of microbial communities in the face of environmental changes.
My scientific journey started at the University of Genova, where I obtained a B.Sc. degree in Marine Environmental Sciences, and continued at the University of Pisa, where I obtained a M.Sc. degree in Marine Biology and later a Ph.D. in Marine Ecology. During my PhD, I worked under the supervision of Lisandro Benedetti-Cecchi, investingating the impacts of pulse perturbations and the occurrence of regime shifts in microbial and algal communities of rocky shore habitats.
For my postdoc, I joined Jeff Gore’s group at MIT. Here, I became initially interested in the C. elegans - E. coli model system to explore foraging behaviors in patchy environments. More recently, I have decided to come back to community ecology. I am currently investigating the mechanisms that underpin the coexistence of species within microbial communities and, in particular, how available resources shape community diversity.