2016 – current University of Sydney: PhD in freshwater turtle conservation
2015 – 2016 University of Oxford: MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management
2010 – 2014 University of Stirling, with year-long exchange at the University of Sydney: BSc with Honours in Animal Biology
2005 – 2010 Liceo Classico Statale Tito Livio: Diploma di Maturità Classica
Academic Awards and Grants
October 2016 I was awarded the University of Sydney International Scholarship (USydIS) as well as OSHC and visa sponsorship from the Dean of Science to start a PhD project in October 2016 under the supervision of Professor Mike Thompson and Dr Ricky Spencer on the turtles of the Murray River, in Australia.
June 2016 I raised funds for my MSc dissertation project in Madagascar, being awarded:
- Royal Society of Biology Travel Grant
- Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust Award
- St Anne’s College Travel Grant
- Biodiversity Conservation and Management Award
- Nestpick Scholarship
- Gilchrist Educational Trust Travel Study Grant
July 2014 Top Student Award by the Royal Society of Biology
June 2015 Undergraduate Research Prize awarded by the School of Biological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Stirling
May 2012 Volunteering MV Award for 50+ hours of volunteering with the University of Stirling Student Union
Work and Volunteering Experience
Apr – Jul 2015: Research Assistant at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich/ Max Plank Institute for ornithology
I assisted a post-doc study on animal personality, involving field research on the behaviour of European field crickets (Gryllus campestris): we investigated the origins and implications of their personality traits. For some tasks I worked individually, for others in a team of up to three. My job involved capturing, measuring and tagging crickets, as well as running behavioural trials for two different experiments. I also had the duty of entering data on MS Access and Excel, and managing the databases. Additionally, I was trained to download temperature data from loggers and analyse videos.
Jan – Apr 2015: Volunteer at Manatee and Primate Rehabilitation Centre – Wildtracks Belize www.wildtracksbelize.com
I worked under the direct supervision of Paul and Zoe Walker, two of the most influential figures in the Belizean wildlife conservation and policy making sector. I acted as a surrogate mother for two baby howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra), at the first stage of their rehabilitation. I was in charge of feeding them, administering basic medication and interacting with them all day long. I also assisted during their process of integration with three other baby howler monkeys. Finally, I helped with the care of the four Antillean manatees (Trichecus manatus) present at the centre. I had to handle both delicate and strong animals, as well as observe and report changes in behaviour.
Nov 2014 – Jan 2015: Sea Turtle Research Assistant at LAST – Latin American Sea Turtles www.latinamericanseaturtles.org
I worked with green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) and hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata). My tasks involved collecting tissue samples, measuring, tagging and releasing the animals, while training volunteers in the process. This study is carried out to collect data about population structure, genetic origin, health status and in-water habitat use. I also lead a mangrove reforestation project, which consisted of growing seedlings of different species of mangrove, and planting them in the field with subsequent monitoring. Finally, I organised two conservation awareness events for the local community, and participated in the reconstruction of the community’s sea turtle rehabilitation centre.
Jul – Oct 2014: Herpetology Intern at the Jama-Coaque Reserve – Third Millennium Alliance www.tmalliance.org
I undertook a project with the aim of extending the knowledge of the composition and distribution of the herpetofauna present in the Jama-Coaque Reserve, to better manage its conservation. My colleague and I performed day and night surveys in moist and cloud forest, as well as a newly reforested area. I developed and trained skills such as GPS device handling, basic GIS mapping, and independent field work with live herpetofauna.
(report published as ‘2014 herpetology project’ at http://tmalliance.org/internships/former-intern-projects)
Feb 2011 – Jun 2014: Student Ambassador – University of Stirling
I was a tour guide during Open and Applicant Days. My job was to engage the audience informing about the University and student life. I also worked in the Recruitment and Admissions Office, helping to organise and run various events at the University.
31st Aug – 4th Nov 2012: Wilderness Defender Campaigner – The Wilderness Society
I was campaigning and fundraising to protect the Kimberley region, Australia, from a major gas hub project – which was abandoned in 2013. I fundraised for the Wilderness Society both in the city and at festivals such as the Surry Hills festival in Sydney.
- Italian: Native Proficiency
- English: Full Professional Proficiency
- Spanish: Professional Proficiency
- German: Elementary Proficiency
IT Working knowledge of Mac, Windows and MS Office, photo editing software and various statistical packages including Minitab, SPSS and R. Able to perform advanced linear modelling methods and survival analyses. ArcGIS and Remote sensing (Google Earth Engine) skills.
Scuba diving SSI Advanced Open Water Diver, 2014 (60+ logged dives). With specialty in: Deep diving, Underwater navigation, NITROX (up to EAN40), Night and limited visibility
Driving Licence Full Driving Licence (Italian level B, Australian class C), 2010. Experienced on both manual and automatic transmission cars.
- Field Work Safety Course, University of Oxford, 2016
- National Rescue Standard, STA Level 2 in Emergency First Aid at Work, 2012