Learning every day.

Driven by my passion for agriculture and insects above all, I embarked on a long journey. I realised later that this journey never really ends. I have always been enthusiastic at the idea of learning something new. Throughout my studies, I have been a strong supporter of student exchange programs, such as Erasmus+ and the cotutelle scheme for PhDs. In my case, they were essential to get an international exposure, get a broader understanding of my disciplines, learn new languages and make new friends along the way.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Italy & Australia 2014-2018

I enrolled in cotutelle PhD program with the University of Bologna (Bologna, Italy) and Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia). My research was in Agricultural Entomology. During my candidature, I implemented environmentally friendly pest control strategies and developed cold storage technologies for two dipterans: Exorista larvarum, a tachinid fly playing an important role in biological control of lepidopteran pests, and Bactrocera tryoni (the Queensland fruit fly or Q-fly), a pest posing a significant threat for the Australian horticulture industry. Would you like to learn more about my PhD? My thesis is available for download!

  • iMQRS: International Macquarie University Research Excellence Scholarship;
  • Italian Ministry of Education Scholarship;
  • Marco Polo Scholarship;
  • Erasmus+ Scholarship from the European Union;
  • Best Poster Presentation at the 1st TAAO Symposium in Malaysia.

Master's degree

Italy 2011-2014

I studied at the University of Bologna to become a professional in sustainable management and optimisation of herbaceous and arboreal production systems. With a specialisation in plant protection, this Master degree deepened my understanding of the central role played by agriculture in modern societies. My research thesis, in Agricultural Entomology, regarded studies on the multicolored Asian ladybug and its importance as biological control agent of insect pests.

Bachelor's degree

Italy 2007-2011

I completed courses at Tuscia University on advanced crop production and protection techniques. The degree focused on the scientific, technological and economic competences that support the agricultural practice. My research thesis, in Agricultural Entomology, regarded the monitoring of the Western corn rootworm in local corn fields.

More study experiences

Student Exchange Program

Portugal 2014

I studied at the Department of Biology of the University of the Azores in Ponta Delgada, on São Miguel Island - in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean! My studies regarded the efficiency of multicolored Asian ladybugs as natural enemies of aphids in open-field crops and greenhouses and the 'intraguild' competition with other native coccinellid species. The obtained results are useful in risk assessment procedures required before introducing exotic insects in a new country.

Student Exchange Program

UK 2013

I studied at the Division of Crop and Environment Sciences of Harper Adams University. I established laboratory colonies of ladybug species starting from samples collected in the field and verified the parasitisation rate of native hymenopteran parasitoids. Also, I performed research on insecticide selectivity on exotic vs. native coccinellid species. This research improved our understanding of the competition between exotic and native insect species. Read more about this experience here.

Language Study Trip

UK 2011

I enrolled in an English Language Course at the British Study Centre in London. This was my very first experience abroad, outside Italy. I was able to learn and perfect my English and to make international friends, from all over the world.


More certifications

Maurizio Benelli