Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM)


WP 1 (Management and Dissemination)
WP 3 (Drosophila Biology)
WP 4 (Spatial analysis)

The Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM; ) is a non-profit institute funded by the Autonomous Province of Trento, Italy, and provides a stimulating setting for scientific research, technology transfer and education. The Research and Innovation Centre supports studies and innovations in the fields of agriculture, nutrition and environment, with the aim to generate new sharing knowledge and to contribute to economic growth, social development and the overall improvement of quality of life. Thanks to these features the Research and Innovation Centre is an authoritative reference for the production of knowledge, for the promotion of innovation and real results for the area. To carry out its mission CRI has a modern and flexible structure based on four Departments, one Technology Platform, and the Chief Scientific Office.

Connection with the internal research programmes and strategies

The mission of the Research and Innovation Centre is to supports studies and innovations in the fields of agriculture, nutrition and environment, with the aim to generate new sharing knowledge and to contribute to economic growth, social development and the overall improvement of quality of life. The research activity proposed in LExEM is part of this strategy since the objectives of this project will face the emerging issue of the Invasive Alien Species introduction and spread in the territory of the Province of Trento, other than worldwide. Many of these species are of great concern both for the agricultural sector, in case of the Drosofila suzukii, and the social development and quality of life in the case of spread of the tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) and the new species Aedes koreikus. This project offer the opportunity to FEM researchers and technologist, belonging both to CRI and to CTT, to work closer together to face the same problem with the advantage of an intense cross fertilisation especially in the field of animal and agricultural pests and insects surveillance and control, data analysis, data interpretation and modelling as well as real time-tecnological transfer on the territory. This potential is further enhanced by the possibility to get in closer collaboration with the other actors of the Trentino research and innovation system, which include not only the participants to the LExEM initiative, but also other well renewed research groups, as the CIMEC, which already cooperate with FEM, and local industries such as Zobele Holdings.

Description of the research group working on the project

The following research groups and scientists cooperate in the this research project.

Annapaola RizzoliIn particular from the Department of Biodiversity and Molecular Ecology, Annapaola Rizzoli (DVM, PhD) Research and Innovation Centre Director is the Project Coordinator.
Her field of expertise and experience is animal ecology, wildlife ecology and management, parasitology, epidemiology of emerging zoonotic diseases and risk assessment. She has studied several model emerging diseases, especially those transmitted by wild rodents, by ticks and by mosquitoes and their environmental drivers, as climate change, biodiversity loss and land use management changes. She is member of networks of qualified experts supported by international organisations as VBORNET of the European Centre for Diseases Control and Diversitas-DBED. Currently she is the scientific coordinator of an FP7 Project Eurowestnile and WP leader of another FP7 project called EDENext.

The Animal Ecology group has also a long tradition in the implementation of mathematical models. The research activities of the group in this field are mainly related to the development, analysis and interpretation of ecological and epidemiological models. The group modellers, Roberto Rosà (PhD) and Luca Bolzoni (PhD), have been working on vector-borne disease models with particular interest to ticks and mosquitoes transmitted diseases.

Heidi C. Hauffe (DPhil), head of the Biodiversity and Environment group, has applied genetic methods to the study of epidemiological questions for the last 10 years. She also apply population genetic theory to many alpine species and studies also the phylogenetics of ticks and tick-borne zoonoses.

Markus Neteler (PhD) former coordinator of the GIS/RS platform of the DBEM department has developed an innovative methodology for the reconstruction of MODIS land Surface Temperature (LST) time series, and derived temperature indicator maps also to be used to describe current and potential distribution of Ae. albopictus and other arthropodes of medical interest in Europe. The platform focuses on the geostatistical analysis of such information layers, the creation and processing of environmental indicators from space and terrestrial data, and the production of ecological, landscape genetics, ecoepidemiological and physiological models. He is not working anymore for the Fondazione Edmund Mach

From the Department of Agro-ecosystems and Bioresources (DASB), Ilaria Pertot (PhD) is leading the Plant-environment interaction group. Her key qualifications and research experience are in field of epidemiology and biocontrol of diseases of apple, grape berries and some horticultural crops. Most recent works focus on development of microbial biocontrol agents, evaluation of their side effects in the environment, mechanism of plant self-protection and effect of climate on biocontrol agent’s survival and activity.

Gianfranco Anfora (PhD) leads the Chemical Ecology Group. He addressed his research activity to the study of insect communication, identification of intraspecific and interspecific semiochemicals by molecular, electrophysiological and behavioural investigations. He carries out laboratory (semiochemical extraction and analysis, molecular characterization of chemosensory receptors, electroantennography, gaschromatography coupled to electroantennography, single sensillum and single cell recordings; optical imaging of brain, behavioural studies in olfactometers and wind-tunnel) and open field studies for the identification of biologically active compounds. The research group activities are therefore aimed at understanding the biological mechanisms of perception and processing of the sensory stimuli involved in insect communication with the purpose is to manipulate insect behaviour and develop innovative technologies for the agro-ecosystems and biodiversity protection.

For the development of the project, intense cooperation and scientific exchanges will be also carried out with Claudio Ioriatti (PhD), who led the Experiment and Technological Services Department. His key qualification is the implementation of the integrated control of apple and grape and soft fruit pests, focusing upon area wide application of semiochemicals, insecticide resistance management and biological control. He is an active member of the International Organisation for Biological Control. Within CTT/FEM he coordinates the experiment activities and dissemination of results concerning Drosophila suzukii.