Seed and seedling phenomics: mountain legumes of the genera Astragalus and Oxytropis

ESR 3A – Erica Dello Jacovo

I followed my Bachelor’s Degree in Biology at University of Rome “La Sapienza” and my MSc in Environmental Biology and Biodiversity at Pavia’s University. During my MSc I considered important to develop my knowledge on field research and studying abroad, as to depth my skills on both these topics and to gain a complete focus on what Environmental Biology researches deals with. Therefore I conducted an apprenticeship on marmot’s behaviour at the National Park of Gran Paradiso (Italy) and I applied for an Erasmus scholarship of 10 months in Granada (Spain), where I discovered the importance to experiment a different culture and different approaches on studying and making investigations. Once completed my MSc I started and completed an internship of 3 months in Uppsala (Sweden). Throughout those years my attention was focused on environmental and ecological subjects.

During my Bachelor’s Degree I held a thesis on Botanic Systematics, working on a pioneer study inherent taxonomy classification of three plant populations supposed to belong to two different taxa.I conducted this investigation with a morphometrical approach, which allows me to understand the importance of phenological and statistical analysis. In the course of my MSc I broaden my interests on ecological interactions and biological associations; specifically I decided to carry on an investigation about fungal endophytic community living in spruce needles. In that context I succeed to deepen my knowledge about Fungi, molecular techniques, and strategy of conservation; I I nitial T raining N etwork 8 NASSTEC Newsletter, issue 1 October 2014 developed a critical sense towards practical problems, approaching it by scientific reasoning, moreover in mycology laboratory, where I gathered data for my final elaborate.

Following this interest, I accepted to undertake a Short Term Scientific Mission of 3 months in Uppsala, where I worked in team in the framework of the COST project DIAROD, aiming to assess the risk and invasiveness of the pine needle pathogen Dothistroma, within the European Union. Ecology and Biological association have always been my main field of interest. My first professional purpose was to deepen my knowledge on them as to apply directly on broader project, dealing with Conservational Biology and Biodiversity. NASSTEC project gives me that opportunity as it is focused on the morphological and molecular characterization of rare legumes species, their relevance and importance in the analysed ecosystems, at the level of their seeds, seedlings and the biological association they establish with rhizobia and mycorriza. Also, all obtained results will be immediately available for industrial e/o conservational projects, creating a quick flux of information that make more useful the investigation purposes. Finally the international team and the possibility to work and to relate with researcher coming from different countries, is surely a reason of enrichment and comparison that I consider extremely important as a researcher.