Marta Agostinelli

I am an Italian PhD student whose love for nature and forest started while hiking in the Italian Alps. Thanks to my parents my interest for nature grew during those hikes and when the time came to choose the university, forestry and environmental studies were the logical choice.

My research area is Forest pathology, fungal endophytes, fungal communities, fungal ecology, traditional and molecular techniques for surveying fungal communities.

Fungi are important organisms found in all ecosystems, from terrestrial to marine. They are crucial players of these ecosystems being major drivers of degradation processes and nutrients cycling.

Fungi have different roles in the ecosystems, from mutualism to saprotrophic and pathogenic, and can establish complex interactions with their hosts. The roles of forest trees’ fungal communities are often overlooked and their ecological importance in forest ecosystems is poorly understood. Little knowledge is available about the host-fungal interactions and how the changes in one of the two players could affect the other.

In my PhD project I investigated the fungal communities of the aerial tissues of broadleaved species affected by biotic and abiotic factors trying to answer the following questions:
– How does the tree vitality affect the fungal communities of pedunculate oak woody tissues?
– Invasive alien pathogen affecting European ash is causing high mortality among the Swedish ash population. How do the fungal communities of ash variate in trees showing different range of susceptibility to the pathogen? Is there a consistent change over the sampling season?  

 

DEGREES AND EDUCATION
• 2012 MSc Erasmus Mundus double degree SUFONAMA – Sustainable Forest and Nature Management 1) Georg August Universität, Göttingen (DE) 2) Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Alnarp (SE)
• 2009 BSc in Forest and Environmental Technologies, Padova University (IT)        

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Professional experience