The Plant Protection Research Unit includes professors and researchers of Entomology and Plant Pathology. The unit also comprise a technical staff, PhD students and several research associates.


Giovanni Beccari (Researcher) \Scopus \Scholar

Roberto Buonaurio (Full Professor) \Scopus

Eric Conti (Associate Professor) \Scholar1 \Scholar2 \Scopus

Lorenzo Covarelli (Associate Professor) \Scholar \Scopus

Chiaraluce Moretti (Associate Professor) \Scopus

Mara Quaglia (Researcher) \Scopus

Roberto Romani (Associate Professor) \Scholar \Scopus

Gianandrea Salerno (Associate Professor) \Scholar \Scopus

Technical and Administrative staff

Maria Vittoria Consalvi

Daniela Fortini

Cesare Dentini

Maurizio Orfei

Luca Bonciarelli

Luca Ceccarelli

Andrea Luchetti



Plant Pathology

Molecular diagnostics of plant pathogens and insects


Insect rearing and production

Main research topics


  • Biological control and Integrated pest management (IPM) of invasive and emerging pest species.
  • Molecular diagnostics and/or morphological identification of insects and mites.
  • Molecular and morphological evaluation of ecosystem biodiversity and food webs.
  • Behaviour and chemical and/or mechanical ecology of insect herbivores, parasitoids, predators and pollinators.
  • Functional morphology and ultrastructure of insect herbivores and natural enemies.
  • Physiological aspects of insects.


  • Detection and molecular, morphological and serological identification of phytopathogenic viruses, bacteria and fungi.
  • Occurrence of mycotoxigenic fungi and their mycotoxins in different plant organs destined to humans and animals.
  • Set up of organic and integrated management strategies of phytopathogenic fungi and bacteria in the field and in controlled environment.
  • Molecular and metabolic characterization of phytopathogenic fungi and bacteria.
  • Investigation of different aspects of plant-pathogen interactions.
  • Diagnosis and management of post-harvest diseases.


  • Trophic and physiological interactions between plants, pathogens, herbivorous insects and natural enemies.
  • Induction of resistance in plants against pathogens and herbivores and its role in controlling phytopathogenic agents and insect pests.
  • Enhancement and bioconversion of by-products from the agri-food industry and waste biomasses.
  • Screening for bactericidal, fungicidal and/or insecticidal activity of natural and/or synthetic compounds, nanoparticles and mycotoxins; evaluation of possible side effects, including phytotoxicity and lethal/sublethal effects on natural enemies and pollinators.

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