Title: Seasonal/circadian biology of aphids light input

Valencia smallHost Institution: Universidad de Valencia
SupervisorDr David Martinez-Torres
Start date: TBC
Secondment: Wuerzburg University for 3 months for neuroanatomy and in situ hybridisation and 2 months to BCAS České Budějovice for CRISPR/Cas9 mutagenesis.

Objectives: To elucidate whether the reproductive status modifies the expression of clock-related genes in aphids and to investigate the effect of knocking down clock genes in the production of alternative aphid morphs. This will be done by examining clock and neuropeptide gene expression in different photoperiodically induced alternative morphs, examining their spatial and temporal expression in aphid brains and using CRISP/Cas9 mutagenesis to knock out clock genes and examine their effects on photoperiodically induced reproductive states (diapause).


About me: I was born in Crema, a small and lovely city near Milan in the North of Italy. I acquired my Bachelor Degree in Biology and my Master Degree in Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology in Milan. I have always been fascinated by nature and I’m aspiring to become a researcher and to give my contribution in this field.

I did my Master Degree thesis in the Evolutionary Genetics group in Valencia (Spain), investigating the effects of kanamycin exposure on the German cockroach’s (Blattella germanica) microbiota and endosymbiont. During one of the weekly seminars that our group presented, I discovered Chronobiology and this topic caught my attention instantly. When I found out about the CINCHRON network, I applied immediately. I am so happy to be part of this project, and I’m really looking forward to travelling and to meeting the other researchers and students that share this same passion of mine. I am thrilled to begin this new adventure that I am sure will allow me to develop and improve, professionally and personally.

Aside from my academic career, I like to spend my free time travelling, going to theatre and cinemas, and also playing board games and video games. I think that science can be taught in different ways, some more approachable than others, and through games is one of them.