Gaetana Mazzeo

Associate Professor of General and applied entomology [AGRI-05/A]

Professor Gaetana Mazzeo, graduated from the Faculty of Agriculture of Catania in 1986, received the title of Doctor of Philosophy in Agricultural Entomology in 1994. As Associate Professor, she has held numerous teachings, including "Protection and functional role of animal biodiversity" (Master of Science in land conservation, the environment and landscape of the Faculty of Agriculture). Currently she holds the courses "Beekeeping and bee products" (Bachelor's Degree in Food Science and Technology) and “Pest management of artropod parasites of forest, wild area and landscape plants” (Master's Degree in Territorial, environmental and landscape protection).

She has participated in national and international research projects, such as the Project “Bee, Honey, Environment (AMA)” (MiPAF), in which she dealt with aspects related to the study of the diversity of Apoidea in natural and anthropic environments, in Sicily, through the census of anthophilous insects present on the flowers and the application of indexes of diversity. Particular attention has been devoted to the study of Apoidea of protected natural areas, as part of a project carried out in the Etna Park. The project studied the anthophilous insects visiting the pioneer vegetation present in the study area and evaluated the behavior of Apis mellifera L. in difficult climatic and soil conditions, as well as the possible presence of sources of pollution. These issues are also addressed in the context of cooperation in Beenet project, which aims to establish a network of monitoring to assess the state of health of the bees in the anthropic environments.
Professor Mazzeo is responsible for scientific research projects related to the apidology: such as the project "Re-introduction and conservation of endangered subspecies Apis mellifera siciliana (Dalla Torre, 1896) – APESLOW”, concerning the possibility of reintroducing the subspecies native to Sicily. Within this project aspects of the etiology and biological characteristics of the Sicilian subspecies are studied. Currently, she is also involved as a partner in a research project (DATABEES), which aims to study the morphometric characterization of Apis mellifera populations. Currently she partecipates in DI.OL.” - Defense from harmful organisms in conventional and intensive olive crops”.
Professor Mazzeo is affiliated to several scientific societies, including: the Associazione Italiana per lo Studio degli Artropodi Sociali e Presociali  - Italian Section of the International Union for the Study of Social Insects (AISASP-IUSSI); Entomology Italian Society. She is a member of the Accademia dei Georgofili and a member of the Cutgana (University Center for the protection and management of natural environments and agro-ecosystems - University of Catania).

Last edit: 05/08/2024

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Academic Year 2021/2022

Academic Year 2020/2021

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Academic Year 2015/2016

The research activities have mainly taken place at the Applied Entomology Section of the Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment at the University of Catania. Prof. Mazzeo has been and at present is scientific responsible for University Research Projects on integrated pest control and apidology. She contributed to various national and international projects, i.e. Project "FAIR - Phocus - New biological pest management of pernicious scale insects in Mediterranean forests and groves" (European Union); “A.M.A. (Ape, Miele, Ambiente) – Sottoprogetto Ambiente: Censimento pronubi” (MiPAAF); "Emergent Pests and Pathogens and Relative Sustainable Strategies” (University of Catania); Investigations on pollinators in natural environments and agroecosystems (University Project); Reg. CE 1234/2007 - 2010/2011 “Field surveys aimed at applying varroa control strategies characterized by low chemical impact on the hive”; Reg. CE n. 1234/2007. Campagna 2014–2015 “Field surveys aimed at monitoring Aethina tumida Murray in eastern Sicily”; PAN (Piano Agricolo Nazionale) - MiPAF “Research and experimentation in the Italian citrus farming sector - Defense against key animal pests”. Prof. Mazzeo was the scientific director of the project " Reintroduction and conservation of the subspecies to risk extinction Apis mellifera siciliana (Dalla Torre, 1896) – APESLOW”, regarding the possibility of re-introduce in Sicily the autochtonous subspecies. She has been local leader of the Project Di.OL.” - Defense from harmful organisms in conventional and intensive olive crops”.

The results of scientific research conducted by prof. Mazzeo are reported in over 130 publications, mainly focusing on:

  • faunistic, zoogeographic, biological and systematic studies (resulting in the description of new Pseudococcidae species) on Homoptera Coccoidea;
  • apiculture, bee health, pollinators in agroecosystems and ecosystems, and biodiversity' evaluation;
  • ecological-integrated pest control in citrus orchards with notification of the new introduction of harmful species, focusing, in addition, side effects of pesticides on natural enemies of insect scales;
  • problems in public green areas with particular reference to Homoptera Sternorrhyncha and notification of the new presence of species harmful to ornamental plants.