Roberto Catania

PhD Student
PhD in Agricultural, Food and Environmental Science - XXXVII Cycle
Tutor: Gaetana Mazzeo

2021-2024: PhD course in Agricultural, Food and Environmental Science, University of Catania (grant financed by the National Operative Program (PON) “Research and Innovation” 2014-2020). The research activity will concern the topic: “Development of innovative pesticide risk assessments toward wild and managed bees. The aims of the PhD project are: 1) investigate and obtain an overview of the solitary bees pollinators of Mediterranean crops, with insights on morphology, biology, and molecular determination; 2) study on innovative methods for assessing the toxicity of pesticides on solitary bees and development of an applicable investigation protocol in relation to the biological characteristics of these pollinators; 3) bioassays and tests in laboratory, semi-field and field for the assessment of the toxicological risk towards solitary and managed bees caused by the use, in the selected agroecosystems, of conventional pesticides and new molecules (i.e. essential oils) and formulations (nanoparticles) potentially usable in line with the regulations in force (EU Directive on the sustainable use of pesticides and related national legislation).


From January 2021: ‘BEENET’ (MIPAAF) Project collaborator. Research activities: field samplings aimed at studying the populations of wild bees; preparation of the specimens in the laboratory.


2020-2021: Scholarship, Council for Agricultural Research and Economics - Research Centre for Olive, Citrus and Tree Fruit (CREA-OFA), Corso Savoia, 190, Acireale (CT). PERILBIO Project. Research activities: studies on bioindicator arthropods in agroecosystems and natural ecosystems, with focus on wild bees and other pollinators, and predator insects.


July 2020: Qualification as Agronomist and Forestry Doctor.


2017-2019: Master’s Degree in Agricultural Biotechnology (LM-7), University of Catania; supervisors: Prof. Giuseppe Eros Massimino Cocuzza, Prof.ssa Gaetana Mazzeo, Dr. Salvatore Bella and Dr.ssa Silvia Di Silvestro. Degree thesis: “Biodiversità genetica e faunistica del genere Eucera Scopoli, 1770 in Sicilia”. Final mark: 110/110 e lode.


2013-2017: Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Sciences and Technologies (L-25), University of Catania; supervisors: Prof. Giuseppe Eros Massimino Cocuzza. Degree thesis: “Coleotteri Coccinellidi negli agrumeti della costa Ionica Siciliana”. Final mark: 102/110.

Biology, diversity and ecology of wild bees (Hymenoptera, Apoidea) in natural and agricultural ecosystems in Mediterranean context.

Eco-toxicology of pesticides and biopesticides on social and solitary bees (Hymenoptera, Apoidea).

Diversity and ecology of the communities of ladybugs (Coleoptera, Coccinellidae) in Sicilian citrus groves.