Associate Professor in Ecology at the University of Salento – CoNISMa (Italy). She combines field descriptive research, manipulative experiments and spatial analysis techniques with the aim of gaining a better understanding of the pattern of distribution of marine biodiversity and of the processes shaping marine communities, especially in subtidal and intertidal rocky habitats. She is collaborator or coordinator of several national and international projects for implementing the conservation and the management of marine costal systems. A specific focus of her research is on setting priorities through conservation planning tools for the identification of network of Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean Sea. The quantification of changes in coastal marine communities under the effects of multiple stressors to inform marine spatial planning and the study of the recovery of disturbed assemblages are also relevant aspects of her research. Author of 60 scientific articles on ISI journals and 12 international scientific books
She is also lecturer to graduate students in Fundamental Ecology and Climate Change at the University of Salento. Member of the Jury Margalef Prize
invited by the Generalitat de Catalunya Departament de la Presidència, Secretat General, Member of the European Network of Excellence Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning (MARBEF) of the European Union, presently Administrative Treasurer of the Italian Ecological Society, Member of the Directive Conseil of the Italian Association of Oceanography and Limnology (2007-2011), Member of the Italian Society of Marine Biology and of the Italian Zoological Union. Member of the Mediterranean Group of IUCN's World Commission on Protected Areas - Marine (WCPA MMED). Consultant for the Brindisi (Apulia) Province in the Technical Committee for Environmental Impact Assessment (2008-2010). Consultant of Twinning Project MT04-IB-EN-02 for implementing the Habitat Directive. Tutor of five graduate students, one Post hoc, five undergraduate students.