Silvana Piersanti

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Scientific Resume

Via del Greppone 12, 06125 Perugia, Italy - Phone:  +393494990380- E-mail: silvanapiersanti@tiscali.it, silvana.piersanti@unipg.it

 Nationality: Italian – Date of birth: 03-12-1977

EDUCATION

 

15 Feb.2007                              PhD in Biology and Ecology

·       Field of Research: Enthomology- Behavioural studies in field and in the laboratory, Ultrastructural Morphology, Electrophisiology.

·       Thesis -“ Adaptative strategies of the larval dragonfly Libellula depressa (Odonata, Libellulidae) in drying ponds”.

                                                  Department of  Cellular and Environmental Biology

                                                  University of Perugia                                                                                        Perugia, Italy

 

7 May 2003                               Postgraduate Master in Environmental Education

                                                  University of Urbino                                                                                           Pesaro, Italy

                                                 

19 Mar. 2002                             Masters degree in Natural Sciences

·       Graduated Summa Cum Laude

·       Thesis: Predatory behaviour by the larva of Libellula depressa (Odonata: Libellulidae) on Cloeon dipterum (Ephemeroptera: Baetidae)”.

                                                  University of Perugia                                                                                        Perugia,  Italy

 

- OTHER EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCES

 

Jun. 2004                                   Intensive course in “Genetic and Evolution of Animal Behaviour”

                                                  Italian Association of Genetics                                                                        Cortona,  Italy

 

Apr. 2006                                   Conference/Course in “Ecología de los Humedales”.

                                                  Universidad de Puerto Rico                                                                              San Juan,  Puerto Rico

 

Oct. 2000                                   Practical Training in the “Ecology of the Trasimeno Lake”

                                                  University of Perugia                                                                                        Perugia, Italy

                                                 

 

RESEARCH ACTIVITY

Since 3 Sept. 2012                       Researcher

·       Project: " A new insight in chemical ecology of insects: role of chemical cues in "visual dependent insects".

                                                        Department of  Cellular and Environmental Biology

                                                  University of Perugia                                                                                        Perugia, Italy

 

Oct. 2006/July 2012                  Post doctoral position, Assegnista di Ricerca”

·       Project: " Insects strategies to survive in temporary waters".

·       Research Supervisor: Prof. Elda Gaino

                                                   Department of  Cellular and Environmental Biology

                                                   University of  Perugia                                                                                      Perugia, Italy

   

2003/2007                                 PhD student  in Biology and Ecology

·       Thesis -“ Adaptative strategies of the larval dragonfly Libellula depressa (Odonata, Libellulidae) in drying ponds”.

                                                  Department of  Cellular and Environmental Biology

                                                  University of Perugia                                                                                        Perugia, Italy

 

 

 

- RESEARCH TOPICS AND SCIENTIFIC COLLABORATIONS

 

Sensory biology of aquatic insects at the Department of Cellular and Environmental Biology of the Perugia University.

The main field of research is Paleoptera (Odonata and Ephemeroptera) sensory biology.

Ultrastructural observations (SEM, TEM), electrophysiological recordings (SCR, EAG) and behavioral experiments (in the field: track recording, behavioral pattern recording; in the laboratory: wind tunnel, olfactometer, multiple choice chamber, "observer" and "XBug" programs) are performed, in order to investigate structure and physiology of the sensory organs together with their involvement in insect biology.

Behavioral studies are carried out in collaboration with the Entomology Section of the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science (DSAA) of Perugia University.

Electrophysiological recordings are performed in collaboration with the above mentioned Department and the Department of Biology of the NTNU, Trondheim (Norway).

Since 2008 Piersanti’s research activity is focused on olfactory receptors and hygro-termoreceptors located on the antennal flagellum of the winged stages of Odonata and Ephemeroptera. For this research the methods cited above are combined with neuroanatomical studies, in collaboration with Prof. Bill Hansson and Prof Jurgen Rybak (Max Plank Institute for Chemical Ecology, Jena, GERMANY) and molecular investigations on the antennal trascriptome, in collaboration with Dr. Emmanuelle Jacquin-Joly (INRA, Versaille, FRANCE).

Since March 2012 Piersanti is the principal investigator in a three years project financially supported by the Italian Ministry of Research and University titled: “A new insight in chemical ecology of insects: role of chemical cues in "visual dependent insects”.

Additional fields of research are respiration and reproduction in mayflies and dragonflies and freshwater bioindicators.

 

- RESEARCH ABROAD

 

Jan- Jun. 2005                           Socrates/Erasmus fellowship for PhD students

Electrophysiological recordings (SCR) from hygro-thermoreceptors in dragonfly larvae at NTNU laboratory

Research Supervisors: Prof. Hanna Mustaparta and Prof. Tor Jorgen Almaas

Department of Biology, NTNU                                                                                            Trondheim, Norway

 

March 2006                                  Seminar  “Sensilla in Odonata larvae: a behavioural and morphological approach”

Neurobiology Institute, University of Puerto Rico                                                               San Juan, Puerto Rico

 

 

March-Jul 2009                         M.A.E. Research Scholarship (Norwegian Research Council)                                                                            

                                                  Electrophysiological recordings (SCR) from hygro-thermoreceptors in dragonfly adults

                                                  Department of Biology, NTNU                                                                                            Trondheim, Norway

 

- COORDINATED PROJECTS

 

2012/2015                                    “A new insight in chemical ecology of insects: role of chemical cues in "visual dependent insects

                                                        MIUR-FIRB Futuro in Ricerca Project 2010                                                                                             Rome, Italy                                                                                                              

 

March-Jul 2009                            “Test by single cell recordings the hygro-termo sensory function of Odonata antennal sensilla”

      Norvegian Research Council                                                                                                           Oslo, Norway

 

- PARTECIPATED PROJECTS

 

 

Since 2010                             “Antennal ESTs from basal lineages of insects with derived life styles: understanding the evolution of an atypical insect-specific class of receptors - the olfactory receptors”

Call for DNA sequencing at Genoscope Institute                                                                      Evry Cedex, France

           

2010/2011                                    Aedes albopictus in Perugia district: bio-ecological and sanitary insight”

Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio                                                                                                              Perugia, Italy

 

2006/2009                              FISR M.I.C.E.N.A. “ Integrate model for evolution of natural and agricultural ecosystems in response  to climatic changes in the Mediterraneo”

                                                        MIUR- FISR Project                                                                                                               Rome, Italy                                                                                                                                                       

 

                                                                                                                        

2003/2005                                 “Habitat restoration and conservation of the Ardeidae at Trasimeno Lake” (Macroinvertebrates monitoring)

 EU Life Nature Project                                                                                         

    

- PUBLICATIONS

 

1.        REBORA M., PIERSANTI S., GAINO E. (2004). Visual and mechanical cues in prey detection by the larva of Libellula depressa (Odonata: Libellulidae). Ethology, Ecology & Evolution 16(2), 133-144.

2.        GAINO E., PIERSANTI S., REBORA M. (2007). Ultrastructural organization of the larval spiracles in Libellula depressa L. (Anisoptera: Libellulidae). Odonatologica 36(4), 373-379.

3.        PIERSANTI S., REBORA M., GAINO E. (2007). The influence of prey size and movement on predation by the larva of Libellula depressa (Odonata, Libellulidae). Rivista di Idrobiologia 43, 159-164.

4.        PIERSANTI S., REBORA M., SALERNO G., GAINO E. (2007). Behaviour of the larval dragonfly Libellula depressa (Odonata Libellulidae) in drying pools. Ethology Ecology & Evolution 19, 127-136.

5.        REBORA M., PIERSANTI S., ALMAAS T.J., GAINO E. (2007). Hygroreceptors in the larva of Libellula depressa (Odonata: Libellulidae). Journal of Insect Physiology 53, 550-558.

6.        REBORA M., PIERSANTI S., SALERNO G., CONTI E., GAINO E. (2007). Water deprivation tolerance and humidity response in a larval dragonfly: a possible adaptation for survival in drying ponds. Physiological Entomology 32,121-126.

7.        GAINO E., PIERSANTI S., REBORA M. (2008). Egg envelope synthesis and chorion modification after oviposition in the dragonfly Libellula depressa (Odonata, Libellulidae). Tissue and Cell 40, 317-324.

8.        REBORA M., PIERSANTI S., GAINO E. (2008). The antennal sensilla of the adult of Libellula depressa (Odonata: Libellulidae). Arthropod Structure and Development 37, 504-510.

9.        GAINO E., PIERSANTI S., REBORA M. (2009). Cuticular and sensory structures on the copulatory apparatus of Rhithrogena semicolorata (Ephemeroptera, Heptageniidae). Aquatic insects 31supp.1, 507-513.

10.     GAINO E., LUDOVISI A.,  REBORA M., PIERSANTI S., SCOCCIA F., FIORE P. (2009). Le spicole spongine in archivi sedimentari come proxy di cambiamenti climatico-ambientali nel Lago Trasimeno (Umbria). La Ricerca Italiana sui Cambiamenti Climatici-Un secondo incontro tra i progetti. Pubblicazione n°12 FISR M.I.C.E.N.A., 24-25.

11.     GAINO E., PIERSANTI S., REBORA M. (2009). The oviposition mechanism in  Habrophlebia eldae (Ephemeroptera, Leptophlebiidae). Aquatic insects 31supp.1, 515-522.

12.     REBORA M., PIERSANTI S., GAINO E. (2009). The antennal sensilla of adult mayflies: Rhithrogena semicolorata as a case study. Micron 40, 571-576.

13.     REBORA M., PIERSANTI S., GAINO E. (2009). A comparative investigation on the antennal sensilla in adult Anisoptera. Odonatologica, 38(4), 329-340.

14.     PIERSANTI S., REBORA M., GAINO E. (2010). A scanning electron microscope study of the antennal sensilla in adult Zygoptera. Odonatologica, 39(3), 235-241.

15.     REBORA M., MURÁNYI D., PIERSANTI S., GAINO E. (2010). The lateral protrusions of the head of the stonefly larva Leuctra cf. signifera (Plecoptera; Leuctridae). Aquatic insects 32(4), 259-264.

16.     REBORA M., PIERSANTI S., GAINO E. (2010). The antennal sensory function in the oldest pterygote insects: an ultrastructural overview. In: Microscopy: Science, Tecnology, Applications and Education, A. Mendez Vilas and J. Diaz Eds., FORMATEX, 137-145.

17.     PIERSANTI S.,  REBORA M., ALMAAS T.J., SALERNO G., GAINO E. (2011). Electrophysiological identification of thermo- and hygro-sensitive receptor neurons on the antennae  of the dragonfly Libellula depressa. Journal of Insect Physiology 57, 1391-1398.

18.     REBORA M., SALERNO G., PIERSANTI S., DELL’OTTO A., GAINO E. (2012). Olfaction in Dragonflies: electrophysiological evidence. Journal of Insect Physiology 58, 270-277.

19.     GAINO E., SCOCCIA F., PIERSANTI S., REBORA M., BELLUCCI L.G., LUDOVISI A. (2012). Spicule records of Ephydatia fluviatilis as a proxy for hydrological and environmental changes in the shallow Lake Trasimeno (Umbria, Italy). Hydrobiologia 679, 139-153.

20.     REBORA M., DELL’OTTO A., RYBAK J., PIERSANTI S., GAINO E., Hansson B. (2013).The antennal lobe of Libellula depressa (Odonata, Libellulidae). Zoology 116, 205-214.

21.     LA PORTA G., DELL’OTTO A., SPEZIALE A., GORETTI E., REBORA M., PIERSANTI S., GAINO E. (2013) Odonata biodiversity in some protected areas of Umbria, central Italy. Odonatologica 42(2), 125-137.

22.     REBORA M., PIERSANTI S., DELL’OTTO A., GAINO E. (2013). The gustatory sensilla on the endophytic ovipositor of Odonata. Arthropod Structure & Development, 42(2): 127-134.

23.     REBORA M., PIERSANTI S., GAINO E. (2013). The mechanoreceptors on the endophytic ovipositor of the dragonfly Aeshna cyanea (Odonata, Aeshnidae). Arthropod Structure & Development, 42: 369-378.

24.     PIERSANTI S., FRATI F., CONTI E., GAINO E., REBORA M., SALERNO G. (2014). First evidence of the use of olfaction in Odonata behaviour. Journal of Insect Physiology (in press).

 

 

TEACHING ACTIVITY

 

 Since A.A. 2013/2014                 Teacher in the course of “Animal biodiversity”- Degree in Biology

University of Perugia,                                                                                                                               Perugia, Italy

 

A.A. 2012/2013                            Teacher in the course of “Animal biodiversity and systematic”- Degree in Natural Sciences

University of Perugia,                                                                                                                               Perugia, Italy

 

Since A.A. 2007/2008        “Cultore della materia” in Ethology and Zoology courses, regular member of examining board for these courses.

University of Perugia,                                                                                                                               Perugia, Italy

 

Since A.A. 2002/2003               Teaching Assistant in Ethology and Zoology courses. Student assistant for exams and master thesis. Integrative seminars, laboratory exercitations, and field courses.

University of Perugia,                                                                                                                               Perugia, Italy

2005                                               Course Assistant in Interactive Biophysics

NTNU,                                                                                                                                             Trondheim, Norway