During my PhD, I acquired experience in molecular systematics and phylogenetic analysis studying termites of the genus Reticulitermes. This genus includes subterranean termites, whereby their colonies usually consist of galleries constructed below ground level. Reticulitermes taxonomy has been matter of controversies based on morphological and chemical data. Using an integrate approach combining DNA sequences and the chemical composition of cuticular hydrocarbons involved in nestmate recognition, I discussed the taxonomy and speciation of the Reticulitermes genus in Europe. Termites play an important natural role in the breakdown of cellulose in natural environments. However they are highly destructive pests causing extensive damage in urban settings even in Europe. In this context I also supervised a pioneer project to control termite populations in urban areas at a large scale.
Afterwards, I integrated my biological background with a Master degree in Bioinformatics. This was a great opportunity to work in this new exciting field using techniques for storing, handling and exchange the massive amounts of data emerging principally from genomics research.
I'm currently developing a tool for processing large quantities of raw DNA data. This tool allows users to store, retrieve and analyse data automatically. It is used to maintain and annotate EST sequences obtained in a genome sequencing project.
I'm currently interested in analysis of expression data.