PhD programs

  Animal and Food Science

Scienze animali e agroalimentari

Coordinator: Stefano Schiavon -
Secretariat: Rosalba Moro -  
Web site:

Research lines: the PhD School in “Animal and Food Science” is organized in two curricula: Animal Science and Food Science.

Animal Science

  • Husbandry, feeding, conservation and genetic improvement of livestock, pet, wild and game species-populations;
  • Biotechnology applied to selection, breeds conservation, animal feeding and husbandry and to traceability of animal products;
  • Biostatistics and computer science applied to animal breeding and food science;
  • Procedures and systems for genetic evaluation, selection, crossbreeding and inbreeding in animal science;
  • Animal nutrition and feeding in livestock;
  • Environmental impact of herds, feeding and management strategies aimed to decrease pollutants of farm origin;
  • Animal welfare;
  • Quality of animal products and food safety.

Food Science


  • Detection of chemical, physical and microbiological characteristics of foods of animal and plant origin;
  • Evaluation of food properties in relation to the technological process of production and  to the characteristics of the raw material;
  • Evaluation of soil composition and growth conditions of crops to improve quality of food of plant origin;
  • Investigation of antimicrobial activities of natural and synthetic compounds added to foods or produced by microorganisms during the fermentation process;
  • Development of low-risk food processing;
  • Chemical, physical,  microbiological and sensory characterization of “regional” foods;
  • Evaluation and improvement of organoleptic characteristics of foods and study of their impact on consumers by food sensory analysis.


  • Assessment of new technological processes to improve preservation of foods;
  • Exploitation of innovative technological and microbiological methods to increase food products shelf life and food safety.


  • Assessment of new technological and microbiological processes for food production; 
  • Identification of chemical, physical and biochemical conditions for the optimization of food manufacturing processes.


  • Approaches for controlling or preventing the activity of indigenous food enzymes;
  • Modification of food constituents by added enzymes;
  • Immobilized enzymes for food and bioprocessing applications;
  • Enzyme-based biosensors for food analysis.


  • Assessment of grapevine cultivation conditions in relation to wine quality;
  • Investigation and improvement of technological and microbiological processes in alcoholic beverage and distillates production.


  • Development of novel foods, new food ingredients and foods with health-promoting or disease-preventing properties by means of technological processes and/or microbial transformations.


  • Development of multidisciplinary approaches to improve technological, microbiological and nutritional aspects related to food and meal preparation and distribution.


  • Valorisation of byproducts from farm and from food industry by technological and microbiological approaches aimed at extracting  bioactive compounds or transforming waste products into value-added substrates and food ingredients.

  Crop Science

Scienze delle produzioni vegetali

Coordinator: Antonio Berti -
Secretariat: Laura Nicoletti -
Web site:
Research lines:

  • Plant genetics, genomics and proteomics
  • Dynamics of epigenetic states
  • Genetic improvement of traits influencing yield
  • Resistance to biotic and abiotic stress
  • Alteration of plant architecture and control of flowering
  • Genetic determinants of apomixis
  • Plant-environment interaction
  • Interactions between crop production and agronomic techniques
  • Crop rotation
  • Potential productivity and soil fertility
  • Root systems and microbial symbionts
  • Ecophysiology and productivity of agricultural and forest plants
  • Biochemical, physiological and molecular responses of plants to pathogens
  • Insect-plant relationships in agricultural and forest ecosystems
  • Plant protection from pests and diseases
  • Ecological and molecular analysis of pest and disease populations
  • Regulation of fruit development and ripening
  • Fruit post-harvest physiology
  • Fruit allergenicity
  • Molecular basis of fruitlet abscission


  Land, Environment, Resources and Health (L.E.R.H.)

Coordinator: Davide Pettenella -

Secretariat: : Antonella Tosatto - e Sara Ziggiotti -
Web site:
Research lines:

  • Ectomycorrhizal dynamics in the forest expansion on sandy soils
  • Short-term effects of thinning on forest decline
  • Carbon balance of forest ecosystems
  • Global determinants of treeline
  • Landscape ecology
  • Forest dynamics and Tree water relations
  • Hydrological processes and flash-flood
  • Fluvial morphology, sediment transport, mountain rivers
  • River and streams dynamics and restoration
  • Erosion processes, torrent control, check dams
  • Forest hydrology, water cycle, GIS and Geomatic
  • Effects of climate change on hydrological cycle and sediment transport regime
  • Soil, water and air pollution
  • Phytoremediation, water and soils phytodepuration
  • Wetlands, constructed wetland and phytodepuration facilities
  • Water and fertilization management with precision agriculture
  • Technologies and machineries for reduction environmental impacts and conservation of natural resources
  • Technologies in precision agriculture and forestry
  • Energy supply in agriculture and forestry, energy saving and by-product retrieval
  • Bioenergy and forests
  • Agrifood sector competitiveness
  • European agricultural policy and European rural development
  • Food quality, made in Italy, geographical indications, organic products
  • Marketing of agrifood products
  • Economics of bio-energy
  • Economics of food science and technology
  • Food quality and safety
  • Forest governance issues related to illegal logging, deforestation, forest degradation and corruption
  • Payment for Environmental Services and ES  markets
  • NWFP marketing and policy 



  Veterinary Science

Scienze veterinarie

Coordinator: Prof.ssa Valentina Zappulli -
Secretariat: Dr. Stefano Bianchini -

Web site:
Research lines:
The research is focused into five overlapping and inter-related themes and is sustained by a complementary mixture of clinical and non-clinical academic staff:

Veterinary basic sciences: research covers the bio-pathologic subjects related to animals of veterinary interest (mammals, birds and fish), including molecular and cell biology (stem cells), microbiology, anatomy, physiology and endocrinology, zoology, pathology, animal behavior and man-animal relationship, animal welfare and bioethics.

Veterinary epidemiology, hygiene and public health: research includes the study of the diffusion of animal infectious and parasitic diseases (including zoonosis and molecular epidemiology) and the development of advanced diagnostic techniques; the development and evaluation of methods for disease prevention plans and risk factor assessment; the development of screening methods for ecotoxicology.

Food safety and food science: this is an important and peculiar research and professional field in the veterinary sector. Research is addressed to investigate the bond between animal husbandry and the production of healthy and safe foods and diets for all, the development of methods to detect xenobiotic residues and assess the microbiological risk in food and feed, and methods for food traceability. PhD candidates will have also the opportunity to follow research programs related to the impact of food and feed production on human health.

Animal models to study spontaneous and experimental human diseases: The research projects are usually conducted in association with research groups in the area of human medicine, and applicants are invited to contact the reference person for further information about the topics.

Animal diseases: Research projects deal with the development of diagnostic and therapeutic tools, the evaluation of veterinary drugs and (functional) feed. All the areas of veterinary medicine are covered: internal medicine, reproductive medicine, surgery.

The PhD students with a degree in Veterinary medicine will have also the chance to follow the activities at the University Veterinary Hospital (CIRSOV), and learn about the methodologies and the scientific principles necessary for research and study in different fields of clinical veterinary science.