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We are a group of researchers who use an integrative approach to answer ecological questions. Our method spans from taxonomy and biodiversity recognition to understanding the functional and behavioural responses of organisms to their environment. In our studies, we utilize invertebrates as model organisms, addressing various issues through laboratory experiments and field observations. Our research frequently incorporates physiological and molecular techniques to improve our understanding of the intricate relationship between organisms and their surroundings.

Group photo in the making...

Honey bee workers walking on a piece of comb. Photo: K. Miler
Rock pool filled with water. Photo: M. Vecchi
Formica cinerea ant workers walking on a sandy surface. Photo: K. Miler
Antlion traps over a flat sandy area. Photo: K. Miler


Our current projects involve the study of addictive and self-medicative behaviour in the honeybee, patterns of tardigrade diversity and distribution as well as the structure and dynamics of their metacommunities, altruistic and cooperative behaviour in ants, and cognitive behaviour in trap-building insects such as antlions and wormlions.

Latest works

Pinpointing the microbiota of tardigrades: What is really there?

The tardigrade Mesobiotus aradasi (Binda, Pilato & Lisi, 2005) is widely distributed along the Antarctic Peninsula

Polar Biology

Ecology explains anhydrobiotic performance across tardigrades, but the shared evolutionary history matters more.

Occasional and constant exposure to dietary ethanol shortens the lifespan of worker honey bees

Along the river: Longitudinal patterns of functional and taxonomic diversity of plants in riparian forests

Journal of Vegetation Science

Morphology, phylogenetic position, and mating behaviour of a new Mesobiotus (Tardigrada) species from a rock pool in the Socorro Box Canyon (New Mexico, USA).

Integrative taxonomy supports two new species of Macrobiotus (Tardigrada: Eutardigrada: Macrobiotidae) allowing further discussion on the genus phylogeny

European Journal of Taxonomy

Small workers are more persistent when providing and requiring help in a monomorphic ant.

Scientific Reports

Injury shortens life expectancy in ants and affects some risk-related decisions of workers.

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