The PhD Programme in Agrobiodiversity is a four-year residential Course. It aims at the enhancement of human resource capacities in the utilisation and management of genetic variation in agricultural and natural systems, in order to improve the sustainability of agricultural systems and the conservation of genetic resources for the well-being of present and future generations.
The Programme is structured into two curricula:
- Plant genetic resources;
- Functional biodiversity in agroecosystems.
Areas of study and research facilities
During the Course, PhD students are required to attend 150 hours of in class training on methodological, curricular, and interdisciplinary courses. Students are also involved in seminars, journal clubs, workshops, and conferences. However the main activity will be devoted to research activities. All courses are taught in English. Students may spend research activity abroad, as a visiting scholar at foreign University or research institutions, deemed relevant for their PhD project.
Here below are listed a few examples of research areas dealt in this PhD programme:
- Genetic variation in single genes and entire genomes of agricultural and forestry plants and their wild relatives.
- Mechanisms that control the variability in genes and/or groups of genes, as those involved in resistance to pathogens and/ or pests and tolerance to environmental factors.
- Role of functional biodiversity in maintaining genetic diversity, including evolution and co-evolution of pests/pathogens and host plants.
- Role of functional diversity, including interactions between pests/ pathogens/ weeds and domesticated/volunteer/wild plants, in agroecosystem health.
- Plant and crop physiology, including plant stress physiology and post-harvest physiology.
- Application of agrobiodiversity solutions at genetic, species and habitat level to improve crop performance, crop protection, sustainable crop/agroforestry management and multifunctional land use.
Research and counselling in national and international organisations. The Programme is intended for students willing to pursue an academic career but also provides professional research skills to work in public and private research institutions. Most of our previous PhD students now work as research fellow or have tenure track in national and international institutions.