I'm an environmental scientist whose research stands at the interface between the biosphere and the atmosphere. My research interest is plant volatile organic compounds (VOC) and their atmospheric oxidation.
We are all familiar with the citrus aroma of orange as we peel it, the scent of roses or lavender bushes in bloom, or, on a summer afternoon, the distinctive pine smell as we wander in a coniferous forest. Plants produce and emit hundreds of volatile compounds in the atmosphere. Through these compounds, plants communicate, fight herbivorous insects or attract pollinators.
Emitted VOCs undergo oxidation in the atmosphere and contribute to tropospheric ozone levels. Further, the oxidation products may condense and lead to secondary organic aerosol (SOA). Aerosol particle load is crucial in defining the radiative forcing, a critical parameter in climate studies.
Climate change with anticipated springs, severe drought, and insect outbreaks have already shown their impact on plants. Plants react to this stress by changing the VOC emissions. Some compounds get promoted, and some others get reduced. Consequently, this has an impact on air quality standards and climate.
I investigate VOC emissions and atmospheric oxidation from tree species characteristic of the Swiss and European temperate forests by deploying online and offline mass spectrometric techniques.
- 2018 Doctoral degree in Environmental Science (D-USYS, ETH Zurich)
- 2013 Master in Applied and Environmental Chemical Sciences (Chemistry Department, Università degli Studi di Milano)