Valerio is a PhD student originally from the swiss-italian side of Switzerland with a background in neuroengineering and molecular biology. He completed his BSc in biology at the University of Lausanne (UNIL), Switzerland and his MSc in biology (with focus on neuroscience) at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ), Switzerland. Despite growing up in the middle of the Alps, he always had a fascination for marine life, which brought him to undergo his Master’s thesis here at the Sensory Neurobiology group on the visual system of surgeonfish, under the supervision of Dr Fanny de Busserolles and Dr Fabio Cortesi in 2018. Valerio is a dive instructor and passionate about photography (both underwater and terrestrial).
I’m interested in marine biology as a whole, genetics, evolution, and visual ecology. I like to tackle questions with multiple approaches and research techniques. Currently, I’m developing new methodologies to investigate the visual system and the colouration of damselfish (mostly clownfish) using genetic engineering techniques (CRISPR-Cas9). I also use histology, molecular biology, behavioural studies and calibrated photography to study the visual ecology of these colourful coral reef fish.
I’m also researching the evolution of opsin genes in Surgeonfishes and its ecological context, defined by habitat and feeding behaviour.
2016 BSc in Biology, University of Lausanne, SWITZERLAND
2018 MSc in Biology (focus in Neurosciences), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ), SWITZERLAND