I am Maurizio Mascarello and I come from Italy. I achieved a Bachelor’s degree in Biology in 2010 and a Master’s degree in Environmental Biology in 2013 at the University of Turin. In 2015, I did an internship as analytical technician at the Italian craft brewery Birra del Borgo (InBev). Afterwards, I went back to University to do a Research Master in Crop Science at the University College Dublin, which was successfully completed in 2017. Finally, I worked as Research Assistant in Plant Genetics at the Technical University of Munich.
My research interests include the development of biological strategies aimed at mitigating human activities that could pose a serious threat to global biodiversity and the environment. My wish was to merge the knowledge I obtained in Dublin and Turin with molecular methods to solve environmental and conservation issues. Luckily, I am now a PhD student at Meise Botanic Garden and KU Leuven, working on the development of genomic sequences, as well as fast and cost-effectives molecular methods, aimed at identifying illegal logging activities in tropical Africa. The results will be useful for enforcing forestry laws and regulations, so African timber species of importance for the international trade can be included in conservation systems for tropical forests (e.g. CITES, EUTR). During my project, I closely collaborate with the Royal Museum for Central Africa and we are also starting a new collaboration with the Naturalis Biodiversity Center (ESR15) in order to develop different kinds of analytical techniques for the identification of illegally logged ebony wood.