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Laura Favilli

  • Phd: 37th cycle
  • Matriculation number: 822971

Phd thesis

The project has the objective of monitoring the environment through the evaluation of plants and animals as bioindicators, and of studying plants as nutritional and phytotherapeutic resources. The study will be executed thanks to the existing collaboration between the Universities of Torino and Antananarivo (Madagascar).

The potential of some animal and plant species will be evaluated as bioindicators of the quantity of mineral elements present in ecosystems. The species chosen are lemurs, which will be studied in both countries (thanks to the cooperation with Zoom Foundation), and flamingos which will be studied only in Italy. Regarding plants, attention will be focused on species growing both in Italy and Madagascar, whenever possible. Samples from the surrounding environmental compartments (water, soil and particulate matter) will also be collected and analyzed to characterize the environments of interest and compare the two sites’ situations. To better understand the similarities and differences between the samples coming from the different areas and the correlations between the variables, the information obtained will be processed with chemometric techniques: the outcome of these studies will allow to identify the best bioindicators of the ecosystem conditions. The collected data may be the starting point for a long-term monitoring of climate changes in both countries. Meanwhile, different endemic plants of Madagascar will be studied to implement the traditional local notions of ethnobotany, find new natural sources, and increase the food security of the area. The characterization will be executed through the quantification of nutrients and potentially toxic elements. Thanks to the knowledge gained, it will be possible to evaluate the plant species to be included in the diet to integrate the needs of mineral elements in the organisms. New economic and work opportunities may be created thanks to the cultivation and marketing of plants and the development of new supply chains.

 

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Last update: 14/02/2024 09:39
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