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Institutional Appointments: Matteo Dell'Acqua, Full Professor of Agricultural Genetics, has been elected as the new director of the Institute of Plant Sciences, will serve until June 20, 2027 

Best wishes and congratulations from the entire academic community

Publication date: 24.06.2024
Matteo Dell'Acqua
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Matteo Dell'Acqua, full professor of Agricultural Genetics is the first director of the Institute of Plant Sciences. Matteo Dell'Acqua received best wishes and congratulations from the entire academic community.

"I am delighted and honored to have been elected to this role. My goal is to give voice to the Sant'Anna School's outstanding research in Plant Sciences, working with my colleagues and colleagues to contribute to the scientific excellence of our institution."

A plant geneticist by training, his current research focuses on developing quantitative methods to promote sustainable intensification of agricultural systems in emerging countries, with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa.

Matteo Dell'Acqua leads an international and diverse research group that develops transdisciplinary approaches by linking genomics, climate science, and socioeconomic approaches to address the multiple challenges of subsistence farming systems: productivity, adaptation, equity. Their research methods include DNA sequencing and bioinformatics, climate modeling, quantitative genetics, and participatory methods for crop improvement. Matteo Dell'Acqua has an interest in genetic and cultural agrobiodiversity, and his research explores the connection between plants and people using crops such as maize, wheat, teff, barley, sorghum, and cowpea. His projects involve students, researchers, and collaborators from emerging countries, all engaged in impactful research that responds to the momentous challenges of climate change, demands for agricultural sustainability, and increased demand for food from a growing global population. The data-driven approaches his group has helped develop aim to support crop improvement practices that take into account local adaptation and local needs, and to promote lasting impact research and training for the rise of a new generation of researchers engaged in plant sciences.

As a full professor at Sant'Anna School for the past two years, he coordinated the Plant Sciences Research Center in its start-up phase. The new Director now intends to contribute to consolidate the research activities developed by this compact group on the topic of Plant Sciences by providing a valuable contribution to Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna: of quality before quantity, a work focused on basic research, from molecules to agroecosystems, as the main road to impact and innovation; a work based on innovative, disciplinary and interdisciplinary lines of research that intercept the growing interest in the issues of sustainability, biodiversity and adaptation to climate change.

Matteo dell'Acqua is a young full professor with a brilliant academic career and a strong ability to attract regional, national, European and industrial funds. He has had numerous encounters with international research, through visiting periods in the US, building collaborative networks in Europe, and much work in emerging countries. These experiences have led him to interact with extremely diverse people, cultures, and structures fostering his personal and professional growth. Many publications and awards have been achieved, including SIGA (Italian Society of Agricultural Genetics) and UNASA (National Union of Italian Academies for Applied Sciences for Agricultural Development, Food Safety and Environmental Protection) awards. He has been invited as a keynote speaker at several scientific occasions, such as the United States Society of Plant Biology conference, and popular events, including EXPO Doha, as well as international workshops such as those of the European Union-African Union Innovation Agenda. He received the International Award for Agribusiness Sustainability, obtained as the winner of the 2nd Bologna Award which is celebrated on World Food Day.