Strengthening the teaching and research activities launched in the past three years, promoting advanced international training programmes in the agri-food and environmental sectors, responding to local issues: these are the key areas for development for Ilaria Pertot, as she starts her second mandate as director of C3A - Agriculture Food Environment Center, the joint research center created by the University of Trento and Fondazione Edmund Mach.
The appointment for the 2019-2022 mandate will be confirmed in the next days by Rector's decree, and can be renewed.
Pertot believes in quality food and in modern, competitive, sustainable agriculture and, most of all, in the symbiotic relationship between education and research: "We initially worked to build the foundations of the master's and doctoral programmes and to improve the joint research units with members from the University and Fondazione Edmund Mach, in order to develop synergies and increase our competitiveness".
She underlines that the degree course in Viticulture and oenology was very successful, with 551 applications for only 75 places, and is happy that the first student graduated last summer (earning a double degree with Hochschule Geisenheim University, in Germany). And she proudly mentions the inter-university Master's degree in Environmental meteorology (Meteorologia ambientale), launched in 2018 by the University of Trento with the University of Innsbruck, taught in English, with 18 enrolled students selected from 39 applications.
She speaks enthusiastically of the PhD Course in Agrifood and Environmental Sciences (Scienze agroalimentari e ambientali), which has just been launched by the University of Trento in agreement with Fondazione Edmund Mach and will open this year with 24 students selected from the almost 100 applications received from all over the world.
The Agriculture Food Environment Center was created in 2016 by the University of Trento and Fondazione Edmund Mach to enhance and strengthen the well consolidated collaboration between the two institutions in teaching and research in the areas of agriculture, food and the environment.
The purpose of the Center is to encourage the development of high-level research and training in intensive farming, quality agriculture, and smart agriculture, to produce quality food while trying to reduce the environmental impact and make a sustainable use of resources. Research activities aim to develop a sustainable farming system capable of reacting to biotic and abiotic environmental stress factors through low-impact agronomic techniques, the replacement of synthetic pesticides with molecule-based active substances and natural micro-organisms, and the use of resilient varieties together with beneficial micro-organisms.
Full professor of plant pathology, Ilaria Pertot previously was a researcher at Fondazione Edmund Mach where she was also the coordinator of the Department of sustainable agro-ecosystems and bioresources. She earned her PhD in crop protection and continued her career in research working mainly on the research and development of low-impact methods to protect plants from pathogens and parasites. During her career, she visited prestigious research centers in Switzerland, Israel and Belgium. Her areas of expertise range from microbiology, molecular biology and epidemiology to the industrial development of bio-pesticides. She is the owner of 4 patents for bio-fungicides and the author of more than 200 technical and scientific publications. She is the vice president of the International Organisation for Biological and Integrated Control (IOBC-wprs) and the coordinator of many international research projects.