Working for FruitFlyNet-ii in a complicated scientific domain


The agronomist Tania Travaglini is the technical manager for the University of Molise (UNIMOL - Italy), responsible for the field activities regarding Location Aware System deployment and operation and will collaborate to the coordination, communication and training activities. She holds a Msc in Agricultural Sciences from the University of Molise, with a thesis in Entomology. Her interests are particular in biological and integrated pest control and precision agriculture. Her activity focused on the experimentation of mating disruption against lepidoptera pests of vineyards and on fruit fly rearing establishment and maintenance.

Which are the actions taken so far on behalf of your institution in FruitFlyNet-ii context and what kind of initiatives will you implement the following months?

In my role as Technical manager, I am involved in all development support and prototype testing activities. I personally visit the experimental sites for environmental data collection and monitoring.In the coming months I will contribute to the definition of protocols for the extension of experimental activities in large-scale fields and I will participate in the living labs on e-trap and e-service advances.

What kind of innovation do you bring in the FruitFlyNet-ii context as an institution?

UNIMOL as well as having a significant experience in Integrated Pest Management projects, has implemented-operated-demonstrated a Location Aware System (LAS) for medfly (Ceratitis capitata) pests in a previous ENI CBCMed project. The acquired knowledge will be fundamental for UNIMOL's development of the MedflyNet prototype and for field testing the OliveflyNet prototype.

How do you intend to involve local stakeholders in your initiatives?

My institution has foreseen various initiatives for the involvement of stakeholders in which I will also take part: meetings, open events, field visits and living labs. Personally, during my visits to the experimental fields I have continuous contact with the farmers who host us and are fully interested in the potential of the systems we are developing.

How did you manage to overcome difficulties related to covid pandemic?

Unfortunately, the Covid pandemic has created several difficulties. As far as I am concerned, the blocking of public competitions by the Italian government delayed the completion of the public competition for the recruitment of the technical manager of UNIMOL which took place only in February 2021. My contract only began in March 2021. At the moment, international travels are still difficult, especially outside EU.

About University of Molise 

The University of Molise (UNIMOL) is composed of 6 Departments involved in research and teaching, the University is active in international programs. The UNIMOL counts 4 University campuses, 9000 students, 105 PhD students and about 600 among teaching and non-teaching staff. The Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Food Sciences works through the interaction between several subjects with particular respect to chemistry, economy, microbiology, food technology, physic, biochemistry, botanic, genetics, animal anatomy and physiology, plant production, plant protection, forest management and professional disciplines characterizing the Faculty of Agriculture. The Laboratory of General and Applied Entomology that belongs to the Department, has 3 Academic members, 1 technician, several post-doc researchers and PhD students, which are activated in crop and fruit protection, forest management, integrated pest management, bio-statistic, post-harvest insect control and food safety, insect communication, Lepidoptera biodiversity.