Graduate cum laude in Agricultural Sciences at University of Pisa, in 1982 Dr. Vallini joined - as a result of a national competitive selection - the Soil Microbiology Center in Pisa as Research Associate (researcher) of the Italian National Research Council (CNR), remaining there until the end of October 1998. On November 1st, 1998, Dr. Vallini moved to the University of Verona as Associate Professor where he started teaching Microbial Biotechnology at the Faculty of Life Sciences. Since October 1st 2006 he holds the position of Full Professor of Microbiology at the Department of Biotechnology of the same University of Verona, giving lectures in General Microbiology, Microbial Biotechnology, Soil/Plant/Microbe Interactions as well as Laboratory Methods in Microbiology. He has also been appointed as Head of the Department of Biotechnology (formerly Department of Science and Technology) in the same campus, maintaining the position from October 1st, 2007 through September 30, 2015. Prof. Vallini has been engaged for long time in studies dealing with the aerobic biostabilisation of organic waste through controlled composting microbial ecosystems. Evaluation of the effects of humified organic substrates on soil microbial populations responsible of biogeochemical cycles has also represented an important research field. In 1984, he was granted an one-year NATO fellowship for research activity at the Department of Microbiology, University of Illinois (Urbana, IL, USA), in Prof. R.S. Wolfe Lab, for studies concerning methanogenic bacteria. This represented the beginning of a new scientific production in the field of anaerobic digestion of organic matrices oriented either to fundamental microbiological aspects of strict anaerobes or to the technological exploitation of methanogenesis. In the last twenty years, Prof. Vallini has carried out studies on the microbial biodegradation of xenobiotic organic compounds in soils and waters, in the frame of activities dealing with the development of bioremediation strategies, including rhizosphere-assisted phytoremediation, for the clean up of contaminated sites. In particular, strains of microbes responsible for the degradation of thiophenes and non-ionic surfactants, such as dibenzothiophene and nonyl-phenol-polyethoxylates respectively, have been isolated from environmental samples and characterised in terms of both biochemical degradative pathways adopted and genetic features. On this field, an exchange project funded by the EU-COST Programme has been finalised with the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences - University of Helsinki (Finland) in 2009. During the past ten years, Prof. Vallini has participated twice in projects sponsored by MIUR (Italian Ministry of University) dealing with the study of the microbial environment within SBR type bioreactors fed in alternate feast/famine conditions for the production of poly-hydroxy-alkanoates (biodegradable plastics). Starting from the year 2000, a special unit has been established at the Departiment of Biotechnology - University of Verona, within the research team coordinated by Prof. Vallini, focusing on how interactions between plants and rhizosphere microorganisms can affect phytoextraction mechanisms of heavy metals and metalloids, with special reference to lead, selenium and arsenic. Exactly on the same subject of soil pollution by metals, Prof. Vallini is collaborating since 2002 with aqualified research group at the Departamento de Química Agrícola e Ambiental - Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa (Portugal). Prof. Vallini has participated in many scientific meetings at either national or international level, often as invited lecturer. He has also been involved in several activities on environmental biotechnology sponsored by International Organisations such as EU (formerly EEC) and UNIDO. Since January 2002 through December 2010, Prof. Vallini has acted as an Associate Editor for Waste Management & Research, the international scientific journal sponsored by ISWA (International Solid Waste Association). More than 120 papers published in scientific journals and contributions in monographies together with science divulgation articles represent a tangible proof of the research activity done. The h-Index of 88 papers recognized by Scopus within the time span 1982-2017 is 29.
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