Evolutionary and Systematic Zoology

The Laboratory of Evolutionary and Systematic Zoology (ESZ_Lab) embodies one of the oldest research lines in the Department, stemming from studies in the ‘90s on insect taxonomy and agricultural applied entomology.

ESZ_Lab is at the forefront of the application of molecular markers to address biological problems (invasions, phylogeography, colonization, ecological genetics, phylogenetics). In the last two decades, the laboratory studied the evolution of different taxa, from virus to mammals, with a marked centrality on hexapods (springtails, fruitflies, coleoptera and leafminers). These studies covered a wide range of timespan (centuries to millions of years) and of biological systems, including those dedicated to edible and polystyrene-degrading insects and gut-microbiomes.

Addressed topics span from studies on Antarctic terrestrial fauna to agricultural pest control; from gregarines systematics to edible insect management; from molecular phylogenetics to population genetics and taxonomy of early diverging hexapod lineages and oribatid mites; from studies on the genetic variability of Cannabis cultivars to genomics, mitogenomics, omics and microbiomics of key arthropods’ taxa.


ESZ_lab provides opportunities for students and young researchers to perform experiments, collect data, and answer questions to assess their understanding and to interact directly with the most challenging topics of invertebrate evolution. Molecular data are applied and analyzed, using up-dated tools, data collection techniques, models and bioinformatic methods. Everybody that could not satisfy his/her thirst for knowledge is very welcome to join us!


ESZ_lab currently includes 4 Faculty members, 2 technicians and 2 PhD students.

Granted research lines span from studies on Antarctic terrestrial fauna to agricultural pest control, with a founded Horizon 2020 project to study the colonization route of the Japanese Beetle Popillia japonica.


Social media: Twitter: @ESZLab; Instagram: esz_lab.




Researchers involved in the activities

Francesco Frati - Full Professor

Pietro Paolo Fanciulli - Associate Professor

Antonio Carapelli - Associate Professor

Francesco Nardi - Associate Professor

Massimo Migliorini - Research Technician

Giacomo Spinsanti - Research Technician

Claudia Brunetti - PhD Student

Claudio Cucini - PhD Student

Funded Projects

INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT OF THE INVASIVE JAPANESE BEETLE, Popillia japonica - IPM Popillia -H2020- Prof. Antonio Carapelli