Rita Cervo



Rita Cervo graduated in Natural Sciences (1983) at the University of Florence, and then obtained a PhD in Ethology and Animal Biology (1991). After working as a post-doc, she became researcher (Bio 05). Currently, she is Associate professor at the University of Florence, where she teaches Zoology, Animal communication, General and applied entomology. She was Visiting Professor at the Laboratorie d’Ethologie Expérimentale et Comparée de l’Université de Paris 13 (2012).
Research activity is mainly focused on biology, evolution and communication of social insects with particular attention at the phenomenon of social parasitism in the Polistes wasps. More recently, she studied topics linked to Apis mellifera decline. Another research area concerns biology and behaviour of alien insects, such as Rhynchophorus ferrugineus and Vespa velutina. She is author of about one hundred forty among articles published in international journals and scientific book chapters. Council Member of IUSSI Italian Section (International Union for the Study of Social Insects) (Italian AISASP), from 2001 to 2018, where she was Secretary first and then President. Vice-President of the Italian Society of Ethology from 2008 to 2012. Currently she is Secretary of the Presidential Council of the National Academy of Entomology.

Cini A., Summer S., Cervo R., 2019 – Inquiline social parasites as tools to
unlock the secrets of insect sociality. Philosophical Transactions Soc. B 374:20180193. http://dx.doi org/10.1098/rstb.20180193

Cervo R., Bruschini C., Cappa F., Meconcelli S., Pieraccini G., Pradella D., Turillazzi S., 2014 – High Varroa mite abundance influences chemical profiles of workers bees and mite-host preferences. Journal of Experimental Biology 217, 1-4 doi: 10.1242/jeb.099978.

Cervo R., Dapporto L., Beani L., Strassmann J.E., Turillazzi S., 2008 – On status badges and quality signals in Polistes dominulus: body size, facial colour patterns and hierarchical rank. Proceeding of Royal Society of London B 275: 1189-1196.

Cervo R., Macinai V., Dechigi F., Turillazzi S., 2004 – Fast growth of immature brood in a social parasite wasp: a convergent evolution between avian and insec,t cuckoos. American Naturalist 164 (6):814-820.

Queller D.C., Zacchi F., Cervo R., Turillazzi S., Henshaw M.T., Santorelli L.A., Strassmann J.E., 2000 – Unrelated helpers in a social insect. Nature, 405: 784-787.