Donato Grasso


Graduated in Biological Sciences at the University of Parma. After a PhD in Ethology and a post-doc period, he became Researcher (1999). Visiting Researcher at the Laboratory of Entomology (University of Leuven, BE) (2001). He is currently Associate Professor at the University of Parma where he teaches General Zoology, Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology, Fauna Conservation and Management. He is Chief of the Degree Course in Natural and Environmental Sciences.
His research concerns insect behaviour, ecology and sociobiology, with particular regard to ants, favouring a multidisciplinary approach on basic and applied aspects. After having carried out many studies on social parasitism and communication, his research is currently focused on the relationships between ants, plants and other insects of agronomic importance, anthropic impact on biodiversity, urban ecology and Citizen Science.
He has been member of the Board of the Italian Society of Ethology and President of the Italian Section of the International Union for the Study of Social Insects. He is member of the Scientific Committee of the Rovereto Civic Museum Foundation and of the Scientific Committee of WWF Italy. He is involved in many Public Engagement activities such as seminars, articles in magazines and newspapers, television and radio broadcasts.

Donato A. Grasso (2018). Il formicaio intelligente. Come vivono e che cosa possono insegnarci i più sociali tra gli insetti. p. 1-272, Zanichelli, ISBN: 978-88-08-62088-0.

Schifani E., Castracani C., Giannetti D., Spotti F.A., Reggiani R., Leonardi S., Mori A., Grasso D.A. (2020). New Tools for Conservation Biological Control: Testing Ant-Attracting Artificial Nectaries to Employ Ants as Plant Defenders. INSECTS, 11: 1-21, doi:

Grasso D.A., Giannetti D., Castracani C., Spotti F.A., Mori A. (2020). Rolling away: a novel context-dependent escape behaviour discovered in ants. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS 10, 3784.

Nepi, Massimo, Grasso, Donato A, Mancuso, Stefano (2018). Nectar in Plant-Insect Mutualistic Relationships: From Food Reward to Partner Manipulation. FRONTIERS IN PLANT SCIENCE, vol. 9, doi:

Schettino M., Grasso D.A., Weldegergis B.T., Castracani C., Mori A., Dicke M., Van Lenteren J.C., Van Loon, J.J.A. (2017). Response of a Predatory ant to Volatiles Emitted by Aphid- and Caterpillar-Infested Cucumber and Potato Plants. JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL ECOLOGY, 43:1007-1022, doi:

Gibb et al. (2015). Climate mediates the effects of disturbance on ant assemblage structure. PROCEEDINGS – ROYAL SOCIETY. BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, vol. 282, ISSN: 0962-8452, doi: