Roberto is from a small town near Lecco, Italy, and received his Bachelor and Master in Biology from University of Milano-Bicocca with a thesis on the molecular phylogeny of Indian Ocean reef corals under the supervision of Dr. Francesca Benzoni, Dr. Fabrizio Stefani, and Prof. Paolo Galli. After acquiring his Master’s degree, Roberto was awarded a one-year scholarship to study phylogeny and taxonomy of scleractinian corals and then completed a Ph.D. at the University of Milano-Bicocca under the supervision of Dr. Benzoni focusing on systematics, taxonomy, and phylogenetic relationships of the hard coral family Lobophylliidae. During his PhD, Roberto was involved with Dr. Benzoni to participate in the Saudi Arabian coral reef biodiversity project
and later joined the Reef Ecology Lab as a post-doctoral fellow in 2015. His main studies currently address systematics, phylogeny, and biogeography of Red Sea scleractinian corals, and he is interested in the integration of genetic and morphological data for the advancement of the field of coral taxonomy. Roberto also collaborates with MaRHE Center (Maldives) in order to investigate maldivian corals biodiversity and their symbiosis with reef organisms.