Tullia received her BS in Biology in 2013 from the University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy, where she worked in the Marine Biodiversity lab under the supervision of Dr. Francesca Benzoni. During her undergraduate years, she strengthened her passion for the marine world and contributed to several projects focusing on the phylogeny of the Scleractinian coral family Lobophylliidae. She conducted her thesis on the molecular systematics of the Scleractinian coral genus Pocillopora.
After graduating, Tullia spent some time as a visiting scholar in Academia Sinica (Taipei, Taiwan) in Dr. Allen Chen’s lab, working on a population genetics project where she used microsatellite markers to study the genus Acropora. In October 2013, she was invited by her former supervisor, Dr. Benzoni, to participate in the Saudi Arabian coral reef biodiversity project which is led by Dr. Berumen, and, within the context of this project, she started working on the taxonomic revision of the Scleractinian coral family Agariciidae.
After the inspiring experience of participating in this project, Tullia was excited to apply to KAUST to pursue a Master’s degree in Marine Science and to join the Reef Ecology Lab. In the last year prior to her move to KAUST, she also spent one year collaborating with her home institution and the MaRHE Center (Magoodhoo, Maldives). Her current research interests are still focused on Scleractinian coral taxonomy and evolution.