Laura Bruno


fbt Laura Bruno
Department of Biology
Tel: + 39 06-7259-5989/5985
Fax: +39 062023500



Curriculum Vitae et Studiorum

Academic position
Researcher, Aggregate Professor at the Department of Biology, University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’. Co-responsible of the Laboratory of Biology of Algae.

Qualifications/Academic Title
1995: degree title in Biological Sciences with honors.
2004: Ph.D. in Evolution Biology and Ecology by studies on the biodiversity and ecology of filamentous cyanobacteria isolated from photosynthetic biofilms present in Roman hypogea
2014: Aggregate professor in Botany (BIO/01) Department of Biology, University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’
2017: National Scientific Qualification (Abilitazione Scientifica Nazionale) as Associate Professor of Botany (area BIO/01)

Additional information

Visiting professor at the University of Cergy-Pontoise (France), June 25-July 02
Grant reviewer of proposal submitted to the ISF-Israel Science Foundation, 2018
Invited co-organizer of the ECBSM2018, the European Conference on Biodeterioration of Stone Monuments, which will be held in Cergy-Pontoise (France), November 8-9, 2018.
External reviewer of thesis submitted for the award of Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) by the University of Roma Tre, 2018
Grant reviewer of proposal application for the University of Padua ‘Bando Giovani 2013-2015’
-In 2017 she has been invited to join the Editorial Board of Phycology International, a new open access scientific journal
-2013-2017 Editorial Board of ‘Frontiers in Green and Environmental Chemistry’.
Project Coordinator in a submission of a proposal at the European call Environment Programme (Including Climate Change) Call ID “FP7-ENV-2013-Two-stage” with the involvement of 16 Research Centres and 7 SME, and the pre-proposal successfully passed all thresholds, 2014
Reviewer for scientific international journals such as Plant Biosystems, Biofouling, International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation, Acta Physiologiae Plantarum, Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering, European Journal of Phycology, Environmental pollution, FEMS Microbiology Ecology, Journal of Applied Phycology, Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology, Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology, Marine Drugs, Protoplasma, Science of Total Environment, Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Invited speaker at the XIII International Symposium of University Professor. 7th -11th September 2016 Roma, Italia
Invited speaker at the conference ‘Energy and Water towards a sustainable future’ organized by Lazio Innova at the ARA Pacis of Roma, 23/10/2015
Invited speaker at the International Workshop on Conservation of Subterranean Cultural Heritage. March 25-27, 2014 Seville, Spain
Invited speaker at 53rd Annual Conference of Association of Microbiologists of India (Ami) -International Conference On “Microbial World: Recent Innovations And Future Trends”. — November 22-25, 2012 Bhubaneswar, Odisha (India)
– Member of the Scientific organizer committee of the ‘Annual meeting of the group of Cellular and molecular biology’ SBI, Roma, 15-17 June 2011
– 2005 participated as ‘local organiser’ of the European workshop “The PHOBIA Project”, Villa Mondragone, Monteporzio Catone (RM) 17 September 2005
– The publication Moro I., Rascio N., La Rocca N., Sciuto K., Albertano P., Bruno L., Andreoli C., 2010. Polyphasic characterization of a thermo-tolerant filamentous cyanobacterium isolated from the Euganean thermal muds (Padua, Italy). European Journal of Phycology 45:143 received the Award FoRST 2011
– An image from the publication ‘L. Krakova, F. De Leo, L. Bruno, D. Pangallo and C. Urzì. 2015. Complex bacterial diversity in the white biofilms of St. Callistus Catacombs in Rome evidenced by different investigation strategies. Environmental Microbiology 17 (5):1738-1752’ has been selected for the cover page of Environmental Microbiology Volume 17, May 2015

Society membership

-Società Botanica Italiana – SBI
-Gruppo di lavoro dell’Algologia
-Gruppo di Lavoro della Biologia Molecolare e Cellulare
-International Association for Cyanophyte Research-IAC
-Federation of European Phycological Societies- FEPS
-International Association of Applied Algology
-Member of ‘CoIRICH – Consortium of Italian Research Infrastructure for Cultural Heritage’
-Member of the centre ‘NAST: Nanoscience, Nanotechnology, Innovative Instrumentation’


Research Activity

Main research activity focused on:

-Characterization of epilithic cyanobacterial strains and biofilms biodeteriorating cultural heritages in indoor and outdoor environments, acclimation and adaptation to different light conditions, systematics and phylogeny.
-Development of non-invasive and non-destructive techniques against biological colonization as conservation strategies of Cultural Heritages.
-Selection and characterization of cyanobacteria and microalgae as potential producers of biodiesel and other valuable compounds; optimization of culture conditions in order to improve the production of biomass and lipid content; biotechnological applications of microalgal biomass in the field of energy, environment, nutraceutical and nanotechnologies; diatom frustule photonics for random lasing and dye trapping applications.
-Studies for microalgae application for the bioremediation of wastewaters by removal of nitrogen, phosphorous and heavy metals

Responsibility in national and international projects

-PI of the Unit Roma Tor Vergata of the project POR FESR LAZIO 2014-2020
-PI of the project Mission Sustainability 2017, University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’, title: ‘GETPOWER- GrEen Technologies: water cleanup of Pollutants with plants and microalgae and recycling of biOmass for reneWable Energy pRoduction
-PI of the Unit Roma ‘Tor Vergata’ in the project PRIN2015 of the Italian Ministry of University and Research – title: The evolution of phytochelatin synthase (PCS) from cyanobacteria to basal tracheophytes: Is the regulation of Fe and other metal micronutrient homeostasis a primeval and ubiquitous PCS function?
Coordinator and scientific responsible of the research activity of the ‘Pontificia Commissione di Archeologia Sacra’ in the Catacombs of Marcellino and Pietro in Rome in collaboration with the University of Messina and the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas of Madrid, 2015-2016
-Participant in the project PON03PE_00214_1 as a member of the ‘COIRICH (Italian Research Infrastructure for Cultural Heritage) – ‘Nanotechnologies and nanomaterials for Cultural Heritage – TECLA’ 2014-2018
-Participant in the project Uncovering Excellence 2014, University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’ – ‘PHANTOM – PHotonics ApplicatioN in diaTOM frustules’;
-Italian Responsible of the project ‘Biotechnology and nanotechnology for Cultural Heritage’ in the frame of the International Cooperation Program between the University of Rome “Tor Vergata” and the Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan (West Bengal, India), 2012-2013
-Principal Investigator of the Italian project (Regione Lazio) for the transfer of knowledge from research centres to SMEs: ‘DICO-BEN, Diodes for the control of Cultural Heritage’, 2012-2013
-Head of the Unit Roma ‘Tor Vergata’ in the project C.U.I.A. 2011 ‘Technologies for the production of biofuels from plant biomasses’ – Italian Universities and Argentine Universities (Patagonia, Sur)
-Researcher participant in the project PNRA2009 of the Italian Ministry of University and Research, title ‘Extremophilous cyanobacteria of sub-glacial Antarctic lakes’
-Participant in the OU of the Engineering Department of University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’ in the Italian project PRIN2009 of the Italian Ministry of University and Research – ‘Utilization of last generation biofuels in diesel engines’ and Responsible of the biological aspects of the project
-Participant as contract researcher in the European project EU-EESD Programme (contract n° EVK4-CT2000-00028) – ‘CATS-Cyanobacteria attack rocks: control and preventative strategies to avoid damage by cyanobacteria and associated microorganisms in Roman hypogean monuments’2001-2003
-Principal Investigator in the Young Researcher Grant 2000 of the University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’,  title: “Biodiversity of Cyanobacteria in biofilms that develop in Roman Hypogea’

Scientific productivity
She is the author of 60 publications international journals or as book chapters, and 95 participations in national and international meetings.

Knowledge transfer: since 2009 to present she is the promoter of the University Spinoff AlgaRes srl and Member of the Scientific and Technical Board. As a member of the Spin off she participated to different projects:

-PI in the project ‘SPECTRA – Sperimentazione Di Tecnologie Conservative Non Distruttive In Siti Archeologici Ipogei’ Provincia di Roma 2009
-2009 ‘PROALGA – Production and commercialization of algal biomass’ Call Spinover of the Scientific Park of the University of Rome Tor Vergata
2011-2014 ‘ACQUASENSE’ Industria 2015, (MISE);
2015 PI in the action ‘Call4Innovator’ in the frame of the activity organized by Lazio Innova for EXPO 2015;


Selected Publications

  • Fontanini D, Andreucci A, Ruffini Castiglione M, Basile A, Sorbo S, Petraglia A, Degola F, Bellini E, Bruno L, Varotto C, Sanità di Toppi L (2018). The phytochelatin synthase from Nitella mucronata (Charophyta) plays a role in the homeostatic control of iron(II)/(III). Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 127: 88-96
  • Rugnini, G. Costa, R. Congestri, S. Antonaroli, L. Sanità di Toppi, L. Bruno 2018. Phosphorus and metal removal combined with lipid production by the green microalga Desmodesmus sp.: An integrated approach. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 125:45-51.
  • Bruno L, Valle V (2017). Effect of white and monochromatic lights on cyanobacteria and biofilms from Roman Catacombs. International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation, International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation 123:286-295 DOI 10.1016/j.ibiod.2017.07.013
  • Rugnini, G. Costa, R. Congestri, L. Bruno 2017 Testing of two different strains of green microalgae for Cu and Ni removal from aqueous media. Science of Total Environment, (601-602), 959–967.
  • Ruffolo SA, De Leo F, Ricca M, Arcudi A, Silvestri C, Bruno L, Urzì C, La Russa MF 2017 Medium-term in situ experiment by using organic biocides and titanium dioxide for the mitigation of microbial colonization on stone surfaces. International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation, 123: 17-26.
  • Etemadi-Khah Atefeh, Ahmad Ali Pourbabaee, Mostafa Noroozi, Hossein Ali Alikhani & Laura Bruno 2017 Biodiversity of isolated cyanobacteria from desert soils in Iran. Geomicrobiology Journal, 784-794.
  • Gouveia L, Oliveira AC, Congestri R, Bruno L, Soares AT, Menezes RS, Filho NRA, Tzovenis I 2017. Biodiesel from microalgae. In: L Gouveia, R Muñoz, C González (eds.) ‘Microalgae-Based Biofuels and Bioproducts’ Elsevier, Woodhead Publishing, 235-258 ISBN: 978-0-08-101023-5
  • De Angelis R, Melino S, Prosposito P, Casalboni M, Lamastra FR, Nanni F, Bruno L, Congestri R 2016. The diatom Staurosirella pinnata for photoactive material production. PLOS ONE 11(11): E0165571. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0165571
  • Urzi C, De Leo F, Krakova L, Pangallo D, Bruno L Effects of biocide treatments on the biofilm community in Domitilla’s catacombs in Rome. Science of Total Environment. Volume 572, 1 December 2016, Pages 252–262
  • Gismondi A, Di Pippo F, Bruno L, Antonaroli S, Congestri R (2016): Phosphorus removal coupled to bioenergy production by three cyanobacterial isolates in a biofilm dynamic growth system., International Journal of Phytoremediation, 18(9) 869-876, DOI: 10.1080/15226514.2016.1156640
  • De Matteis F, Prosposito P, Francini R, De Angelis R, Mochi F, Melino S, Congestri R, Bruno L, Casalboni M 2017. Photonic application of diatom frustules. Materials Science Forum, 879: 419-423
  • Federica Marano, Federico Di Rita, Maria RitaPalombo, Neil T.W. Ellwood, Laura Bruno (2016). A first report of biodeterioration caused by cyanobacterial biofilms of exposed fossil bones: a case study of the Middle Pleistocene site of La Polledrara di Cecanibbio (Rome, Italy). International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation, 106: 67-74. DOI 10.1016/j.ibiod.2015.10.004 2.131 5Y
  • Krakova, F. De Leo, L. Bruno, D. Pangallo and C. Urzì. 2015. Complex bacterial diversity in the white biofilms of St. Callistus Catacombs in Rome evidenced by different investigation strategies. Environmental Microbiology 17 (5):1738-1752. DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.12626
  • Bruno L, Ficorella I, Valentini F, Quici L, Keshari N, Adhikary SP. 2014. Characterization of phototrophic biofilms deteriorating Indian stone monuments, their response to heat stress and development of a non-invasive remediation strategy. In: M.A. Rogerio-Candelera (ed). Science, Technology and Cultural Heritage. CRC Press/Balkema, The Netherlands, pp.205-210, ISBN 978-1-138-02744-2
  • Hsieh P, Pedersen JZ, Bruno L. 2014 Photoinhibition of Cyanobacteria and its Application in Cultural Heritage Conservation. Photochemistry and Photobiology,90:533-543.
  • Bruno L, Bellezza S, De Leo F, Urzi C. 2014. A study for monitoring and conservation in the Roman Catacombs of St. Callistus and Domitilla, Rome (Italy). In Saiz-Jimenez C. (Ed.), The Conservation of Subterranean Cultural Heritage. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, pp. 37-44, ISBN 978-1-138-02694-0
  • Bruno L, Quici L, Ficorella I, Valentini F. 2014. NanoGraphene Oxide: a new material for a non-invasive and non-destructive strategy to remove biofilms from rock surfaces. In Saiz-Jimenez C. (Ed.), The Conservation of Subterranean Cultural Heritage. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, London pp.125-130, ISBN 978-1-138-02694-0
  • Clara Urzì, Filomena De Leo, Laura Bruno, Domenico Pangallo, Lucia Kracova 2014. New species description, biomineralization processes and biocleaning applications of Roman catacombs-living bacteria. In Saiz-Jimenez C. (Ed.), The Conservation of Subterranean Cultural Heritage. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group London, pp. 65-72, ISBN 978-1-138-02694-0
  • Di Pippo F, Ellwood NTW, Gismondi A, Bruno L, Rossi F, Magni P, De Philippis R. 2013. Characterization of exopolysaccharides produced by seven biofilm-forming cyanobacterial strains for biotechnological applications. J Appl Phycol, 25:1697–1708, DOI 10.1007/s10811-013-0028-1,
  • Urzì C, De Leo F, Pangallo D, Krakova L, Hsieh P, Bruno L (2012). Chemoorganotrophic community in the Ocean’s Cubiculum at the St. Callistus Catacombs (Rome): ten years of monitoring. In: Proceedings of the International Congress: Science and Technologies for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage. Santiago de Compostela, Spain, October 2-5
  • Bruno L., Di Pippo F, Antonaroli S, Gismondi A, Valentini C, Albertano P. 2012. ‘Characterization for biofilm-forming cyanobacteria for biomass and lipid production. Journal Applied Microbiology 113:1052–1064, PMID: 22845917. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2012.05416.
  • Rossi F., Micheletti E., Bruno L., Adhikary S.P., Albertano P., De Philippis R.,  2012. Characteristics and role of the exocellular polysaccharides produced by five cyanobacteria isolated from phototrophic biofilms growing on stone monuments. Biofouling: The Journal of Bioadhesion and Biofilm Research, 28 (2): 215-224.
  • Caroppo C., Albertano P., Bruno L., Montinari M., Rizzi M., Vigliotta G., Pagliara P., 2012. Identification and characterization of a new Halomicronema species (Cyanobacteria) isolated from the Mediterranean marine sponge Petrosia ficiformis (Porifera) Fottea 12 (2): 315-326.
  • Palozzi R., Caramanna G., Albertano P., Congestri R., Bruno L., Romano A., Giganti M.G., Zenobi R., Costanzo C., Valente G., Polani D., Vecchio M., Vinci M., Sbordoni V. 2010.The underwater exploration of the Merro sinkhole and the associated diving physiological and psychological effects. Underwater Technology 29: 1-10.
  • , Rascio N., La Rocca N., Sciuto K., Albertano P., BrunoL., Andreoli C., 2010. Polyphasic characterization of a thermo-tolerant filamentous cyanobacterium isolated from the Euganean thermal muds (Padua, Italy). European Journal of Phycology 45:143-154.
  • Urzì C., De Leo F., Bruno L., Pangallo D., Albertano P. 2010. ‘How to control biodeterioration of cultural heritage? a methodological approach for the diagnosis and treatment of affected monuments’. – In: Proceedings of the Works of Art and Conservation Science Today Congress. p.O1, Thessaloniki, Greece.
  • Urzì C., De Leo F., Bruno L., Albertano P., 2010. Microbial diversity in Paleolithic caves: a study case on the phototrophic biofilms of the Cave of Bats (Zuheros, Spain). Microbial Ecology 60:116-129.
  • Bruno L., Romano E., Bellezza S., Urzi’ C., Albertano P., Confocal microscopy and diagnosis of biodeterioration caused by phototrophic biofilms. In: L. Campanella, C. Piccioli (eds) Diagnosis for the conservation and valorization of cultural heritage, pp. 152-157, De Vittoria srl, Napoli, ISBN 978-88-86208-66-6
  • Bruno L., Billi D., Bellezza S., Albertano P., 2009. Cytomorphological and genetic characterization of troglophilic Leptolyngbya strains isolated from Roman hypogea. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 75: 608-617.


Teaching – link to Didattica Web

From 2012 to present:
Botany (8CFU) for the Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences, University of Rome Tor Vergata
Plant biotechnology applied to the Cultural Heritage (2CFU) for Bachelor and Master students, University of Rome Tor Vergata
2004-2009: Systematic of Phytobenthos (3CFU) Master’s degree in Ecology and Evolution, University of Rome Tor Vergata
2006-2009: Plant Evolution (2CFU) Master’s degree in Ecology and Evolution, University of Rome Tor Vergata
2009-2010: Evolution and Plant Diversity (4CFU), Master’s degree in Ecology and Evolution, University of Rome Tor Vergata
2015: Teacher in the International Master ‘Biology for the knowledge and conservation of cultural heritage’ (II level) at the University of Roma Tre.
-Since 2012 to present she supervised many students of bachelor, master and Ph.D. thesis; she is the supervisor of many Erasmus students of the M.Sc. Biotechnology
In 2015 she supervised and hosted in her lab a student from the School od Doctorate in ‘Agricultural Engineering and Soil Sciences’ of the University of Teheran (Iran).
2011: she is a member of the School of Doctorate in ‘Evolutionary Biology and Ecology’, University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’.
-Member of various commission for the evaluation of final PhD defence (University of Rome Tor Vergata, University of Florence, University Sapienza di Roma), selection of foreign students for the admission to the PhD course of University of Rome Tor Vergata, selection for fellowships, evaluation commission for the internship of teacher of higher school TFA A060.