The Centro Agricoltura Ambiente “G. Nicoli” (CAA) in Crevalcore, Italy, is a technical institution founded in 1989 by the Bologna Province and a group of Municipalities, focusing on key aspects in environmental management and protection such as medical & veterinary entomology, sustainable agriculture, organic waste management, creation and restoration of natural protected areas, pollen investigation, environmental information (see http://www.caa.it/entomology).
The Medical & Veterinary Entomology Dept. (head by Dr. Romeo Bellini) has developed a strong expertise in blood-sucking arthropods ecology and in the most advanced integrated environment-friendly biological control and surveillance technologies aimed to control mosquito populations in large scale territories.
CAA is a founding member of the European Mosquito Control Association.
Currently CAA started a BL3 entomology laboratory devoted to the study of arbovirus ecology and Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) methods.
CAA has been designed as a International Agency for Atomic Energy (IAEA) Collaborating Centre (2011-2015) in the field of SIT applied to Aedes mosquitoes.
Main topics of research activities are:
- studies on the vectorial capacity of vector species;
- studies on the population genetics and biology of Aedes albopictus;
- field testing of Aedes albopictus surveillance strategies and monitoring methods;
- development of SIT methods aimed at the suppression of Aedes albopictus;
- risk assessment studies in order to identify tolerance threshold for vector species;
- Web application development for management of vector borne diseases (VBD) surveillance and control systems;
- Development of specific tools for the management of monitoring activities and mapping in the ArcView 3.x environment and for Mobile GIS (ArcPad);
- Development of species distribution model and viruses circulation maps using Remote Sensing images;
- Development of web-gis open source (mapserver and pmapper) and geographical application based on Google Map APIs and OpenLayer;
- Cost/benefit analyses of mosquito surveillance and control programmes.
CAA collaborates with a wide range of international agencies, Universities, Public bodies and commercial firms.
Currently the Medical & Veterinary Entomology Dept. has a director, 9 full time (of which 2 post doctorate and 8 graduates) and 4 part time technicians.