His research activities are devoted to understanding the tectonic mechanisms active on the Earth and Mars.
During his master degree thesis he studied the pre-Alpine and Alpine evolution of a portion of the Western Austroalpine Domain (Mont-Morion Intrusive Complex, Dent-Blanche Nappe, Valpelline, Italy) integrating detailed structural field work with microstructural and petro-chemical analyses. The main results concern the definition of the tectono- metamorphic units characterizing this crustal portion and the identification of the P-T-t-d path that describes the pre-Alpine and the Alpine evolution of the Intrusive Complex.
During the PhD he has dealt with the burial and exhumation of crustal material involved in the subduction processes: using a FE numerical code he simulated an ocean-continent subduction zone to study the influence of the subduction geometry and the mantle wedge hydration on the crustal recycling and the effects of the overriding plate thermal state on the slab dip. Furthermore, the model results are compared with the natural data coming from the Austroalpine Domain in terms of: (i) P-T peak setting, (ii) prograde and retrograde thermal gradients, (iii) exhumation rates, (iv) P-T-t-paths, (v) peak and exhumation timing.
During the post-doc he studied the validity of sub-ice lake model proposed to explain the chaotic terrains origin. This hypothesis is tested by a combined approach: numerical thermo-mechanical modeling and physical analogue (sand-box) experiments. With this approach is possible to test whether the subsurface lake model is mechanically viable, and whether the process of subsurface lake development and collapse results in the observed chaotic terrain features on Mars. The result of this study has strong implications for life research on Mars.