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Alejandra Perotti

Portrait of Alejandra Perotti
  • Associate Professor in Invertebrate Biology
  • Chair of the Ethics Research Committee
  • Supervisor of PhD students, UK and abroad
  • Doctoral and Researcher College: Reading Researcher Development Programme – RRDP for Doctoral Skills Training and Development, delivering the workshop “Decolonising Research”


  • BI2BDFC & BI3BDFC - Biodiversity Field Course. CONVENOR and Instructor (2019)
  • BI2EI4 - Invertebrate Zoology. CONVENOR (2008-2017 / 2022-…); Instructor (2018-2019)
  • BI3EB7 - Forensic Zoology. CONVENOR and Instructor (2009-2019)
  • BI1BEA2 - Current Topics in Ecology and Zoology. Instructor
  • BI2PLA - Summer Placement. Teaching Assistant
  • BI1EZ12 - Key Skills in Ecology and Zoology. Teaching Assistant
  • BI2EWEV - Biodiversity field course. CONVENOR and Instructor (2010-2018)
  • BI3EI8 - Research Topics in Ecology. Instructor
  • BI1 - Genes and Chromosomes. Instructor (2007-2010)
  • BI2M34 - Professional Career Development. Teaching Assistant

Research centres and groups

Impact, Enterprise and Outreach

  • Expert witness: application or use of the biology of mites and lice as evidence, in the analysis/interpretation of crime scenes including neglect.
  • Development of working protocols for forensic labs to analyse micro-arthropods, particularly human lice and acarological evidence from crime scenes
  • Research and Development Responsible of APST-ENFSI (Animal Plant and Soil Traces Advisor Group of European Network of Forensic Science Institutes)
  • Consultant and reviewer for bio-control mite patents and patent disputes
  • Consultant on private cases, arthropods and human-skin related cases; consultant for pest-control: mite infestations in general, biting and sucking lice as well as allergy or house dust mites
  • Interviews, reports, letters, on forensic research, human lice, and human follicular mites through BBC NEWS, Times Education, The New York Times, The Spiegel, The Independent, BBC Radio Berkshire, Daily Mail, Metro, etc...
  • Ten consecutive years, Project provider for the Nuffield Foundation (research student bursaries, placements)
  • Member of University of Reading Working Group: Decolonising the Curriculum

Research projects

  • Funding from BBSRC; NERC; The Royal Society; The Leverhulme Trust; The Nuffield Foundation; British Council; EC/EU; MINCyT (Argentina) and Industry
  • Main research topics
    • Ectoparasitic lice and mites of primates: using Pediculus lice as proxies of hosts' evolution.
    • Ancient DNA: ectoparasites (lice and mites), and their extinct hosts.
    • Mites of medical and veterinary importance, whole organism biology and evolution.
    • Human follicular mites.
    • Forensic acarology: the utility of mites (Acari) in forensic investigations, crime case reports and research.
    • Mites of economic importance: pests and biocontrol agents. Genetics, whole organism biology; biology of interactions (e.g. predation, phoresy) between mites with other arthropods (e.g. Bumblebees) and with bacteria (e.g. symbiosis, Wolbachia).
    • Sex ratio distorters (e.g. Rickettsia, Wolbachia) and their asexual arthropod hosts.
    • Forensic acarology: the utility of mites (Acari) in forensic investigations, crime case reports and research.
    • Human lice and neglect.

Awards and honours

Esteem Factors

  • Co-opted Board member of the EURAAC (European Association of Acarologists)
  • Associate Member of APST-ENFSI (Animal Plant and Soil Traces Group-European Network of Forensic Science Institutes)
  • Former EAFE Board member (European Association of Forensic Entomologists)
  • Member of the Latin American Association of Acarologists
  • Member of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution
  • Awards and Distinctions received:
    • Friends of the University of Reading Award' (2014)
    • 'Cesar Milstein Grant' by MINCyT, Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Tecnología de Argentina (2010 and 2021)
    • 'National Prize in Applied Entomology', Entomological Society of Argentina (2002)
  • Overseas External Examiner for PhDs thesis/Vivas.
  • Evaluator and referee of research projects for national and external/overseas research councils/organizations, e.g. MRC, BBSRC, NERC, NC3Rs; NSF (USA), ASF (AT), GARC (CZ), FONCYT (AR), etc..
  • Organiser of VI EAFE Congress (European Association for Forensic Entomology), Crete 2008
  • Adjunct Professor, Master in Forensic Applications, University of the Basque Country
  • Invited Keynote speaker, Plenary speaker, Session Chair organizer, and Workshop Chair and organizer in over 50 International scientific events
  • Member of the Scientific Committee of international congresses (in acarology or forensic sciences)
  • Curator of the 'Acari collection of Forensic Importance, a reference collection for case work (AFI) (Reading University)

Professional bodies/affiliations

International Collaborators: Research

  • Dr Mikkel Pedersen, The Globe Institute University of Copenhagen
  • Prof. Martin Sikora, The Globe Institute University of Copenhagen
  • Prof. Daniel Young, University of Wisconsin
  • Dr Marta Saloña Bordas, Universidad del País Vasco
  • Prof. C. Teresa Michieli, Director Instituto de Investigaciones Arqueológicas y Museo "Prof. Mariano Gambier" FFHA - Universidad Nacional de San Juan, Argentina
  • Drs. Leonardo Diaz-Nieto and Fernando Aballay, Instituto y Museo de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de San Juan, Argentina 
  • Prof. Edward Mitchell, Université de Neuchâtel
  • Dr Jens Amendt, Institute of Legal Medicine, Goethe University, Frankfurt
  • Dr Corina Beron, INBIOTEC - CONICET, Argentina
  • Prof. Simonetta Lambiasse, Università di Pavia
  • Dr Ibrahim Cakmak, Department of Plant Protection, University of Adnan Menderes, Aydin, Turkey
  • Dr Jürgen Deckert, Curator, Head of Insect Collection, Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin
  • Dr Didier Van den Spiegel, Head of "Biological collection and data management" unit Musée royal de l'Afrique centrale, BE
  • Dr Sergio Bermúdez, Departamento de Investigación en Entomología Médica, Instituto Conmemorativo Gorgas de Estudios de la Salud, Panamá.
  • Prof. Valerio Scali and Dr Ombretta Mareschaldi, Università di Bologna
  • Prof. Amparo Latorre, Universitat de Valencia
  • Prof. Andres Moya, Unidad Mixta de Investigación en Genómica y Salud del Centro Superior de Investigación en Salud Pública (CSISP)-Universitat de Valencia
  • Laboratorio de Trazos Biológicos, Policía Judicial, Provincia de Córdoba, Argentina
  • Dr Yelitza Velazques, Universidad de Alicante
  • Dr Peter Mašán, Institute of Zoology, Slovak Academy of Sciences
  • J. Alexander Rodríguez-Arrieta, MSc., Researcher, Microscopic Structures Research Centre, Universidad de Costa Rica
  • Lic. Varinia Varela Guarda, Arqueóloga Investigadora, Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino
  • Dr Guillermo Bustelo González, Sanctuary Fundacion RAINFER, Madrid
  • Dr Rebeca Atencia, Director of the Jane Goodall Institute, Tchimpounga Sanctuary, Congo
  • Dr Sawsan al Jubori, Al- Mustansiriyia University, Baghdad, Iraq
  • Dr Martín Fugassa, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata
  • Dr David Reed, Florida Museum of natural History
  • Prof. Stefano Vanin, DISSAL, UNIGE, Italy
  • Dr Luca Mazon, Dr Isabel Martiñez-Sañudo, University of Padova, Agricenter
  • Prof. Antonella di Palma, Dipartimento delle Scienze Agrarie degli Alimenti e dell'Ambiente, University of Foggia, Italy
  • National Natural History Museum, Santiago de Chile
  • Hamburg Natural History Museum, Hamburg, Germany

National Collaborators: Research

  • Darren Mann, Oxford University
  • Dr Vince Smith, Natural History Museum
  • Dr Henk Braig, Bangor University
  • Prof. Dave Goulson, University of Sussex
  • Dr Jane Hopper, The Howletts Wild Animal Trust, Port Lympne, Kent
  • Prof. Peter Shaw, Rothamsted University, England
  • Prof. Eske Willerslev, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge
  • Natural History Museum, London

International and National Collaborations: Forensic case-work

  • Collaboration with Forensic Institutes and Scientific Police of Latin American, European (ENFSI) and South East countries.
  • Thames Valley Police, Principal SOCOs (CSIs), England
  • James Hutton Institute Scotland
  • Police Scotland

Selected publications

Pre 2007

Perotti, M.A., H.K. Clarke, B.D. Turner and H.R Braig. 2006. Rickettsia as obligate and mycetomic bacteria. FASEB Journal, 20:2372-2374.

Perotti, M.A. and H.R. Braig. 2005. Endosymbionts of Acari. Phytophaga, 14: 457-476.

Perotti, M.A., S.S. Catalá, A. Ormeño, M. Zelazowska, S.M. Bilinski, and H.R. Braig. 2004. The sex ratio distortion in the human head louse is conserved over time. BMC Genetics, 5:10.

Perotti, M.A. and T.L. Lysyk. 2003. A novel growth media for rearing larval horn flies, Haematobia irritans (L.) (Diptera: Muscidae). Journal of Medical Entomology, 40: 22-29.

Perotti, M.A. 2001. Prey location and predation rates of predatory mites (Acari: Macrochelidae) on immature stages of pest flies (Diptera: Muscidae). Systematics & Applied Acarology, 6: 27-33.

Perotti, M.A., T. J. Lysyk., L. Kalischuk-Tymensen, L.J. Yanke, and L.B.Selinger. 2001. Growth and Survival of immature Haematobia irritans (L.) (Diptera: Muscidae) is influenced by bacteria isolated from cattle manure and conspecific larvae. Journal of Medical Entomology, 38: 180-187.

Perotti, M.A. 2000. Control biológico de la mosca de los cuernos, Haematobia irritans (L.) (Diptera: Muscidae) [Biological control of the horn fly, Haematobia irritans (L.) (Diptera: Muscidae)] Boletin Sociedad Entomológica de Argentina. 16: 6-10.

Perotti, M.A. 2000. Acaros foréticos (Acari: Pygmephoridae) de la mosca de los cuernos Haematobia irritans (L.). Aspectos ecológicos de la interacción. [Phoretic mites (Acari: Pygmephoridae) of the horn fly, Haematobia irritans (L.). Ecology of the interaction] Revista de Medicina Veterinaria (Arg), 80: 449-452.

Perotti, M.A. P.Mariategui and C. Speicys. 2000. Predator mites of dung-breeding flies (Mesostigmata: Macrochelidae, Parasitidae) on Ontherus sulcator (F.) (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Revista Sociedad Entomológica de Argentina, 59: 200-204.

Perotti, M.A. 1999. Localization of distant preys by Glyptholaspis confusa Foa (Acari: Macrochelidae). Revista Sociedad Entomológica de Argentina, 58:106-108.

Perotti, M.A. 1999. Control biologico de moscas sinantrópicas [Biological control of synanthropic flies]. Technical Bulletin. ISBN 987-9136-75-6, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata Special Editions.

Perotti, M.A. and J. A. Bachmann. 1999. First record and population ecology of the horn fly, Haematobia irritans L (Diptera: Muscidae) on cattle from Southeast of Buenos Aires province (Argentina). Research and Reviews in Parasitology,59: 47-51.

Perotti, M.A. 1998. Moscas sinantrópicas (Diptera: Muscidae y Fanniidae) en producciones avícolas del sud este bonaerense [Synantropic flies (Diptera: Muscidae y Fanniidae) associated with poultry farms in South-eastern Buenos Aires province]. Natura Neotropicalis, 29: 145-154.

Perotti, M.A. and M.A. Brasesco. 1998. First record of Pediculaster (Acari: Pygmophoridae), for Argentina, collected on the horn fly Haematobia irritans L (Diptera, Muscidae). Revista Sociedad Entomológica de Argentina, 57: 136-137.

Perotti, M.A. and N. Sardella. 1998. Sobre la presencia de la mosca hematófaga Stomoxys calcitrans (Diptera: Muscidae) en Mar del Plata: Una advertencia sanitaria. [About the occurrence of the stable fly Stomoxys calcitrans (Diptera: Muscidae) in Mar del Plata: a health hazard warning]. Revista Sociedad Entomológica de Argentina, 57: 71-72.

Perotti, M.A. and M.J.A. Brasesco. 1997. Orientación química de Macrocheles muscaedomesticae (Acari: Mesostigmata: Macrochelidae): detección de presas a distancia, huevos de Musca domestica (Diptera: Muscidae) y Calliphora vicina (Diptera: Calliphoridae) [Chemo-orientation of Macrocheles muscaedomesticae (Acari: Mesostigmata: Macrochelidae) and detection of distant eggs of Musca domestica (Diptera: Muscidae) and Calliphora vicina (Diptera: Calliphoridae)]. Revista Sociedad Entomológica de Argentina, 56: 67-70.

Perotti, M.A. 1996. Something else about the horn fly, Haematobia irritans. Annales Sociedad Rural Argentina. 129:24

Perotti, M.A. 1996. Poultry manure and associated fauna (beneficial associated organisms). Technical Monograph: Revista CAPIA Informa. 159: 15-25

Perotti, M.A. and M.J.A. Brasesco. 1996. Especificidad forética de Macrocheles muscaedomesticae (Acari: Mesostigmata: Macrochelidae) [Phoretic specificity of Macrocheles muscaedomesticae (Acari: Mesostigmata: Macrochelidae)]. Ecologia Austral, 6:3-8.


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