Born and raised in Italy, I've always been fascinated by how humans modified and adapted the surrounding environment in the past. I got my BA and MA in Archaeology from the University of Padua, in Italy, where I focused on settlement patterns change during the Late Roman Period. After attending a semester abroad at the University of Michigan I switched my focus to environmental archaeology, paleoethnobotany and the study of the Tiwanaku civilization (AD 500-1000). I started my PhD in Anthropology at UCSD in 2012. Since then, my research explores the ordinary and extraordinary roles that plants played in the evolution of human diet, agriculture and rituals. My dissertation looks at food production, consumption and exchange during the Tiwanaku (AD 500-1000) and Tumilaca (AD 950-1250) periods in the Moquegua Valley, in Southern Peru. Analyzing subsistence, cuisine, settlement patterns and ceremonial practices, I aim to provide a long-term view of social and environmental changes leading to the collapse of the Tiwanaku State and the following reorganization of the Tumilaca civilization.