I graduated in Biological Sciences in 2001 at the Federico II University, Naples, Italy working on the Central and peripheral control of “patterning” of the cromatophores in Loligo vulgaris.
I received my PhD in Applied Biology in the 2004 at the Federico II University, Naples, Italy working on the organization of the higher motor centers in Octopus vulgaris.
From 2004 to 2006 I was PostDoc in the lab of Prof. Benjamin Hochner at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem working on the electrophysiology of the Octopus CNS and arm.
From 2007 to 2012 I was PostDoc at the Department of Neuroscience and Brain Technologies, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova, Italy.
Currently I'm Researcher at the Department of Neuroscience and Brain Technologies, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia working in the field of motor control of hyper-redundant limbs.
The aim of my research is to investigate the properties of the Octopus arm, from molecular motors to embodied limb properties. My main interest is to explore the muscle mechanics, structure and molecular determinant of fiber composition as well as the control principles of the Octopus vulgaris arm crown. I Employ techniques of electrophysiology, biophysics, molecular biology, and histochemistry. In particular I’m investigating: (I) the molecular pathway underlying arm morphogenesis during embryonic arm development and in the adult arm regeneration to understand the principles underlying arm morphogenesis; (II) the arm muscle mechanics and sensory-motor systems in order to determine the properties of the various muscle types and their role in movement generation; (III) the sucker adhesive mechanism and sensory-motor system to find solution for bio-robotic applications.
EU-FP7 OCTOPUS project n.:231608 http://www.octopusproject.eu/
COST 015/13 (COST Action FA1301): http://www.cost.eu/domains_actions/fa/Actions/FA1301
Levy G, Nesher N, Zullo L, and Hochner B (2016) “Motor control in soft bodied animals – the octopus”, in The ‘Oxford Handbook of Invertebrate Neurobiology’. Oxford University Press, in press.
Zullo L. (2016) “Otto braccia, tre cuori e un grande cervello: il Polpo tra mito e scienza” in ‘Un Mare di Scienza’. De Ferrari Editore e Genova University Press, in press.
Di Cosmo A, Bertapelle C, Polese G, Zullo L, Palumbo A (2015). Cap.5.6: Cefalopodi, in ‘Benessere ed animal care dell’animale da laboratorio’. Ed. Point Veterinaire Italie srl.
JOURNAL PAPERSKang R, Guglielmino E, Zullo L, Branson DT, Godage I and Caldwell DG (2016) Embodiment design of soft continuum robots. Advances in Mechanical Engineering, 8(4): 1–13. In press.
Nödl MT, Fossati SM, Domingues P, Sánchez FJ, Zullo L. (2015) The making of an octopus arm. Evodevo. 2015 May 7;6:19. doi: 10.1186/s13227-015-0012-8
Fossati SM, Benfenati F, Zullo L (2011) Morphological characterization of the Octopus arm.Vie et Milieu/Life & Environment, 61 (4): 191-195.