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Institute of Criminology



I hold a PhD in Economics from the University of Southampton, UK. At the core of my doctoral research there is the idea that the reality is a set of interconnected entities (people, financial institutions, economic sectors, etc.), and the geometrical properties of such interconnections matter for the creation (or the prevention) of crucial dynamical phenomena such as the spread of viruses in human network, the diffusion of information in financial markets or the creation of chains of violence crossing through co-offending networks.

As a doctoral researcher, I worked on developing mathematical models of diffusion of behaviours on social and economic networks. Before joining the Institute of Criminology, I was a post-doctoral research fellow at the Economics Department of the University of Technology Sydney, where I investigated the mechanics and the consequences of spread of (dis)information in financial markets and the diffusion across the macroeconomy of economic shocks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In my current academic work, I study the nature and the functioning of co-offending network relative to highly dynamical phenomena, with a focus on the spread of gang violence, with the ultimate purpose of developing optimal intervention strategies.

Main Grants and Awards:

  • MPS MPS Award for best BSc Thesis in Economics (€2,000)
  • 2012 Lino Venini award for best MSc Thesis in Economics (€25,000)
  • 2020 UTS Vice-Chancellor’s Early Career Teaching Award  (€2,000)
  • 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (project evaluation: top 98% percentile) (€216,000)

Personal Website:


My research is about the propagation of criminal behaviours along groups of co-offenders. Even in absence of centralized organization, criminal behaviours can systemically synchronize and lead to the emergence of critical and very elusive systemic phenomena, such as the contemporary knife epidemics plaguing the streets of UK. I look at the latent nexus between the geometrical and statistical properties of large human networks and the dynamics of deviant behaviour. I do so by making extensive use of computation network theory and statistical analysis.


 Currently, my research is organized around the following three theoretical questions:

  1. How does the interaction between incentive-driven and spatially-contextualized offenders determine group-level activities, in particular, contagious phenomena such as burst of violent behaviour (e.g., knife epidemics)?
  2. How can individual-level activities escalate to systemically relevant phenomena that unfold through relational networks?
  3. Can we develop network-based local targeting policies to de-escalate phenomena of systemic violence?


Key publications: 
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow