Manuela obtained her BSc (Hons) in Biology and an MSc (Summa Cum Laude) in Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Milano, Italy with a one-year internship at the National University of Ireland Galway. Her thesis focused on the use of parasites as biocontrol agents and the collateral effect that they could pose on protected species.
After her studies, Manuela worked for an NGO in Mozambique as an Assistant Project Manager on a food security project, focusing on reducing malnutrition in pre-school children from nine rural schools. It was during this time that she witnessed first-hand the effects of tropical infectious diseases and the impact they can have on rural populations. This experience, along with her passion for parasites, prompted Manuela to pursue a career path in this field. Before starting her PhD, Manuela taught as a Science High School teacher for a year. In September 2018 she began her doctoral studies at the Natural Resources Institute, within the Pest Behaviour Group, where her current work is focused on the sensory synergies displayed by malaria mosquitoes during host-seeking behaviour.