Since 2003, Dr Ortolani has been employed at the Italian Association for Organic Farming (AIAB), where she first focused on Agriculture and Conservation interaction, before moving in 2009 to coordination of the AIAB Research Office and being directly involved in EU funded Research projects on multiple issues (e.g. agrobiodiversity, agroecology, weed management, organic wine production, organic arable crops, urban farming).
Dr Ortolani focuses on socio-economic research, with specific attention to agricultural innovation systems. Her doctoral research focused on the application of transition theory to organic farming in Europe and she got an award for her conference paper being the “best PhD paper” in the conference “Agriculture in an Urbanizing Society” in September 2015. She has been following the debate on transition theory in the rural sociology conferences over the last four years and on the multi-actor approach proposed by the EU commission for the PEI AGRI and H2020 research programmes. She has been involved for AIAB in the Thematic Network project OK Arable Net, funded by the H2020 programme and coordinated by IFOAM EU and in the FP7 project SOLIBAM between 2010 and 2015 and in 2014 she was researcher fellow at the Agro-environmental research centre of University of Pisa on socio-economic evaluation of food systems. In addition to her role for AIAB, Dr. Ortolani is member of the IFOAM EU Council for Italy.
In 2016-2017 Dr Ortolani did a post doc at Biodiversity International, the CGIAR centre for agricultural biodiversity, where she is now consultant for the development of the internal Strategic Monitoring Framework and the coordination of a grant on strategic support on mainstreaming nutrition in IFAD investments. In February 2017 she start her collaboration with the Rete Semi Rurali on the management of the EU 2020 project CAPSELLA.