Enrica Calabresi

Enrica Calabresi (November 10, 1891, Ferrara – January 20, 1944) was one zoologist  Italian , herpetologist and entomologist. His family was part of the Jewish community, playing an important role in Ferrara, continuously since the Middle Ages.

Enrica graduated from the University of Florence in natural sciences on July 1, 1914, with a thesis on the hedgehog, South behavior of the condrioma in the pancreas and nelle ghiandole salivari of the riccio during the winter lethargy and l’attività estiva. From February 1914, before graduation, he was an assistant in the Cabinet of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates at the University of Florence. In 1924 he obtained a teaching diploma and taught at the same university. In academic years 1936-37 and 1937-38 he held the chair of Agricultural Entomology at the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Pisa . She was Secretary of the Italian Entomological Society from 1918 to 1921. On December 14, 1938, she was declared not qualified to teach in state universities because of her race. From 1939 to 1943, he taught science at the Jewish School in Florence. In January 1944, she was arrested and taken to the Santuario di Santa Verdiana, a former convent converted into a prison. He knew that they would be deported to Auschwitz concentration camp . He escaped from that terrible fate by eating a poison he always carried with him, committing suicide.


  • In Entomology he worked on Hoplopistiini, Arrhenodini and the genus Stratiorrhina .
  • In Herpetology worked in African Amphibia and Reptilia and in the European species Vipera aspis .
  • In Invertebrate Zoology he worked on the life history of Ceriantharia of the Red Sea .


  • The Municipality of Pisa, at the request of the University, named Enrica Calabresi the street where the new Archive site is located in the town of Montacchiello.
  • The Municipality of Ferrara named, in 2011, a street. His life was told in the book “A name” by Paul Ciampi and in the work “A name in the wind”.


  • Poggesi, Marta, and Alessandra Sforzi. 2001. In ricordo di Enrica Calabresi. Mem. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 80 : 223-233.
  • Publications of lists of Biography of University of Pisa .