He originally studied medicine, earning his medical doctorate at the University of Pavia. Later he studied botany and microscopy in Germany. He became a professor of botany at the Universities of Modena (1874) and Bologna (1879), and from 1883 to 1898 was a professor of botany and director of the botanical garden at Turin.
Gibelli is remembered for his pioneer studies of mycorrhiza, the symbiotic association between fungus and plant roots. With Giovanni Passerini (1816-1893) and Vincenzo de Cesati (1806-1883), he was co-author of Compendio della flora italiana, a compendium of Italian flora.
- Dipartimento di Botanica - Università di Catania (biography translated from Italian)
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