Turbulence represents a fascinating and puzzling aspect of astrophysics and plasma physics. The description of turbulent plasmas needs cross-scale models, ranging from magnetohydrodynamics to kinetic ones. Longstanding problems, whose implications concern both near-Earth environments and astrophysical plasmas, are intimately related to the analysis of these systems: understanding the mechanisms of energy dissipation and plasma heating in hot and dilute plasmas – where inter-particle collisions are not expected to play an efficient role – or comprehending how energetic particles, such as cosmic rays, behave and interact with the turbulent fields are just few examples on which I have been focusing over the last years.
A broad investigation concerning the effect of collisions in weakly-collisional plasmas has indeed shown that collisional effects could be enhanced by the presence of fine velocity space structures (e.g. beams, plateau and ring-like deformations) in the particle distribution function, which are naturally recovered in turbulent plasmas in presence of a turbulent cascade at kinetic scales. Motivated by the recent in-situ observations of the Magnetospheric Multi-Scale NASA mission, which represent a breakthrough on space plasma physics at electron scales, an Eulerian fully-kinetic Vlasov-Maxwell code, integrating both protons and electron distribution functions, has been recently developed in collaboration with the University of Calabria and the University of Pisa and it will likely provide significant results on electron scale turbulence and magnetic reconnection at electron scale. More recently, I have been investigating the behavior of energetic particles in astrophysical environments, such as the interstellar medium, by focusing in particular on the acceleration mechanisms and transport processes.