Research labs

Our research combines analytical techniques from different disciplines to address questions in macroecology, biogeography, biodiversity conservation, global change science, and sustainability science.
Our research group is composed of four labs:


Our group is active in macroecology, biogeography, biodiversity conservation, global change science, and sustainability science.


Animal ecology
We are triggered to understand macroecological patterns and processes across space, time and taxa, how species life history traits covary, and how to use these informations for predictive purposes.
We are also interested in deriving general principles that explain how life on earth is distributed and structured.
In addition, we attempt to use existing biodiversity knowledge to predict missing information on poorly known species with the aim of reducing the knowledge gap across least studied taxa.

Research topics:

  • Patterns of abundance and distribution across vertebrate species: Global Area of Habitat (AOH) of mammals and birds
  • Past, present and future drivers of change in species distribution
  • Ecological patterns and processes across large (spatial, temporal and taxonomic) scales 

We are particularly interested to explore the large and global-scale patterns and processes that shape species abundance and distribution in space and time and we aim to better understand how theory can help us to disentangle the complex interaction between drivers of change and ecological patterns. 
We model and analyse past and present biogeographical patterns and processes with the goal of providing reliable predictions of future changes.
We are also active in developing advanced models to investigate biotic distribution at local or broad scales and to interpret the evolutionary and dispersal history of taxas.

Research topics:

  •  Key geographical correlates of biodiversity patterns
  •  Prehistorical and historical dynamics of climate and landscape change
  •  Projections of future biogeographical changes
  • Trends in excintion risk (past, present, future)

Conservation biology
We integrate macroecology and biogeography into biodiversity conservation assessment with the ultimate goal of reducing our dependence on species-level information by focusing on general ecological principles and species functional differences.
Our research in this field mostly focuses on large-scale conservation assessments and underlying methods.
We have performed assessments on various aspects of protected areas systems such as coverage and connectivity focusing on functional differences in species demographic characteristics, spatial requirements and dispersal distances. We have also researched biodiversity indicators, trends in species conservation status over time, and projection under alternative future scenarios. 

Research topics:

  • Global trends of defaunation
  • InSiGHTS scenario model of the effects of global (climate and land use) change on the AOH
  • Biodiversity threats (climate change, land use change, invasive species) anthropogenic
  • Trends and efficiencies of conservation practices at global scale (PAs, wilderness areas)

Global change science
We are interested in global conservation policy and the reciprocal feedback between conservation policy and conservation science and we study the complex interaction between biodiversity, geography and geology, using a broad spectrum of data from satellite and remote sensing to the most advanced land-use and climate change scenarios. We are also interested in understanding the impact of environmental changes on human communities.
Our research in this field apply the most advanced analytical methodologies to investigate the relationship between climate change, biodiversity, ecosystem functions and socio-ecological systems.
We investigate global- and local-scale conservation priorities using systematic conservation planning techniques and focusing on international biodiversity targets and we are active in developing models focused on ecological forecasting and decision support tools.

Research topics:

  • Anthropogenic impact on ecological systems
  • Trends of global change (land use change, climate change)
  • Correlation between environmental degradation and risks to humanity