Macro-scale perspectives on past and potential future megafauna across Europe and their ecological impacts
MSc in Biodiversity and Evolution (Alma Mater University of Bologna)
Host University: Aarhus University; Denmark
Primary Supervisor: Jens-Christian Svenning
Country of Origin: Italy
Languages: English, Italian
I am a naturalist and biogeographer specializing in the conservation of megafauna (i.e. wild animals above 10 kg), particularly in the context of rewilding European landscapes. I graduated with an MSc and wrote my thesis on the conservation of Egyptian coral reefs. Later on, I focused on the ecology of large mammals, my true passion, experiencing fieldwork in the Western Alps and Eastern Carpathians. During these periods, I observed the behaviour of male chamois during the rut season and tracked footprints of wolves and lynx in the forest.
After winning a DAAD scholarship for an academic internship in Germany, I then spent one year as a visiting student in the Conservation Biogeography Lab of Humboldt University in Berlin. During this experience, I worked on a personal project about the resulting effects of wolf rebounding in Italian northern Apennines, particularly looking at issues strongly linked with the return of wildlife in Europe such as increased depredations on livestock and widespread cropland damages due to wild herbivores activity.
During the next years as a PhD student at Aarhus University, I will elaborate on several models to better understand the impact of megafauna species and their interactions on ecosystem services in European landscapes. I will make use of data of extinct and extant wildlife species, to explore how humans have influenced megafauna dynamics during the elapsed period between the last interglacial (i.e. 120.000 YBP, when modern humans were absent in Europe) and modern times. This will give to me and to my colleagues of the TerraNova Network valuable outcomes to better implement conservation strategies for European megafauna in the next future, looking at different forecasts of human's impact on landscapes.
Contact Email: email@example.com
Publications: The spatial patterns of human-wildlife conflict driven by rebounding carnivores in human-dominated landscapes (in preparation).