Luca Santini

I am an ecologist and a modeller, with main interests in macroecology, biogeography, conservation biology and global change biology, but also animal ecology, behavioural ecology and macroevolution. My research relies on a variety of modelling approaches to answer both theoretical and applied questions in ecology and conservation. Part of my research focuses patterns and processes in nature across space, time and taxa, with particular interest in the role of anthropogenic pressures in shaping these patterns and processes. Most of my research is aimed at integrating macroecological and biogeographical principles into conservation assessments, with the ultimate goal of reducing our dependency on species-level information and resulting taxonomic biases by focusing on general ecological principles and species functional differences.
Most of my experience is on terrestrial vertebrates, but I’m more interested in the ecological questions than species. I love collaborating with – and learning from – other researchers. I started my training in Italy, but later had several international experiences in Scotland, France and the Netherlands. Currently I’m a researcher type B (i.e. assistant professor) at the Department of Biology and Biotechnologies “Charles Darwin” of Sapienza University of Rome.

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Contact:[at]; luca.santini[at]


Victor Cazalis

I am a junior French researcher in Conservation Biology, with particular interests in international conservation, conservation effectiveness and birds. During my PhD I used large-scale biodiversity datasets (e.g., North-American BBS and mostly eBird) to investigate the effectiveness of protected areas in conserving bird species, in order to inform the achievements and shortfalls of the Aichi Target 11. I am currently working in the sRedList project, aiming at developing an innovative and consistent framework for prioritising updates of the IUCN Red List assessments, using automated approaches. These two projects illustrate quite well what I enjoy: large-scale spatial analyses to inform global conservation, hoping to be useful!

Contact: victor.cazalis[at]

Alessandra Bissattini

I am a conservation biologist and ecologist with a particular interest in amphibians and reptiles. During and after my time as a student I joined a number of conservation projects inside and outside Italy. In my early career I was fascinated by marine wildlife, in particular turtles and dolphins. During the years of study I focused my research interests on freshwater species studying their ecology, behavior, population dynamics and structure. My research has largely focused on invasion ecology and on one of the 100 worst invaders in Europe: the American bullfrog. During my PhD I investigated its ecology and interactions with native (amphibians and snakes) and non-native species (crayfish and fish) through different approaches (stomach content and stable isotope analysis). Another field of my research is bioacoustics (sound recording and playback experiments) and its application to the study of amphibians and their interaction in terms of acoustic niche. My research incorporates statistics, laboratory work, fieldwork and different study methods to answer specific questions relating to species management and conservation. My work is diverse, interdisciplinary and collaborative, constantly improved by the people I work with. 

contact: bissattini.ale[at]

PhD students

Selwyn Hoeks

I’m a PhD candidate at the Radboud University in The Netherlands. In my research I focus on in explaining ecosystem functioning using mechanistic modelling approaches. I’m mainly interested in the importance of megafauna, in particular the role of large carnivores in maintaining ecosystem structure. I like the link between very technical code and ecology. Besides my passion for ecology, I enjoy making music and taking nature photos.

Contact: s.hoeks[at]

Davide Mirante

I’m a Ph.D. student at the Sapienza University of Rome. My main research objective is to understand the effects of anthropogenic disturbance on diel rhythms, home-range use, acoustic activity, and physiological response of wildlife. I’m also interested in the application of recently introduced statistical models (REM, REST, and DS-CT) to estimate species densities and abundances through camera traps or automatic recording units data, without individual recognition. I had previous research experience in Vienna, where I worked as a research assistant for the KLIVV institute. My main duties included data analysis on a long time-series database, aimed at investigating which environmental factors influence hibernation and reproductive cycles of the edible dormice (Glis glis), as well as fieldwork, to collect data and further expand the dataset.

Contact: davide.mirante[at]

Giordano Mancini

I’m a Ph.D. student funded by the Italian National Operational Program (PON) for research and innovation. I am working on climate change exposure measurement to support IUCN Red List climate change assessment, in collaboration with the sRedList working group. I am also interested in the effect of global change on human-biodiversity coexistence.

Contact: giordano.mancini[at]

Master students

Giulia Boratto (Sapienza University)

Carlotta Vivaldi (Sapienza University)

Davide Furnarò (Sapienza University)

Laura Paltrinieri (Sapienza University)

Sanja Jelena Gargano (Sapienza University)

Andrea Zampetti (Sapienza University)

Giuseppe Coiro (Sapienza University)

Daniele Saracino (Sapienza University)

Marco Quaranta (Sapienza University)

Manuel Vicca (Sapienza University)

Sara Cutillo (Sapienza University)

Matteo Giuliani (Sapienza University)

Bachelor students

Eros Spinozzi (Sapienza University)

Vanessa Sabatini (Sapienza University)

Eden Findo (Sapienza University)

Giulia Spoleti (Sapienza University)

Eva Acuna (Sapienza University)

Elisa Abbondanza (Sapienza University)

Mario Pierini (Sapienza University)


Pablo Lucas (Postdoc, Sapienza University)

Vincenzo Anzidei (BSc student, Sapienza University)

Clara Amman (BSc student, Sapienza University)

Nicolò Pranzini (MSc student, University of Turin)

Andrea Zampetti (BSc student, Sapienza University)

Gioia Adornato (BSc student, Sapienza University)

Coline Boonman (PhD student, Radboud University)

Marta Cimatti (Visiting graduate student, Radboud University)

Shibely Soto (MSc student, Radboud University)

Giordano Mancini (MSc student, Sapienza University)

Steven Kelderman (MSc student, Radboud University)

Thomas Hamersma (MSc student, Radboud University)

Elodie Le Quellec (MSc student, Radboud University)

Louise Prevot (MSc student, Radboud University)

Erin Henry (MSc student, Radboud University)

Pedro Lorenzo Cruz (MSc student, Radboud University)

Giulia Cristallini (MSc student, Sapienza University)

Jacopo Pagani (BSc student, Sapienza University)

Simona Picardi (BSc student, Sapienz University)