Part of our research is dedicated to the understanding of macroecological patterns and processes across space, time and taxa. We are interested in how species life history traits covary, and how to use these information for predictive purposes. We are also interested in understanding to what extent observed macroecological patterns are distorted by anthropogenic impact.
Large-scale conservation assessments
Our research in conservation mostly focuses on large-scale conservation assessments and underlying methods, and is largely underpinned by macroecological principles. We have performed assessments on various aspects of protected area 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. Much of this research is also aimed at testing and/or developing methods and tools.
We are interested in many aspects of species spatial ecology, especially those with strong relevance for
conservation biology, such as home range, population density and dispersal. I have researched the ecological correlates of dispersal distance in mammals, their ability to shift their range under climate change scenarios, and functional connectivity. We also research the biological and environmental drivers of population density, and predictive methods to estimate species abundance and biomass.
Ecology and conservation of mammals
Luca Santini started his research activity researching ringtail lemurs (Lemur catta) in Madagascar. Since then, he kept collaborating with primatologists on studies focused on the ecology, evolution, behaviour and conservation of lemurs. We also have ongoing work on other groups of mammals, particularly carnivores and bats.