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Research activity

Dr Cagnacci is a permanent researcher at the FEM/CRI in the Applied Ecology group, and leader of the research line ‘Movement and Conservation Ecology’. She initiated and coordinates the bottom-up research consortium EURODEER, to study ungulate movement at the distribution range of species, under climatic and human-impact large scale gradients. She has been leading or advising fieldwork projects for 20 years on terrestrial mammals, from rodents to large herbivores and carnivores, in a diversity of environments and conservation areas in Europe, North and South America, with a special focus on mountainous and alpine environments.
Dr. Cagnacci combines biological research with a deep interest in development and application of technology to address conservation issues and animal ecology questions (biotelemetry).

Research interests

Francesca Cagnacci is a behavioral and conservation ecologist with research emphasis on effects of climate and global change on animal spatial distribution and movement. Her research interests span management and conservation practices at different spatial scales, ecosystem services, terrestrial mammalogy, ecology of wildlife diseases and host-parasite dynamics, and adoption of humane measures for the management of problematic wildlife.

There is currently the opportunity to apply for a PhD Scholarship on the topic of  ungulate migration under the supervision of Francesca Cagnacci. The position is co-sponsored by FEM through a collaborative project between University of California and Fondazione Edmund Mach. Deadline for application is 1st December 2016. For details look at the webpage

Curriculum Vitae

  • MSc Biology (University of Milano and Siena);
  • PhD Evolutionary Biology (University of Siena) 
  • Certified Associate Professor in Ecology (Italian Ministry for Further Education and Research)
  • Faculty affiliate at the College of Forestry and Conservation, at the University of Montana (2012-current).

Honors (summary)

  • Hrdy Fellow in Conservation Biology at Harvard University, OEB Dept., Cambridge, USA (2015-2016)
  • Invited as guest speaker for international conferences, workshop and seminar series more than 10 times in the last 3 yrs

Service (summary)

  • Sitting on editorial boards, steering committees and evaluation panels of scientific journals, PhD school networks, societies and associations involved in wildlife and conservation studies in Europe, North America, and Brazil.

Advisorship (summary)

  • More than 30 undergraduate and graduate students’ theses to completion (PhD, MSc, BSc, post-master Internships)
  • 3 PhD students (current)

Current projects (PI or Co-PI):

  • BEARFENCE (Integrated technological system for deterring problematic bears)
  • Conservation on a Rapidly-Changing Planet: Ecologically-Informed Approaches to Predicting the Impacts of Global Environmental Change on the Spatial Distributions of Large Terrestrial Mammals (as Hrdy Fellow at Harvard University, OEB Dept.)
  • A wildlife journey in space and time: methodological advancements in the assessment and analysis of spatiotemporal patterns of animal movement in a changing European environment. Co-funded PhD studentship (Johannes de Groeve). FEM/CRI & University of Ghent
  • FOR-WILD (Forecasting the effects of global change on ungulate spatial distributions), Scientific advisor and internal tutor. FEM/CRI & Harvard University/OEB.
  • IRSAE (International Research School in Applied Ecology) Coordinator/P.I. as IRSAE partner-FEM/CRI. Norwegian Research Council
  • MAZE.roe (Metagenomic assessment of ecological and zoonotic profiles of expanding roe deer populations). FEM/CRI and Italian Ministry for Health
  • EURODEER (European roe deer collaborative project), scientific coordinator, P.I.
  • 2C2T (Roe and red deer in Trentino and Technology), P.I.