Italian Research Day with Elisabetta Canteri

Elisabetta Canteri, PHD student shares her experience of presenting at the Italian Research Day 2021.

My research aims at understanding how species respond to abrupt climate changes. To do so, I am reconstructing the range dynamics of two megafaunal species, the muskox and the reindeer, over the last 21,000 years, responding to climate change and human hunting pressures.

I use fossil records, modern observations and paleoclimate reconstructions to build the climate niche of the species and to project it in space and time. These projections are integrated with metapopulation dynamics to create hundreds of thousand simulations where populations grow and disperse depending on the suitability of the environment and on the hunting pressure.

Each simulation is then validated using fossil records and genetic inferences. By successfully hindcasting the past, we can better predict how these species will respond in the future. We can additionally understand better how ranges contract, expand and shift position. This will help to guide conservation policies, to target effectively the protection of specific populations, involved in the survival of the species.

I presented my research at the Italian Research Day 2021, which was held on the 15th of April. The Italian Embassy in Copenhagen asked me to participate and present my research project above. The Italian Research Day aims to celebrate Italian researchers that work abroad. During this day, Italian researchers promote their high quality research. By doing this, they represent the quality of the Italian education and Italian successes. This day also aims to favour collaborations between worldwide institutions and Italy.

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