About us

ECAS lab is led by Luca Santini and sits in the Department of Biology and Biotechnology of Sapienza University of Rome. Our research focuses on ecological patterns and processes across large (spatial, temporal and taxonomic) scales in order to derive general principles that explain how life on earth is distributed and structured. A recurrent theme in our research is unravelling how such patterns and processes have been altered by anthropogenic pressures, to estimate natural baselines and get a deeper insight on the ongoing reorganization of biotic systems. We are particularly interested in macroecological patterns of abundance across vertebrate species, and processes underlying them. We developed and maintain the TetraDENSITY database to explore such questions. Important applicative sides consist in the integration of macroecological and biogeographical principles into biodiversity and conservation assessments, with the ultimate goal of reducing our dependency on species-level information by focusing on general ecological principles and species functional differences. Specifically, by understanding biodiversity patterns and their causes, we attempt to use existing biodiversity knowledge to predict missing information on poorly known species and areas that are relevant for conservation assessments and planning. A practical example is the development of automatized approaches to assess species conservation status in a rapid and cost-efficient manner (see sRedList project). ECAS lab belongs to the MBC research group at Sapienza.