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Danilo Russo

Introducing AnEcoEvo

The Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Evolution (AnEcoEvo) is directed by Professor Danilo Russo. The research lines conducted by the Laboratory include the ecology, behaviour, and conservation biology of bats, with reference to forest, island, and desert environments. The methodologies employed range from ultrasonic detection to radio tracking, modelling the potential distribution, and molecular techniques for the study of trophic ecology. Despite the strong focus on bats as a model species, the Laboratory has also conducted investigations on birds, cerambycid insects, and rodents because, at AnEcoEvo, questions come before species!

Research Group Leader

Prof. Danilo Russo is a full professor of Ecology at Naples University Federico II and an honorary professor at the University of Bristol, UK. He obtained his PhD in Zoology from the University of Bristol in 2002. Currently, he serves as the head of the Animal Ecology and Evolution Laboratory in the Department of Agriculture at his university. His research interests encompass a wide range of subjects, including habitat selection, resource partitioning, sensory ecology, social behaviour, evolutionary biology, biogeography, and invasion ecology. While much of his research focuses on bats, he also investigates various other model organisms to address specific questions of interest.
From 2019 to 2023, Prof. Russo chaired the Scientific Committee of the UNEP/EUROBATS Agreement, which is responsible for the conservation of European bat populations. Additionally, he takes great pride in his role as the editor-in-chief of the highly esteemed zoological journal, Mammal Review. Furthermore, he is the main proposer and chair of the Management Committee for the EU COST Action "CLIMBATS" (CA18107), a significant initiative that explores the effects of climate change on bat populations.
Prof. Russo's contributions to the scientific community are exemplified by his publication record, which includes (as of July 2023) approximately 170scientific articles in internationally respected journals such as Nature Communications, Current Biology, Ecology Letters, and Biological Reviews. He has achieved an H-index of 47, underscoring the impact and significance of his work.
Having conducted fieldwork in diverse regions and environments across the globe, ranging from African rainforests to the Israeli desert and European beech woodlands, Prof. Russo possesses invaluable firsthand experience in various ecosystems.
Prof. Russo is very attentive to dissemination and communication. He has appeared on various radio and television programs in Italy and abroad, including SuperQuark, Indovina chi Viene a Cena, Progetto Scienza - STEM (Rai Scuola), and TG3 Leonardo. His research has been covered by numerous national and international publications, including National Geographic, Nature, Science, New Scientist, New York Times, BBC, Sky News, The Independent, The Telegraph, The Economist, Le Monde, and Repubblica.

Barbastella barbastellus (Barbastello)


Prof. Russo’s Research Gate profile:

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Thirty selected papers:

    1. RUSSO D., Jones G. & Migliozzi A. (2002). Habitat selection by the Mediterranean horseshoe bat, Rhinolophus euryale (Chiroptera: Rhinolophidae) in a rural area of southern Italy and implications for conservation. Biological Conservation 107: 71-81.
    2. RUSSO D. & Jones G. (2003). Use of foraging habitats by bats in a Mediterranean area determined by acoustic surveys: conservation implications. Ecography 26: 197-209.
    3. RUSSO D., Cistrone L., Jones G. & Mazzoleni S. (2004). Roost selection by barbastelle bats (Barbastella barbastellus, Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) in beech woodlands of central Italy: consequences for conservation. Biological Conservation 117: 73-81.
    4. RUSSO D., Cistrone L. & Jones, G (2005). Spatial and temporal patterns of roost use by tree-dwelling barbastelle bats Barbastella barbastellus. Ecography 28: 769-776.
    5. Moreira F. & RUSSO D. (2007). Modelling the impact of agricultural abandonment and wildfires on vertebrate diversity in Mediterranean Europe. Landscape Ecology 22: 1461-1476.
    6. RUSSO D., Mucedda M., Bello M., Biscardi S., Pidinchedda E. & Jones G. (2007). Divergent echolocation call frequencies in insular rhinolophids (Chiroptera): a case of character displacement? Journal of Biogeography 34: 2129-2138.
    7. RUSSO D., Teixeira S., Cistrone L., Jesus J., Teixeira D., Freitas T. & Jones G. (2009). Social calls are subject to stabilizing selection in insular bats. Journal of Biogeography. 36: 2212-2221.
    8. RUSSO D., Cistrone L., Garonna, A.P. & Jones, G (2010). Reconsidering the importance of harvested forests for the conservation of tree-dwelling bats. Biodiversity and Conservation. 19: 2501-2515.
    9. Tomassini A., Colangelo P., Agnelli P., Jones G. & RUSSO D. (2014). Cranial size has increased over 133 years in a common bat, Pipistrellus kuhlii: a response to changing climate or urbanization? Journal of Biogeography 41: 944-953.
    10. Roscioni F., Rebelo H., RUSSO D.*, Carranza M.L., Di Febbraro M. & Loy A. (2014). A modelling approach to infer the effects of wind farms on landscape connectivity for bats. Landscape Ecology 29: 891-903. * = corresponding author
    11. Ancillotto L., Cistrone L., Mosconi F., Jones G., Boitani L. & RUSSO D. (2015). The importance of non- forest landscapes for the conservation of forest bats: lessons from barbastelles (Barbastella barbastellus). Biodiversity and Conservation 24: 171-185.
    12. RUSSO D. & Voigt C. C. (2016). The use of automated identification of bat echolocation calls in acoustic monitoring: A cautionary note for a sound analysis. EcologicalIndicators 66: 598-602.
    13. RUSSO D., Cistrone L., Libralato N., Korine C., Jones G. & Ancillotto L. (2017). Adverse effects of artificial illumination on bat drinking activity. Animal Conservation 20: 492-501
    14. Ancillotto L., Ariano A., Nardone V., Budinski I., Rydell J. & RUSSO D. (2017). Effects of free-ranging cattle and landscape complexity on bat foraging: Implications for bat conservation and livestock management. Agriculture Ecosystems and Environment 241: 54-61.
    15. Rydell J., Nyman S, Eklöf J., Jones G. & RUSSO D. (2017). Testing the performances of automated identification of bat echolocation calls: a request for prudence. Ecological Indicators 78: 416-420.
    16. Smeraldo, S., Di Febbraro, M., Bosso, L., Flaquer, C., Guixé, D., Lisón, F., Meschede, A., Juste, J., Prüger, J., Puig-Montserrat, X., RUSSO D. (2018). Ignoring seasonal changes in the ecological niche of non-migratory species may lead to biases in potential distribution models: lessons from bats. Biodiversity and Conservation 27: 2425–2441.
    17. Chaverri, G., Ancillotto, L., RUSSO D. (2018). Social communication in bats. Biological Reviews 93: 1938-1954
    18. RUSSO D., Bosso L., Ancillotto L. (2018). Novel perspectives on bat insectivory highlight the value of this ecosystem service in farmland: Research frontiers and management implications. Agriculture Ecosystems and Environment 266: 31-38 
    19. De Conno C., Nardone V., Ancillotto L., De Bonis S., Guida M., Jorge I., Scarpa U., RUSSO D. (2018). Testing the performance of bats as indicators of riverine ecosystem quality. EcologicalIndicators 95: 741-750
    20. RUSSO D., Ancillotto L., Cistrone L., Libralato N., Domer Adi, Cohen S., Korine C. (2019).  Effects of artificial illumination on drinking bats: a field test in forest and desert habitats. Animal Conservation 22: 124-133 
    21. Santini, L., González‐Suárez, M., RUSSO D., Gonzalez‐Voyer, A., von Hardenberg, A., & Ancillotto, L. (2018). One strategy does not fit all: determinants of urban adaptation in mammals. Ecology Letters 22: 365-376 
    22. Ancillotto L., Bosso L., Salinas-Ramos V. B., & RUSSO D. (2019). The importance of ponds for the conservation of bats in urban landscapes. Landscape and Urban Planning, 190, 103607 
    23. RUSSO D., Cosentino F., Festa F., De Benedetta F., Pejic B., Cerretti P., & Ancillotto L. (2019). Artificial illumination near rivers may alter bat-insect trophic interactions. Environmental Pollution 252: 1671-1677 
    24. Salinas-Ramos V., Ancillotto L., Bosso L., Sánchez Cordero V., RUSSO D. (2019). Interspecific competition in bats: state of knowledge and research challenges. Mammal Review 50: 68-81
    25. Salinas-Ramos, V. B., Ancillotto, L., Cistrone, L., Nastasi, C., Bosso, L., Smeraldo, S., Sánchez Cordero V. & RUSSO D. (2021). Artificial illumination influences niche segregation in bats. Environmental Pollution, 284: 117187
    26. Conenna, I., Santini, L., Rocha, R., Monadjem, A., Cabeza, M., & RUSSO D. (2021). Global patterns of functional trait variation along aridity gradients in bats. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 30: 1014-1029 
    27. Ancillotto, L., Fichera, G., Pidinchedda, E., Veith, M., Kiefer, A., Mucedda, M., & RUSSO D. (2021). Wildfires, heatwaves and human disturbance threaten insular endemic bats. Biodiversity and Conservation, 30: 4401-4416 
    28. Ancillotto, L., Palmieri, A., Canfora, C., Nastasi, C., Bosso, L., & RUSSO D. (2022). Spatial responses of long-eared bats Plecotus auritus to forestry practices: Implications for forest management in protected areas. Forest Ecology and Management, 506: 119959 
    29. Ancillotto, L., Pafundi, D., Cappa, F., Chaverri, G., Gamba, M., Cervo, R., & RUSSO D. (2022). Bats mimic hymenopteran insect sounds to deter predators. Current Biology, 32: R408-R409 
    30. Tuneu‐Corral C., Puig‐Montserrat X., Riba‐Bertolín D., RUSSO D.*, Rebelo H., Cabeza M. and López‐Baucells A. (2023). Pest suppression by bats and management strategies to favour it: a global review. Biological Reviews, * = corresponding author