Who We Are

Consortium/Steering Committee

Marta De Barba

Marta De Barba, PhD


Contact Marta

University of Ljubljana

Marta’s research interests encompass molecular ecology, conservation genetics/genomics and biology, and animal ecology. She uses field sampling and molecular tools from the domain of genetic monitoring and environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis for addressing ecological and evolutionary questions for wildlife conservation and management.


Wilfried Thuiller

Wilfried Thuiller, PhD

Coordinator, WP3 Leader

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Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine (LECA), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Univ. Grenoble-Alpes, France

Personal Website

Niko Balkenhol

Niko Balkenhol, PhD

WP4 Leader

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University of Goettingen

Niko's work focuses on functional connectivity at various biological levels, from individual movements to ecosystem functions. His work amalgamates concepts and methods from landscape genetics and movement ecology, and also involves individual-based simulations and spatially-explicit modelling.

Ancuta Fedorca

Ancuta Fedorca, PhD

WP5 Leader

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National Institute for Research and Development in Forestry “Marin Dracea”

Ancuta’s work is focused on connectivity and conservation through integration of genetic information with landscape analysis (GIS), evolutionary processes, and species’ spatial patterns to provide useful information for biodiversity management. Ancuta is Europe’s Leader for IUCN WCPA Connectivity and Conservation Specialist Group.


Luigi Maiorano

Luigi Maiorano, PhD

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University of Rome "La Sapienza"

Luigi’s research interests span from biogeography, macroecology, evolutionary biology, and conservation biology, considering local to continental/global spatial scales. His main research focus is on terrestrial vertebrates and mediterranean ecosystems, with a strong emphasis on statistical analyses in a spatially explicit context.

Nuria Selva

Nuria Selva, PhD

WP2 Leader

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Polish Academy of Sciences

Nuria’s research interests cover a wide range of topics within animal ecology and conservation biology. Her work follows a multidisciplinary approach and includes both theoretical and applied questions. In general, trophic interactions (e.g. scavenging, predation, frugivory) within terrestrial vertebrate communities and how human disturbance affects them are a main axis of her research. She is also interested in conservation policies at European and international level and in the general ecology of the brown bear.

Andreas Zedrosser, PhD

WP1 Leader

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University of South-Eastern Norway

Andreas focuses in his work on eco-evolutionary effects on large mammal life history. He aims to understand the factors affecting an individual’s behavior and fitness, how such individual effects can explain population fitness, and how these patterns can be used for the management and conservation of animal populations in a human-dominated landscape with a changing climate. His work incorporates individual-based data as well as genetic and radio-location data of different mammals, with main focus on the brown bear.

Postdoctoral Reseachers

Trishna Dutta, PhD

Contact Trishna

European Forest Institute (EFI), Bonn, Germany

Trishna's research focuses on the conservation of large carnivores in fragmented landscapes. She uses a combination of field biology, non-invasive genetics, and spatial analysis to understand how large carnivores potentially use and move through the landscape. She conducts solution-oriented research that helps the conservation of species, habitats, and ecosystems.


Shane Frank

Shane Frank, PhD

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University of South-Eastern Norway

Shane's work has focused on better understanding human impacts on bears, including their movement ecology and ecosystem services, with the aim to improve management efficacy stemming from land-use and hunting.

Pablo Lucas

Pablo Lucas, PhD

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Polish Academy of Sciences

Laura Pollock

Laura Pollock, PhD

Contact Laura

Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine (LECA), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Univ. Grenoble-Alpes, France

Alberto García-Rodríguez

Alberto García-Rodríguez, PhD

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Departament of Conservartion Biology,
Estación Biológica de Doñana EBD-CSIC

Alberto's research focuses on the role of brown bears as bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) disperser. Specifically, he is conducting research on demographic parameters in bilberry populations. He is also working on a study about brown bear diet in the Polish Tatra Mountains as well as in the identification of the bilberry dispersers to a species level by DNA Barcoding techniques. 


PhD Students

Jenny Hansen

Jenny Hansen

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University of South-Eastern Norway

Jenny’s PhD research investigates how social and anthropogenic factors influence movement and space use in the Scandinavian bear population. Her primary emphasis is on dispersal movements and settlement behavior of Scandinavian brown bear.


Femke Pflüger

Femke Pflüger

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University of Goettingen

As part of Femke’s PhD on functional connectivity, she is investigating dispersal in a reintroduced population of brown bears in Trentino, Northern Italy. She is interested in brown bear habitat selection during two stages of dispersal, i.e., movement and settlement. The aim is to test whether observed dispersal patterns can be explained by different environmental influences on these two dispersal stages.