Current research

  • Mammals, biogeochemical cycles, & climate

    Mammals influence primary productivity, and the functioning of ecosystems by consuming biomass, predating on mammals and other animals, and recycling nutrients. These interactions have consequences on carbon dynamics,biogeochemical cycles, green house gas fluxes, and ultimately climate. During my EU H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie project "MegaBiCycle", I have explored the global role of large terrestrial herbivores in nutrient cycling and climate and produced a financial valuation of wild animal carbon services. I am now expanding to marine mammals and carnivores.

  • REMAP - Global model of mammals populations

    REMAP (REproducing MAmmal Populations) is a global model simulating the population dynamics of different mammal functional types competing for resources. Currently REMAP simulates present-day and Late Pleistocene herbivore populations and includes up to 28 Herbivore Functional Types defined by their diet, digestive system, and body mass. REMAP can be coupled with global vegetation models to study the ecology and functional role of mammals in ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles; a description of REMAP can be found in our publication.

  • PNuts: Global database of plant nutritional properties

    Plant nutritional properties (crude proteins, fibers, minerals, tannins, and dry matter) and energy content are key traits determining the quality and quantity of food intake of humans, wild and domestic animals. I am interested in how these properties vary as a function of other plan traits and how they influence animal and human eco-physiology and food quality. To investigate these questions, we have created PNuts a global database of Plant Nutritional values, containing 12000+ georeferenced records and 1000+ species of nutritional traits for different plant organs (leaf, stem, fruit, seed, flower, bark, etc.). PNuts can be used for macroecology, modelling, and plant ecology studies. Please get in touch if you would like to get involved to improve PNuts or develop a collaboration.

News and press coverage

Publications - CV


Berzaghi F, Cosimano T, Fullenkamp C, Scanlon J, Fon TE, Tunga Robson M, Forbang JL, Chami R. Nature Climate Change. In press

Berzaghi F, Chami R, Cosimano T, Fullenkamp C. Financing conservation by valuing carbon services produced by wild animals. PNAS.


Yang H, Ciais P, Chave J, Huang Y, Ballantyne A, Yu K,

Berzaghi F, Wigneron JP. Coarse woody debris are buffering mortality-induced carbon losses to the atmosphere in tropical forests. Environmental Research Letters.


Berzaghi F, Wright IJ, Kramer K, Oddou-Muratorio S, Bohn FJ, Reyer CPO, Sabate S, Sanders T, Hartig F. Towards a New Generation of Trait-Flexible Vegetation Models. Trends in Ecology & Evolution.


Berzaghi F, Longo M, Ciais P, Blake S, Bretagnolle F, Vieira S, Scaranello M, Scarascia-Mugnozza G, Doughty CE. Carbon stocks in Central African forests enhanced by elephant disturbance. Nature Geoscience.


Berzaghi F, Engel J, Plumptre A, Mugabec M, Kujirakwinjad D, Ayebarec S, Bates J. Comparative niche modeling of two Laniarius bush-shrikes and the conservation of mid-elevation Afromontane forests of the Albertine Rift. The Condor: Ornithological Applications.

Berzaghi F, Verbeeck H, Nielsen MR, Doughty CE, Bretagnolle F, Marchetti M, Scarascia-Mugnozza G. Assessing the role of megafauna in tropical forest ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles - the potential of vegetation models. Ecography.

Vacchiano G, Ascoli D, Berzaghi F, Lucas-Borja ME, Caignard T, Collalti A, Mairota P, Palaghianu C, Reyer C, Sanders T, Schermer E, Wohlgemuth T, Hacket-Pain A. Reproducing reproduction: How to simulate mast seeding in forest models. Ecological modeling, 376, 40-53.


Andersen JH, Berzaghi F, Christensen T, Geertz Hansen O, Mosbech A, Stock A, Zinglersen K, Wisz M. Potential for cumulative effects of human stressors on fish, sea birds and marine mammals in Arctic waters. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 184, 202-206.


Wisz M, Andersen JH, Berzaghi F(eds), Christensen T, Clausen DS, Johansen KL, Geertz-Hansen O, Hedeholm R, Nymand, Zinglersen KB. A catalogue of available data describing ecosystem components and human stressors in the sea west of Greenland. Working Document for Nordic Council of Ministers, 38 pp.

Short Bio

I hold a PhD in Ecology, main topic "modelling plant-animal interactions in tropical forests". Before becoming interested in Ecology, I completed a Master's degree in Computer Science and, among others things, worked on educational and commercial videogames. Thanks to my diverse background and mix of skills I have worked across ecosystems and taxa, from African elephants to Greenland fishes, and had the opportunity to experience life and cultures in countries around the world. I also enjoy teaching and science outreach activities.