Marina Morandini

Year Started at Paul Smith’s: 2022
Department: Natural Science


I was born and raised in a beautiful valley in the middle of the Alps in Italy, where my dad passed his passion for nature to me. I completed in my home country a bachelor’s in biology and a master in ecology, but the strong motivation to obtain a good foundation as a scientist, lead me to move to Canada, and after USA.  In USA I started the PhD in Natural Resources and the Environment.

My main interest has been always focused on animal movement and conservation. In fact, during my Ms research I studied the effects of an invasive species of squirrel (Pallas squirrels) on the spatial movement of a local species (European Red Squirrel). Particularly I analyzed how home range size and home range’ overlap change after removal of the invasive species. During the PhD I studied the movement of post translocating animals to help develop the most successful translocation techniques among hard and soft release. The information learned from this study will help to implement the best management techniques to apply on an endangered species, the Mt Graham Red Squirrel. I also studied the effect of personality on habitat selection, and the effect of fire on foraging behavior of small mammals.

I believe that education is a fundamental tool to share the conservation message to a wide public, including local communities, agencies, and schools. I have been already involved in multiple teaching opportunities, which include experience as an instructor of record at the University, as a guest- giving lectures in a zoo, and as instructor for scientific method in Primary and Secondary Education. I always try to create the best learning environment and providing many hands-on experiences for a long-lasting learning experience.

For me, my job is the realization of a passion for animals, science, and teaching. I love to communicate my passion through conferences, in schools, in zoos and now teaching here at this beautiful College!

Interests and Activities

In my spare time, I like hiking and camping, always with the company of my husband, my dog Zeus, and my adventure cat Winterfell (yes, I like the Game of Thrones too!). As a good Italian, I also love cooking. In my house, we never miss Friday pizza night, or freshly made lasagna for Sunday!

Academic Background

Ph.D. candidate in Natural Resources and the Environment with major in Wildlife Conservation
2014  MSc Ecology, University of Rome La Sapienza (Rome, Italy)
2012  BSc Biology, University of Parma (Parma, Italy)

Courses Taught

FWS 101 Intro to Fisheries and Wildlife Management
FWS 470 Wildlife Management
ENV 330 Conservation Biology
BIO 410 Animal Behavior

Selected Publications

Melissa J. Merrick, Marina Morandini, Vicki L. Greer, John L. Koprowski. Endemic Population Response to Increasingly Severe Fire: A Cascade of Endangerment. BioScience, Volume 71, Issue 2, February 2021, Pages 161 – 173. DOI: 10.1093/biosci/biaa153

Amanda M. Veals, Alexandra D. Burnett, Marina Morandini, Marine Drouilly, and John L. Koprowski. Caracal caracal (Carnivora: Felidae). Mammalian species (2020) 52 (993): 71 – 85. DOI: 10.1093/mspecies/seaa006

Erin Siracusa, Marina Morandini, Stan Boutin, Murray M. Humphries, Ben Dantzer, Jeffrey Lane and Andrew G. McAdam. Red squirrel territorial vocalizations deter intrusions by conspecific rivals. Behaviour (2017) 1 – 15. DOI: 10.1101/448894

Maria Vittoria Mazzamuto, Marina Morandini, Panzeri Mattia, Lucas A. Wauters, Damiano Preatoni, Adriano Martinoli; Space invaders: effects of invasive alien Pallas’s squirrels on home range and body mass of native red squirrels. Biological Invasions. February 2017. DOI: 10.1515/mammalia-2015-0006





Jorie M. Favreau

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Professor of Wildlife Biology