Renato Casagrandi

fotoFull Professor of Ecology
Ph.D. in Ecology, Università degli Studi di Parma, 1999
MSc in Electronic Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, 1996
Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria
Politecnico di Milano
Via Ponzio 34/5
20133 Milano, Italy
e-mail: renato dot casagrandi at polimi dot it
tel: +39 02 2399.3471 (fax 3412)


I serve as Associate Professor of Ecology the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Politecnico di Milano (PoliMi) since 2006.

After a postdoc (2000) with Simon Levin at the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) of the Princeton University, I joined the Dipartimento di Elettronica e Informazione (DEI) at PoliMI first as Research Associate (2001-2002), then as Assistant Professor (2003-2006). I participated to many national and international research projects and I’ve been Visiting Scholar in various international research centes. As undergraduate student (1993) and graduate student (1997) I visited the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria, as Researcher (2001-2002) the EEB at Princeton University, and as Scholar (2007) at the Institute for Advanced Studies of Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

I graduated in Electronic Engineering (Politecnico di Milano, PoliMi, 1996) discussing a master thesis on forest fire regimes (mentor: Sergio Rinaldi) that was awarded the Italgas Prize “”Idee per il futuro”” (now called Debut in Research – Eni Award) as the best MSc dissertation on Environment and Energy. Under the guidance of Marino Gatto, I obtained a PhD degree in Ecology (University of Parma, 1999) with a thesis on Models for Metapopulations, part of which has been published in Nature.

For more information, see an extended version of my CV


My research interests are in the wide area of population biology. I study in particular the spatiotemporal dynamics of species living in both homogeneous and heterogeneous landscapes with the aim of understanding the patterns generated by their movement. I’m also fascinated by the puzzling complexities that emerge in epidemiological problems, especially when the infectious material propagating through agents follows non-standard transmission paths.


Selected publications (view others)


Ose devenir qui tu es
[André Gide]

Syllabus, instructions and teaching material are provided either in Italian or in English according to the course type and audience

for undergraduate students

Laurea degree in Environmental Engineering (8 credits),

2010/11 – to date, Sede di Milano Leonardo, Politecnico di Milano.

Laurea degree in Architecture (4 credits), SSD BIO/07
2014/15 – to date, Sede di Milano Leonardo, Politecnico di Milano.

Ecologia 1
Laurea degree in Environmental Engineering (5 credits), SSD BIO/07
2000/01 – 2009/10, Polo di Como e Polo di Lecco, Politecnico di Milano.

Elementi di Ecologia e Analisi dei Sistemi Ambientali
Laurea degree in Environmental Engineering (10 credits), integrated course SSD BIO/07+ING-INF/04
2005/06 – 2008/09, Sede di Cremona, Politecnico di Milano.

Modellistica e Simulazione 1
Laurea degree in Environmental Engineering (5 credits), SSD ING-INF/04
2003/04 – 2004/05, Sede di Cremona, Politecnico di Milano.

Fondamenti di Automatica
Laurea degree in Engineering of Computing Systems (10 credits), SSD ING-INF/04
2002/03, Polo di Como, Politecnico di Milano.

for graduate students

Conservation Ecology and Sustainability (formerly, Ecology 2)
MSc degree in Enviromental Engineering (6 credits), SSD BIO/07
2007/08 – 2010/2011, Polo di Como, Politecnico di Milano.

Ecologia 2
Laurea Magistrale in Ingegneria ambientale (5 crediti), SSD BIO/07
2004/05 – 2006/07, Polo di Como, Politecnico di Milano.

phd courses and the like

Courses held within the Doctoral Program in Information Technology:

Courses held since the first cycle at the Alta Scuola Politecnica to the best students in Architecture, Design and Engineering of both PoliMI and Politecnico di Torino

      • The Art of Modelling
        2006 – 2010 (annual), lecturer and coordinator (with Sergio Rinaldi)
      • “Global Change and Sustainability”
        2008/09 – to date (annual), lecturer
        (coordinators: Barbara Betti, Marino Gatto and Stefano Consonni)


2003 & 2004/05: Organizer and lecturer of the course “Introduction to population ecology” (16 hrs) within a European Social Fund Master on Ecopathology of Wildlife (Coordinator: Paolo Lanfranchi) at the Faculty of Veterinary Science, Università degli Studi di Milano.