Renato Casagrandi

fotoFull Professor of Ecology
e-mail: renato dot casagrandi at polimi dot it, tel: +39 02 2399.3471 (fax 3412)
Ph.D. in Ecology (UniPR, 1999), MSc in Electronic Engineering (1996, PoliMI)


I currently serve as Full Professor of Ecology the Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering, the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the School of Architecture, Urban Planning  and Construction Engineering at Politecnico di Milano (PoliMi) since 2016.

After a postdoc (2000) with Simon Levin at the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) of the Princeton University, I joined the DEIB first as Research Associate (2001-2002), then as Assistant Professor (2003-2006) and Associate Professor (2006-2016). I participated to many national and international research projects and I’ve been Visiting Scholar in various international research centers. 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.


Last publications (2017 only)

  • Jahnke M., Casagrandi R., Melià P., Schiavina M., Schultz S. T., Zane L., Procaccini G. (2017) Potential and realized connectivity of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica and their implication for conservation Diversity and Distributions, 23: 1423. doi: 10.1111/ddi.12633
  • Mari L., Casagrandi R., Rinaldo A., Gatto M. (2017) A generalized definition of reactivity for ecological systems and the problem of transient species dynamics. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 8: 1574. doi: 10.1111/2041-210X.12805
  • Ciddio M., Mari L., Sokolow S. H., De Leo G. A., Casagrandi R., Gatto M. (2017) The spatial spread of schistosomiasis: A multidimensional network model applied to Saint-Louis region, Senegal. Advances in Water Resources, 108: 406. doi: 10.1016/j.advwatres.2016.10.012
  • Mari L., Ciddio M., Casagrandi R., Perez-Saez J., Bertuzzo E., Rinaldo A., Sokolow S. H., De Leo G. A., Gatto M. (2017) Heterogeneity in schistosomiasis transmission dynamics. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 432: 87. doi: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2017.08.015
  • Paterno M., Schiavina M., Aglieri G., Ben Souissi J., Boscari E., Casagrandi R., Chassanite A., Chiantore M., Congiu L., Guarnieri G., Kruschel C., Macic V., and Marino I. A. M., Papetti C., Patarnello T., Zane L. and Melià P. (2017) Population genomics meet Lagrangian simulations: Oceanographic patterns and long larval duration ensure connectivity among Paracentrotus lividus populations in the Adriatic and Ionian seas. Ecology and Evolution, 7: 2463. doi:
  • Mari L., Bonaventura L., Storto A., Melià P., Gatto M., Masina S. and Casagrandi R. (2017) Understanding large-scale, long-term larval connectivity patterns: The case of the Northern Line Islands in the Central Pacific Ocean. PLoS ONE, 12: e0182681. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0182681.
  • White T. D., Carlisle A. B., Kroodsma D. A., Block B. A., Casagrandi R., De Leo G. A., Gatto M., Micheli F., and McCauley D. J. (2017) Assessing the effectiveness of a large marine protected area for reef shark conservation. Biological Conservation, 207: 64. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0182681
  • Mari L., Gatto M., Ciddio M., Dia E. D., Sokolow S. H., De Leo, G. A. and Casagrandi R. (2017) Big data-driven modeling unveils country-wide drivers of endemic schistosomiasis. Scientific Reports, 7: 489. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-00493-1.

Previous selected publications

An almost complete list of publications is available at


Current courses

Laurea degree in Environmental Engineering (8 credits), SSD BIO/07
(from A.A. 2000/01 to 2009/10 in Como and from 2010/11 – to date in Milano Leonardo)

Ecologia Urbana
Laurea degree in Urban Planning: Cities, Environment & Landscapes (4 credits), SSD BIO/07
(from 2016/17 – to date in Milano Leonardo)

Previous courses are listed in my institutional web page or in my cv