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Piero Visconti is a Research Scholar with the Ecosystem Services and Management program (ESM) at IIASA and an honorary research fellow with the Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, UCL, and the Institute of Zoology of the Zoological Society of London as well as an Academic Visitor with the University of Cambridge Conservation Science Group. He co-supervises PhD students at each of these institutions.
Dr. Visconti completed a PhD in Conservation Planning between James Cook University and the Global Mammal Assessment programme (GMA) at Sapienza University of Rome jointly in 2011. From 2011 to 2012, he was a postdoc at the University of Rome and thereafter at the Microsoft Research Cambridge Computational Ecology group and at UNEP-WCMC from 2015 to 2016. His research during this period focused on understanding species responses to land-use and climate change and projecting these responses under future global change scenarios. For this research, he developed analytical methods that integrate statistical models of distribution and abundance of species that use presence data and species' life-history traits, with expert-based information on species habitat preferences. While at Microsoft, he also developed methods to enable planning of conservation interventions under severe uncertainty, and methods to survey species’ cost-efficiently borrowing sampling techniques from computer science.
He has been a joint Research Fellow at UCL-CBER and ZSL-IoZ, where he worked on normative scenarios for biodiversity and stress-testing alternative visions for area-based conservation targets that could replace the Aichi Biodiversity targets 5 and 11.
At IIASA, he is continuing to work on exploratory, normative and ex-ante sustainability scenarios, with a particular focus on pathways that promote biodiversity recovery, at EU, regional and global levels. He is also developing new research that integrates biodiversity feedbacks into food production models and new ecological models that can respond to different types of crop and livestock production systems while taking into account interactive effects of climate and land-use change.
Along-side his research and supervision activities, he engages in the science-policy interface, for instance through his past role of coordinating lead author of the IPBES Regional Assessment of status and trends and future scenarios of biodiversity and ecosystem services for Europe and Central Asia.
Last update: 27-NOV-2018
Schleicher J, Zaehringer JG, Fastré C, Vira B, Visconti P, & Sandbrook C (2019). Protecting half of the planet could directly affect over one billion people. Nature Sustainability 2: 1094-1096. DOI:10.1038/s41893-019-0423-y.
Visconti P, Butchart S, Brooks T, Langhammer P, Marnewick D, Vergara S, Yanosky A, Crowe O, et al. (2019). A bold successor to Aichi Target 11—Response. Science 365 (6454): 650.1-651. DOI:10.1126/science.aay2768.
Barrett M, Belward A, Bladen S:, Breeze T, Burgess N, Butchart S, Clewclow H, Cornell S, et al. (2018). Living Planet Report 2018: Aiming Higher. WWF
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