Ferdinando Urbano

Ferdinando Urbano
European Commission | ec · Joint Research Centre (JRC)

Environmental Engineer - PhD Geomatics
Scientific Officer at the European Commission - JRC Ispra

About

65
Publications
32,818
Reads
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1,350
Citations
Introduction
Scientific Officer at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) - European Commission. Environmental modelling and data management expert applied to agriculture monitoring, food security, wildlife, protected areas, forestry.
Additional affiliations
September 2010 - present
European Commission
Position
  • Consultant
January 2005 - present
Fondazione Edmund Mach - Istituto Agrario San Michele All'Adige
Position
  • Consultant

Publications

Publications (65)
Article
Full-text available
Given strong year-to-year variability, increasing competition for natural resources, and climate change impacts on agriculture, monitoring global crop and natural vegetation conditions is highly relevant, particularly in food insecure areas. Data from remote sensing image series at high temporal and low spatial resolution can help to assist in this...
Article
Full-text available
To date, the processing of wildlife location data has relied on a diversity of software and file formats. Data management and the following spatial and statistical analyses were undertaken in multiple steps, involving many time-consuming importing/exporting phases. Recent technological advancements in tracking systems have made large, continuous, h...
Article
ISAMUD (Integrated System for Analysis and Management of Ungulate Data) is an integrated and modular software platform developed to manage GPS collar data for wildlife management. It is based on an open source spatial database (PostgreSQL and PostGIS) and includes open source data management, geo-statistical analysis and Web services modules (R, QG...
Book
Full-text available
This book guides animal ecologists, biologists and wildlife and data managers through a step-by-step procedure to build their own advanced software platforms to manage and process wildlife tracking data. This unique, problem-solving-oriented guide focuses on how to extract the most from GPS animal tracking data, while preventing error propagation a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Environmental, climatic and anthropogenic modifications constantly impact worldwide ecosystems resulting in global scale biological responses across all ecological levels (individual, population, species and community). As a consequence living organisms can adapt their niche breadth either via genetic evolution and phenotypic plasticity or through...
Article
Full-text available
EUROLYNX (European Lynx Information System) is an open, collaborative project based on a spatial database that stores shared Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx data to investigate variation in behavioural ecology along environmental gradients or population responses to specific conditions, such as habitat changes, impact of human activities, prey densities, o...
Article
Full-text available
The current and future consequences of anthropogenic impacts such as climate change and habitat loss on ecosystems will be better understood and therefore addressed if diverse ecological data from multiple environmental contexts are more effectively shared. Re-use requires that data are readily available to the scientific scrutiny of the research c...
Article
Full-text available
The increasing frequency and severity of extreme climatic events and their impacts are being realized in many regions of the world, particularly in smallholder crop and livestock production systems in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). These events underscore the need for timely early warning. Satellite Earth Observation (EO) availability, rapid development...
Article
Full-text available
Satellite telemetry is an increasingly utilized technology in wildlife research, and current devices can track individual animal movements at unprecedented spatial and temporal resolutions. However, as we enter the golden age of satellite telemetry, we need an in-depth understanding of the main technological, species-specific and environmental fact...
Data
R-code for boosted beta regression (Fix acquisition rate). (R)
Data
Covariate partial effects on the variability of the fix acquisition rate. (PDF)
Data
Tagged individuals per species. (PDF)
Data
Covariate partial effects on the variability of the Overall fix success rate. (PDF)
Data
Trends in observed data. (PDF)
Data
Global dataset for boosted beta regressions. (CSV)
Data
Description of data fields in S1 Data. (CSV)
Data
Satellite telemetry articles published. (PDF)
Data
Distribution of response variables and covariates. (PDF)
Data
Unit purchase and operation costs. (PDF)
Data
R-code for boosted beta regression (Overall fix success rate). (R)
Data
Standardized data collection questionnaire. (PDF)
Data
Satellite telemetry evaluations. (PDF)
Poster
Full-text available
Since the first reintroductions in the early 2000s, the Alpine bear population has been continuously monitored and genetically sampled through the joint effort of various authorities. This long-term monitoring, combined with the advent of new technologies, has produced a comprehensive and ecologically diverse dataset. However, the high amount of da...
Article
The most common framework under which ungulate migration is studied predicts that it is driven by spatio–temporal variation in plant phenology, yet other hypotheses may explain differences within and between species. To disentangle more complex patterns than those based on single species/ single populations, we quantified migration variability usin...
Article
Full-text available
Monitoring crop and rangeland conditions is highly relevant for early warning and response planning in food insecure areas of the world. Satellite remote sensing can obtain relevant and timely information in such areas where ground data are scattered, non-homogenous, or frequently unavailable. Rainfall estimates provide an outlook of the drivers of...
Article
Full-text available
Much research on large herbivore movement has focused on the annual scale to distinguish between resident and migratory tactics, commonly assuming that individuals are sedentary at the within-season scale. However, apparently sedentary animals may occupy a number of sub-seasonal functional home ranges (sfHR), particularly when the environment is sp...
Article
Full-text available
Birds of prey, as top predators, play a key role in ecosystem functioning by regulating prey populations and, by means of cascade effects, promoting biodiversity. This makes them adequate sentinels of ecosystem health. Here we analyse the relationship between the occurrence of breeding short-toed snake eagle (Circaetus gallicus) and both the richne...
Chapter
The fast-occurring technological advancement has allowed the growth of biologging and remote sensing applications in the field of animal behavior. In particular, tracking loggers allow the collection of spatial data to investigate individual space use, proximity loggers to monitor interactions, accelerometers to detect activity patterns, camera tra...
Article
Full-text available
This study develops a methodology to identify hot spots of critical forage supply in nomadic pastoralist areas, using the Afar Region, Ethiopia, as a special case. It addresses two main problems. First, it makes a spatially explicit assessment of fodder supply and demand extracted from a data poor environment. Fodder supply is assessed by combining...
Article
Partial migration, when only part of the population migrates seasonally while the other part remains resident on the shared range, is the most common form of migration in ungulates. Migration is often defined by spatial separation of seasonal ranges and consequently, classification of individuals as migrants or residents is usually only based on ge...
Article
Full-text available
Supplemental feeding for ungulates is a widespread practice in many human-dominated landscapes across Europe and North America, mainly intended to seasonally support populations. Surprisingly, little consideration was given so far to the effect of supplemental feeding on ungulate spatial ecology at a large scale, in management and conservation stud...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, there has been significant investment in collaborative e-infrastructures to support biotelemetry research. Whilst these e-infrastructures are rapidly growing in size and sophistication, the current lack of standards for reporting and documenting the data collected by animal-borne telemetry devices is hampering their effectiveness....
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Agriculture monitoring, and in particular food security, requires near real time information on crop growing conditions for early detection of possible production deficits. Anomaly maps and time profiles of remote sensing derived indicators related to crop and vegetation conditions can be accessed online thanks to a rapidly growing number of web ba...
Article
Full-text available
Monitoring crop and natural vegetation conditions is highly relevant, particularly in the food insecure areas of the world. Data from remote sensing image time series at high temporal and medium to low spatial resolution can assist this monitoring as they provide key information about vegetation status in near real-time over large areas. The Softwa...
Article
Full-text available
Breeding dispersal, defined as the net movement between successive breeding sites, remains a poorly understood and seldom reported phenomenon in mammals, despite its importance for population dynamics and genetics. In large herbivores, females may be more mobile during the breeding season, undertaking short-term trips (excursions) outside their nor...
Article
Full-text available
Monitoring vegetation conditions is a critical activity for assessing food security in the Horn of Africa. Remote sensing from space offers a unique opportunity to obtain consistent and timely information over large and often inaccessible areas where field observations are scattered, non-homogenous, or frequently unavailable. In this study we outli...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter introduces the Pl/R extension, a very powerful alternative to integrate the features offered by R in the database in a gapless workflow. Pl/R is a loadable procedural language that allows the use of the R engine and libraries directly inside the database, thus embedding R scripts into SQL statements and database functions and triggers....
Chapter
The objects of movement ecology studies are animals whose movements are usually sampled at more-or-less regular intervals. This spatiotemporal sequence of locations is the basic, measured information that is stored in the database. Starting from this data set, animal movements can be analysed (and visualised) using a large set of different methods...
Chapter
In the previous chapters, you have exclusively worked with GPS position data. We showed how to organise these data in databases, how to link them to environmental data and how to connect them to R for further analysis. In this chapter, we introduce an example of data recorded by another type of sensor: acceleration data, which can be measured by ma...
Chapter
In recent years, new wildlife tracking and telemetry technologies have become available, leading to substantial growth in the volume of wildlife tracking data. In the future, one can expect an almost exponential increase in collected data as new sensors are integrated into current tracking systems. A crucial limitation for efficient use of telemetr...
Chapter
The state-of-the-art technical tool for effectively and efficiently managing tracking data is the spatial relational database. Using databases to manage tracking data implies a considerable effort for those who are not already familiar with these tools, but this is necessary to be able to deal with the data coming from the new sensors. Moreover, th...
Chapter
When position data are received from GPS sensors, they are not explicitly associated with any animal. Linking GPS data to animals is a key step in the data management process. This can be achieved using the information on the deployments of GPS sensors on animals (when sensors started and ceased to be deployed on the animals). In the case of a cont...
Chapter
When position data are received from GPS sensors, they are not explicitly associated with any animal. Linking GPS data to animals is a key step in the data management process. This can be achieved using the information on the deployments of GPS sensors on animals (when sensors started and ceased to be deployed on the animals). In the case of a cont...
Chapter
A wildlife tracking data management system must include the capability to explicitly deal with the spatial properties of movement data. GPS tracking data are sets of spatiotemporal objects (locations), and the spatial component must be properly managed. You will now extend the database built in Chaps. 2, 3 and 4, adding spatial functionalities thro...
Chapter
Animals move in and interact with complex environments that can be characterised by a set of spatial layers containing environmental data. Spatial databases can manage these different data sets in a unified framework, defining spatial and non-spatial relationships that simplify the analysis of the interaction between animals and their habitat. A la...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter looks into the spatiotemporal dimension of both animal tracking data sets and the dynamic environmental data that can be associated with them. Typically, these geographic layers derive from remote sensing measurements, commonly those collected by sensors deployed on earth-orbiting satellites, which can be updated on a monthly, weekly o...
Chapter
Tracking data can potentially be affected by a large set of errors in different steps of data acquisition and processing. Erroneous data can heavily affect analysis, leading to biased inference and misleading wildlife management/conservation suggestions. Data quality assessment is therefore a key step in data management. In this chapter, we especia...
Article
Early warning monitoring systems in food-insecure countries aim to detect unfavourable crop and pasture conditions as early as possible during the growing season. This manuscript describes a procedure to estimate the probability of experiencing an end-of-season biomass production deficit during the on-going season based on a statistical analysis of...
Conference Paper
Monitoring the impact of drought on vegetation conditions is a critical activity for assessing food security in semi-arid and arid countries in Africa. Remote sensing from space offers a unique opportunity to obtain consistent and timely information over large and inaccessible areas where field observations are scattered, inhomogeneous or frequentl...
Article
Full-text available
Because many large mammal species have wide geographical ranges, spatially distant populations may be confronted with different sets of environmental conditions. Investigating how home range (HR) size varies across environmental gradients should yield a better understanding of the factors affecting large mammal ecology. We evaluated how HR size of...
Article
Full-text available
Ungulate populations exhibiting partial migration present a unique opportunity to explore the causes of the general phenomenon of migration. The European roe deer Capreolus capreolus is particularly suited for such studies due to a wide distribution range and a high level of ecological plasticity. In this study we undertook a comparative analysis o...
Article
Full-text available
Human–wildlife conflicts are common across Africa. In Mozambique, official records show that wildlife killed 265 people during 27 months (July 2006 to September 2008). Crocodile Crocodylus niloticus, lion Panthera leo, elephant Loxodonta africana and hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius caused most deaths but crocodiles were responsible for 66%. Cro...
Article
Full-text available
This study presents the main results and the methodology used in the creation of the atlas of the risk of desertification in Italy. A desertified area was defined as an unproductive area for agricultural or forestry use, due to soil degradation processes. An area at risk of desertification was a tract of the earth's surface which is vulnerable or s...
Chapter
Full-text available
Land cover/use and its changes are important driving forces of (global) environmental change and therefore central to sustainable development. The inventory of the land-cover/use types in Mozambique, their location, extent, distribution and changes at the national level and at a more detailed level in two Provinces, using up-to-date technologies an...
Chapter
Full-text available
The Italian Ministry for Environment and Territory has funded the implementation of a national atlas on areas with risk of desertification, in order to have a preliminary tool for the correct implementation of the National Action Plan (PAN) to combat drought and desertification.. The PAN has been adopted by the Italian government through the Nation...
Article
Full-text available
There is a general consensus that the main factors causing desertification are soil, climate, vegetation and land management. The first problem that arises in assessing desertification risk is the integration of different data sets in the same model. At the moment, in Italy it is possible to find or to derive databases covering continuously all the...
Article
Full-text available
The Experimental Institute for Soil Study and Conservation has been endorsed of the realization of a new atlas of the desertification risk in Italy at 1:250,000 scale by the Italian Ministry of Environment. The methodology proposed is based on the use of indicators of pressures, state and response. Since soil stores water and mitigates drought risk...
Article
Various institutions and organizations regularly monitor vegetation condition in food insecure regions of the world using remote sensing techniques from space mainly because of economic and security reasons. In this study, we outline a method to objectively assess the characteristics of concluded growing seasons ate the regional level on the basis...
Article
Full-text available
Studies have already been conducted on assessing the risk of desertification in Italy at continental, national and regional level. They combine different climatic, soil, vegetation, and socio-economic attributes to estimate pressure on land and state of soil and vegetation. This study is aimed at presenting the methodology used in the creation of t...

Projects

Projects (3)
Project
EUROLYNX is an open, bottom-up project to promote collaborative science based on knowledge and data sharing to investigate the movement ecology of Eurasian lynx in their different habitats and management regimes
Archived project
Progetto commissionato dal Ministero dell'Ambiente per la redazione di un Atlante del Rischio di Desertificazione in Italia
Project
EUropean ROe DEER is an open, bottom-up project joined by 33 research centres and environmental institutes to promote collaborative science based on knowledge and data sharing to investigate the movement ecology of European deer in their different habitats and management regimes