Giovanni Rapacciuolo

Giovanni Rapacciuolo
California Academy of Sciences · Citizen Science

PhD

About

40
Publications
18,951
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996
Citations
Introduction
Giovanni Rapacciuolo is a biodiversity data scientist and macroecologist. His work at the macroecology–conservation practice interface takes advantage of emerging approaches for analyzing and visualizing big datasets to improve our predictive understanding of large-scale biodiversity change and support conservation decisions. Giovanni is currently a Research Scientist at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.
Additional affiliations
January 2013 - present
University of California, Berkeley
Position
  • PostDoc Position
October 2009 - December 2012
Imperial College London
Position
  • PhD

Publications

Publications (40)
Article
Full-text available
Comprehensive assessments of species’ extinction risks have documented the extinction crisis and underpinned strategies for reducing those risks. Global assessments reveal that, among tetrapods, 40.7% of amphibians, 25.4% of mammals and 13.6% of birds are threatened with extinction. Because global assessments have been lacking, reptiles have been o...
Article
Full-text available
Comprehensive assessments of species’ extinction risks have documented the extinction crisis and underpinned strategies for reducing those risks. Global assessments reveal that, among tetrapods, 40.7% of amphibians, 25.4% of mammals and 13.6% of birds are threatened with extinction. Because global assessments have been lacking, reptiles have been o...
Article
Full-text available
Human activities are altering the structure of ecosystems, compromising the benefits they provide to nature and people. Effective conservation actions and management under ongoing global change rely on a better understanding of socio-ecological patterns and processes across broad spatiotemporal scales. Both macroecology and conservation science con...
Article
Opportunistic and unstructured observations of biodiversity crowdsourced from volunteers, community, and citizen scientists make up an increasingly large proportion of our global biodiversity knowledge. This incredible wealth of information exists in real time at both high resolutions and large extents of space, time, and taxonomy, thus holding hug...
Article
Full-text available
Species distribution models (SDMs) constitute the most common class of models across ecology, evolution and conservation. The advent of ready‐to‐use software packages and increasing availability of digital geoinformation have considerably assisted the application of SDMs in the past decade, greatly enabling their broader use for informing conservat...
Article
Full-text available
Species distribution models (SDMs) constitute the most common class of models across ecology, evolution and conservation. The advent of ready-to-use software packages and increasing availability of digital geoinformation have considerably assisted the application of SDMs in the past decade, greatly enabling their broader use for informing conservat...
Article
Documenting ecological patterns across spatially, temporally and taxonomically diverse ecological communities is necessary for a general understanding of the processes shaping biodiversity. A major gap in our understanding remains the comparison of diversity patterns across a broad spectrum of evolutionarily and functionally diverse organisms, part...
Preprint
Full-text available
Model transferability is an emerging and important branch of predictive science that has grown primarily from a need to produce ecological forecasts in the face of widespread data deficiency and escalating environmental novelty. In our recent article in Trends in Ecology and Evolution, we outlined some of the major roadblocks that currently undermi...
Article
Full-text available
Model transferability is an emerging and important branch of predictive science that has grown primarily from a need to produce ecological forecasts in the face of widespread data deficiency and escalating environmental novelty. In our recent article in Trends in Ecology and Evolution, we outlined some of the major roadblocks that currently under-...
Article
Full-text available
The difficulty of integrating multiple theories, data, and methods has slowed progress towards making unified inferences of ecological change generalizable across large spatial, temporal and taxonomic scales. However, recent progress towards a theoretical synthesis now provides a guiding framework for organizing and integrating all primary data and...
Article
Full-text available
Preserving the evolutionary history and ecological functions that different species embody, in addition to species themselves, is a growing concern for conservation. Recent studies warn that conservation priority regions identified using species diversity differ from those based on phylogenetic or functional diversity. However, spatial mismatches i...
Article
Issue Owing to their large‐scale scope and emphasis on prediction, macroecological models have the potential to provide key contributions to evidence‐based conservation practice. However, examples of macroecological modelling outputs directly influencing conservation practice and decision‐making remain rare. The general barriers to implementation o...
Article
Full-text available
Predictive models are central to many scientific disciplines and vital for informing management in a rapidly changing world. However, limited understanding of the accuracy and precision of models transferred to novel conditions (their ‘transferability’) undermines confidence in their predictions. Here, 50 experts identified priority knowledge gaps...
Article
Full-text available
Global variation in species richness is widely recognized, but the explanation for what drives it continues to be debated. Previous efforts have focused on a subset of potential drivers, including evolutionary rate, evolutionary time (maximum clade age of species restricted to a region), dispersal (migration from one region to another), ecological...
Article
Full-text available
In a world of rapid environmental change, effective biodiversity conservation and management relies on our ability to detect changes in species occurrence. While long-term, standardized monitoring is ideal for detecting change, such monitoring is costly and rare. An alternative approach is to use historical records from natural history collections...
Article
Full-text available
Increasing attention to pollinators and their role in providing ecosystem services has revealed a paucity of studies on long-term population trends of most insect pollinators in many parts of the world. Because targeted monitoring programs are resource intensive and unlikely to be performed on most insect pollinators, we took advantage of existing...
Article
Examining the biogeography of body size is crucial for understanding how animal communities are assembled and maintained. In tetrapods, body size varies predictably with temperature, moisture, productivity seasonality and topographical complexity. Although millennial-scale human pressures are known to have led to the extinction of primarily large-b...
Article
Full-text available
The emergence rate of new plant diseases is increasing due to novel introductions, climate change, and changes in vector populations, posing risks to agricultural sustainability. Assessing and managing future disease risks depends on understanding the causes of contemporary and historical emergence events. Since the mid-1990s, potato growers in the...
Preprint
Full-text available
Growing evidence indicates that species respond idiosyncratically when exposed to the same changes in climate. As a result, understanding the potential influence of biological traits on species’ distributional responses is a research priority. Yet, empirical support for hypothesised influences of traits on climate change responses remains equivocal...
Article
Full-text available
Research efforts that synthesize historical and contemporary ecological data with modeling approaches improve our understanding of the complex response of species, communities, and landscapes to changing biophysical conditions through time and in space. Historical ecological data are particularly important in this respect. There are remaining barri...
Article
Full-text available
Conservation biologists have only finite resources, and so must prioritise some species over others. The EDGE-listing approach ranks species according to their combined evolutionary distinctiveness and degree of threat, but ignores the uncertainty surrounding both threat and evolutionary distinctiveness. We develop a new family of measures for spec...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Massive amounts of ecological data are becoming available through large digitization collaborative projects. These data come from disparate sources with varied methodological biases and yet present the opportunity to address ecological questions at unprecedented spatial and temporal scales. Large scale anthropogenic pert...
Data
Number of species for which each modelling framework generated the most accurate hindcasts. (DOCX)
Data
Relative effect of taxonomic and methodological variation on accuracy of hindcasts. (DOCX)
Data
Accuracy of model hindcasts. The accuracy of hindcasts generated by each modelling framework was measured by mean AUC and reported for each major taxonomic group. Error bars represent ±1 standard error of the mean. The dashed line indicates the rule-of-thumb for good predictions (AUC = 0.8). Abbreviations: ANN = artificial neural networks, CTA = cl...
Data
Effect of predictor set on the accuracy of model forecasts and hindcasts. (DOCX)
Data
Description and optimisation of the modelling techniques used. (DOCX)
Data
Mean sensitivity versus mean specificity of model hindcasts. Mean sensitivity and specificity of hindcasts generated by each modelling framework for (A) butterflies, (B) plants, (C) birds. Error bars represent ±1 standard error of the mean. The dotted line indicates the condition where mean sensitivity = mean specificity. (EPS)
Data
Accuracy of hindcasted changes in species occupancy. Accuracy of predicted changes in occupancy between t2 and t1 as a function of species’ observed proportional range change between t2 and t1: (A) histogram of the frequency of species’ proportional range change values; (B) correct classification rate across stable grid squares (i.e., those that ha...
Data
Correlation coefficients of observed versus predicted range size and range change for model hindcasts. (DOCX)

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Projects (2)