University of Calgary

Marco Musiani

  • Professor (ended on Jul 1, 2016)

Currently Teaching

Not currently teaching any courses.



University of Rome - Ecology - NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow 2005

University of Calgary - Applied Animal Ecology - PhD 2003

University of Siena, Italy - Ecology - Laurea Degree (with honours) 1997

Personal Statement

I am an Associate Professor with the Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary, and a Faculty Affiliate with the University of Montana, U.S. I also hold a joint appointment with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Calgary, Department of Ecosystem and Public Health. Please see the links below to view pages highlighting work by my group. Together with me, the Postdoctoral fellows, and the PhD and Master students in my lab have a strong focus on landscape ecology, genetics and wildlife management. Recently, with some students I am also focusing on human dimensions in wildlife management issues. With other students again, I am studying wildlife movements and their reaction to people using multi-agent models.

Currently, I am analyzing ecological data on wolves and their prey, which was gathered throughout Northern and Western Canada. I am Principal Investigator or co-PI on a number of projects with hundreds of Global Positioning System (GPS) collars deployed on elk, caribou, moose, wolves and other wildlife species throughout the Rocky Mountains and Foothills regions of Canada. All such projects are focused on impact assessment, mainly of forestry and oil and gas development. I also teach Impact Assessment and Research Methods courses.

Typically, I have published papers on a number of applied ecology journals, which also include articles on wildlife ecology and management in Poland, Italy, Canada and the U.S.. Recently, I have also participated in interdisciplinary and glamorous studies published in journal such as Nature and Science. Finally, I have published a couple of books on wolves with the University of Calgary Press.

I organized the World Wolf Congress 2003 in Banff, Canada. I often serve as reviewer for research and management projects such as the Wolf Reintroduction Programs in the North-western and the South-western U.S., and act as a consultant for the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (to protect livestock from wolves).

Selected Work

TOP 5 HIGH IMPACT RESEARCH CONTRIBUTIONS OVER PAST 5 YEARS, PICKED FROM 48 PEER-REVIEWED PAPERS (SINCE Jun 2009). Marked as follows: Graduate Student/Fellow, Musiani, and Journal Names in Bold; Major Funding Sources in Parenthesis. Ordered by Impact Factor.

  1. VonHoldt BM, Pollinger JP, Lohmueller KE, Han E, Parker HG, Quignon P, Degenhardt JD, Boyko AR, Earl DA, Auton A, Reynolds A, Bryc K, Brisbin A, Knowles JC, Mosher DS, Spady TC, Elkahloun A, Geffen E, Pilot M, Jedrzejewski W, Greco C, Randi E, Bannasch D, Wilton A, Shearman J, Musiani M, Cargill M, Jones PG, Qian Z, Huang W, Ding ZL, Zhang Y-P, Bustamante CD, Ostrander EA, Novembre J, Wayne RK (2010). Genome-wide SNP and haplotype analyses reveal a rich history underlying dog domestication. Nature 464:898–902. (NSF, NSERC) Impact Factor: 36.280.

  2. Anderson TM, vonHoldt BM, Candille SI,  Musiani M, Greco C, Stahler DR,  Smith DW, Padhukasahasram B, Randi E, Leonard JA, Bustamante CD, Ostrander EA, Tang H, Wayne RK, Barsh GS (2009). Molecular and evolutionary history of melanism in North American gray wolves. Science 323:1339-1343. (NSF, NSERC). Impact Factor: 31.201.

  3. Yannic G, Pellissier L, Ortego J, Lecomte N, Couturier S, Cuyler C, Dussault C, Hundertmark KJ, Irvine RJ, Jenkins DA, Kolpashikov L, Mager K, Musiani M, Parker KL, Roed KH, Sipko T, Skarphéðinn GP, Weckworth BV, Guisan A, Bernatchez L, Cote SD (2013). Genetic diversity in caribou linked to past and future climate change. Nature Climate Change: (NSERC).  Impact Factor: 14.472.

  4. vonHoldt BM, Pollinger JP, Earl DA, Knowles JC, Boyko AR, Parker H, Geffen E, Pilot M, Jedrzejewski W, Jedrzejewski B, Sidorovich V, Creco C, Ettore R, Musiani M, Kays R, Bustamante CD, Ostrander EA, Novembre J, Wayne RK(2011). A genome-wide perspective on the evolutionary history of enigmatic wolf-like canids. Genome Research 21:1294–1305. (NSF, NSERC) Impact Factor: 14.397.

  5. Weckworth BV, Musiani M, DeCesare NJ, McDevitt AD, Hebblewhite M, Mariani S (2013). Preferred habitat and effective population size drive landscape genetic patterns in an endangered species. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 280: 20131756. (CAPP, NSERC, ACA, Alberta Innovates) Impact Factor: 5.683.


    Note: The above, very high impact papers resulted from large international collaborations. In the other papers published (also with good impact factors), the inputs of my lab only were more prominent and I was lead author in 35, while my graduate students and PostDocs were always first authors, with just a couple of exceptions.


    TOP 5 MAJOR GRANTS AND AWARDS. Ordered by If Principal Investigator and Amount.

  1. Title: Linear Features, Forestry and Wolf Predation of Caribou and Other Prey in West Central Alberta, Role: Principal Investigator. Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada (PTAC), Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), Shell, Weyerhaeuser Company, Alberta Fish and Wildlife, Alberta Conservation Association. $1,379,000 (2007-2010). Split: $665,000 from CAPP and $714,000 from Weyerhaeuser, Parks Canada and Shell.

  2. Title: The Role of Predation in Woodland Caribou Declines Role: Principal Investigator. Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada (PTAC), Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), Shell. $450,000 over 4 years (2011 onward). Note: My Eyes High PhD Scholar is focusing on this project only starting Sep 2014.

  3. Title: Developing Multivariate Approaches To Analyze Ecological Variation In Caribou, Individual (Musiani) Discovery Grant, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). $140,000 over 5 years (2011 onward). Note: Eyes High Postdoc (this application) will focus on this project and also collaborate with project n. 2 above. Obviously, no funds are available from the Discovery to pay for a much needed Postdoc.

  4. Title: Montane Elk Research Program, Role: Co-Principal Investigator. Shell Canada and National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC, CRD project), $1,700,000 (2008 - 2012). Split: $750,000 from NSERC and $950,000 from Shell. Note: project got "EMERALD AWARD" , 2013,

  5. Title: Genomic-Scale SNP Genotyping of the Arctic Wolf: Ecology and Adaptation over Space and Time, Role: Co-Principal Investigator (with R.K. Wayne, UCLA). National Science Foundation (NSF). $885,000 (2008 - 2011).



Training and teaching graduate students, PDFs and lab technicians have enormously contributed both to learning and to formulating new research ideas. Students and technicians under my supervision completed reports, which were then submitted to various environmental management advisory groups. This type of work has taught students to excel in the professional arena (i.e. we should not assume that all will become academics). Other reports were presented as oral communications (49 in the last 5 years) at National and International conferences. Graduate students became 1st author in thirty-two (32) papers published in high impact journals during the last 5 years. I could also obtain some written feedback as some lab meetings were structured into a course, and evaluations by students indicated ratings in the excellent range.

During the last 5 years, I served as supervisor or co-supervised with the University of Calgary and the University of Montana, UofM. My supervisory activity was also complemented by serving as Faculty Affiliate for UofM, an institution that partners with us. I also obtained a joint position with the Department of Ecosystem & Public Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM), University of Calgary. I have similar arrangements and similarly successful training activity with UCVM. I come to the Faculty every day and work with all from my office and in the so-called ES Lab and Studio. Our work typically necessitates meeting with each individual and/or in groups for a half day per week minimum, designing together projects and writing grant applications. I helped students obtain some prestigious scholarships: example, nine (9) NSERC, five (5) Queen Elizabeth, Eyes High PhD, Alberta Ingenuity, Fullbright and various other scholarships.

In my lab personnel supervised and trained is also ‘skilled’ at getting ‘informal’ recognitions. For example (just one out of many), ‘my’ PhD student, Byron Weckworth received major media coverage after producing some results on caribou and responses to development with us: interviews in over 70 International News’ Websites, Newspapers and Radios in North America and UK, e.g., Calgary Herald, Calgary Sun, Toronto Sun, The Star, Winnipeg Free Press, The Chronicle Herald, West Island Chronicle, among other newspapers in Canada; Local Calgary CTV, CBC Radio and Radio-Canada International, Discovery Channel News.



Marco Musiani's Lab:The Landscape Ecology Research Group (link 1)

The Landscape Ecology Research Group (link 2)


Listen to the audio from:

It's an interview with Voice of America, Science World. VOA has 130+ million people audience and the piece is about one of our projects on Wolves, Elk, Humans and Ecosystem Effects.


Listen to the audio from:

It's an interview with Radio Canada International and the piece is about one of our projects on Reindeer, Caribou, and Climate Change.

Curriculum Vitae


  • PhD - Applied Animal Ecology
    University of Calgary, 2003
  • Honours - Ecology
    University of Siena, 1997
  • BSc - Biology
    University of Rome "La Sapienza", 1995
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