University of Calgary

Marco Musiani

  • Professor
  • Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Research Interests


I am a Professor in the Dept. of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science. I also have a Joint Appointment with the Department of Ecosystem and Public Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Calgary, and I am Faculty Affiliate with the University of Montana, U.S.. My lab has a strong focus on landscape ecology, molecular ecology, and wildlife conservation. We demonstrated how highly vagile organisms such as caribou, elk and wolves are ideal study species to recognize Evolutionarily Significant Units, which should also become management and conservation units. As the effects of topographic barriers on reproductive isolation are limited in these species, other influences on differentiation can be studied, including a suite of traits that may be of adaptive value. With some students I also focused on human dimensions in wildlife management issues. With other students again, I studied wildlife movements and their reaction to people using multi-agent models.

I am Principal Investigator or co-PI on projects with Global Positioning System (GPS) collars deployed on elk, caribou, moose, wolves, grizzlies and other wildlife species throughout the Rocky Mountains and Foothills regions of Canada. All such projects are run together with graduate students and have applications towards impact assessment, mainly of forestry and oil and gas development.

My students and I have published papers on applied ecology journals, which also include articles on molecular ecology, wildlife ecology and management in Poland, Italy, Canada and the U.S.. I have also participated in interdisciplinary 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.

My focus is on academic matters. However, I have also organized the World Wolf Congress 2003 in Banff, Canada. I served as reviewer for research and management projects such as the Wolf Reintroduction Programs in the North-western and the South-western U.S., and acted as a consultant for the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (to protect livestock from wolves).


Selected Publications

Google Scholar Link:


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.

2. Anderson TM, von Holdt 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.

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: .

4. von Holdt 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.

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. .



· Schweizer RM, Musiani M, Robinson J, Green RE, Harrigan R, Novembre J, Silva P, Galverni M, Wayne RK. (2016). Targeted capture and resequencing of 1040 genes reveal environmentally driven functional variation in gray wolves. Molecular Ecology. In press

· Schweizer RM, von Holdt BM, Harrigan R, Knowles J.C, Musiani M, Coltman D, Novembre J, Wayne RK. (2016). Genetic subdivision and candidate genes under selection in North American gray wolves. Molecular Ecology. In press

· Musiani M. (2016). Wolf hunting and prey behaviors in the real world. Ecology. In press

· Bryan HM, Smits JEG, Koren L, Paquet PC, Wynne-Edwards KE, Musiani M. (2015). Heavily hunted wolves have higher stress and reproductive steroids than wolves with lower hunting pressure. Functional Ecology. 29(3): 347-356.

· Sponarski* C, Vaske JJ, Bath AJ, Musiani M. (2014). Salient values, social trust, and attitudes toward wolf management in south-western Alberta, Canada. Environmental Conservation. 41(04): 303-310.

· Pruvot M, Kutz S, van der Meer F, Musiani M, Barkema HW, Orsel K. (2014). Pathogens at the livestock-wildlife interface in Western Alberta: does transmission route matter? Veterinary Research. 45(1): 1-13.

· DeCesare NJ, Hebblewhite M, Bradley M, Hervieux D, Neufeld L, Musiani M. (2014). Linking habitat selection and predation risk to spatial variation in survival. Journal of Animal Ecology. 83(2): 343-352.

· Pruvot M, Seidel D, Boyce MS, Musiani M, Massolo A, Kutz S, Orsel K. (2014). What attracts elk onto cattle pasture? Implications for inter-species disease transmission. Preventive Veterinary Medicine. 117(2): 326-339.

· Killeen J, Thurfjell H, Ciuti* S, Paton D, Musiani M, Boyce MS. (2014). Habitat selection during ungulate dispersal and exploratory movement at broad and fine scale with implications for conservation management. Movement Ecology. 2(1): 15.

· Semeniuk CAD, Musiani M, Birkigt DA, Hebblewhite M, Grindal S, Marceau DJ. (2014). Identifying non-independent anthropogenic risks using a behavioral individual-based model. Ecological Complexity. 17: 67-78.


1. Marco Musiani, Luigi Boitani, Paul C Paquet Editors. (2010). The World of Wolves: new perspectives on ecology, behaviour and management. University of Calgary Press, LINK
2. Marco Musiani, Luigi Boitani, Paul C Paquet Editors. (2009). A New Era for Wolves and People: Wolf Recovery, Human Attitudes and Policy. University of Calgary Press, LINK

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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