Photo of Federico Riva

Federico Riva

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Degrees:B.Sc. Natural sciences, M.Sc. Environmental biology, Ph.D. Conservation biology

Current Research

I am a conservation biologist interested in biodiversity conservation and spatial analyses. In the past I conducted behavioral experiments, studies of rare species, assessments of communities and biodiversity, landscape analyses, and species distribution models. Most of my studies focus on butterflies and vascular plants as model organisms. My current projects lay at the interface of landscape ecology, macroecology, conservation biogeography, remote sensing, and ecological theory. My ultimate career goal is advancing our understanding of the different processes that determine biodiversity patterns at different scales and levels of biological organization to recommend effective conservation practices.

Selected Publications

Please see for a full list of my publications.

A functional perspective on the analysis of land use and land cover data in ecology, F Riva, SE Nielsen (2021), Ambio 50, 1089–1100

Six key steps for functional landscape analyses of habitat change, F Riva, SE Nielsen (2020), Landscape Ecology 35, 1495-1504, Best Article Award in Landscape Ecology

Of detectability and camouflage: evaluating Pollard Walk rules using a common, cryptic butterfly, F Riva, G Gentile, S Bonelli, JH Acorn, FV Denes, AD Crosby, SE Nielsen (2020), Ecosphere, 11 (4), e03101, Cover of the May 2020 issue

 Composite effects of cutlines and wildfire result in fire refuges for plants and butterflies in boreal treed peatlands, F Riva, J Pinzon, JH Acorn, SE Nielsen (2019), Ecosystems 23 (3), 485-497

 Narrow anthropogenic corridors direct the movement of a generalist boreal butterfly, F Riva, JH Acorn, SE Nielsen (2018), Biology letters 14 (2), 20170770

Localized disturbances from oil sands developments increase butterfly diversity and abundance in Alberta’s boreal forests, F Riva, JH Acorn, SE Nielsen (2018), Biological Conservation 217, 173-180