Sunday, 16 September 2012

Dr. Francsco Carotenuto (Ph.D)
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra
Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II
Largo San Marcellino, 10, 80131-Napoli (Italia)

Research interests
My research focuses on Macroecology and Historical Biogeography of Cenozoic Large Mammals. Actually I'm managing a very large database of Cenozoic Large Mammals, mainly created combining different online databases: Paleodb, NOW and MioMap/(Faunmap). All these data are used to understand the evolution of fossil communities and to seek the relationships between the climatic changes of the Cenozoic (particularly focusing on Quaternary climatic oscillations) and the extinction and speciation rates recorded in the past faunas. Another goal is to detect temporally and spatially statistical discrete paleo-communities and to disentangle the effects of climatic changes and ecological interaction in their evolution. From these points of view, the study of range size evolution is of primary importance to understand the environmental needs of the different species and this implies the development of  new techniques to reconstruct statistically valid "extinct extent of occurrences" for fossil mammals.
Another field of my research deals with the eco-morphology of anatomical structures in the herbivore mammals. Indeed, the evolution of body parts, driven by climatic changes and ecological interactions, can be the expression of different simultaneously acting  factors (physical, adaptative and phylogenetical). These factors raise the need to quantify their differential roles in what we can see as an anatomical structure.
All the analyses involving geographical, ecological and morphological data are performed in a phylogenetic explicit contest. This require the "construction" of phylogenetic trees of extinct and extant large mammals by using molecular and cladistic information, becoming itself another very important topic of my studies. 

Technical knowledge
All the statistical and geostatistical analyses are performed in R (CRAN) environment, whereas geographical inspection of data and Point Pattern Analyses are performed in ESRI ArcGIS and QuantumGis. Phylogenetic trees management is performed via Mesquite, TreeGraph and R (CRAN). Geometric Morphometrics analyses are performed by using TPS software.

Article spotlight: 
Carotenuto, F., Diniz-Filho, J.A.F., Raia, P. 2015 Space and time: The two dimensions of Artiodactyla body mass evolution. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 437, doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2015.07.013