photo of Dr. Michael Abraha

Dr. Raffaele Lafortezza

Associate Professor, University of Bari, Italy.
Adjunct Professor at CGCEO, Michigan State University

Landscape Ecology & Ecosystem Science (LEES)

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Dr. Lafortezza’s research interests are interdisciplinary in nature and relate to the assessment of driving forces, interactions, and feedback mechanisms underlying ecosystem dynamics at multiple spatial and temporal scales. The overarching goal of his research is to provide natural resource managers and decision makers with geospatial knowledge, tools and indicators that would enable them to become better stewards of healthy and sustainable ecosystems.

Solutions to real-world problems require an understanding of complex ecological patterns and processes, which are typically multidimensional and exist at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Dealing with such structured and multi-scaled issues implies the use of quantitative and interdisciplinary approaches. Consequently, his research increasingly involves the development and use of remote sensing tools, including satellite images and laser scanning data (LiDAR), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), multivariate statistical techniques and process-based models accounting for uncertainty (e.g., Hierarchical Bayesian models), and working in a multi-disciplinary setting.

During the past 17 years, Dr. Lafortezza has acquired considerable knowledge and experience in global change issues, including biogeography, by coordinating a wide range of large-scale projects funded by various organizations worldwide. Dr. Lafortezza has authored and co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, including two books on landscape ecology and GIS modelling: “Patterns and Processes in Forest Landscapes” (Springer, 2008) and “Landscape Ecology in Forest Management and Conservation” (HEP & Springer, 2010). Dr. Lafortezza is Associate Editor of the following scientific journals: “Urban Forestry & Urban Greening” (Elsevier), “Landscape Ecology” (Springer), and Ecological Processes (Springer).


PhD Landscape Ecology and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) | 2002
University of Bari, Italy


Journal Paper

    Selected publications (with LEES Lab members):
  1. Sciusco, P., Chen, J., Abraha, M., Lei, C., Robertson, G.P., Lafortezza, R., Shirkey, G., Ouyang, Z., Zhang, R., John, R., 2020. Spatiotemporal variations of albedo in managed agricultural landscapes: inferences to global warming impacts (GWI). Landscape Ecology, 35(6): 1385-1402.
  2. Ouyang Z., Fan P., Chen J., Lafortezza R., Messina J.P., Giannico V., John R., 2019. A Bayesian approach to mapping the uncertainties of global urban lands. Landscape and Urban Planning, 187: 210-218
  3. Chen J., John R., Sun G., Fan P., Ouyang Z., Wu J., Amarjargal A., Dong G., Gutman G., Huettmann F., Lafortezza R. et al., 2018. Prospects for the sustainability of social-ecological systems (SES) on the Mongolian plateau: five critical issues. Environmental Research Letter, 13, 123004: 1-16
  4. Giannico V., Chen J., Ouyang Z., Shao C., Lafortezza R., 2018. Contributions of landscape heterogeneity within the footprint of eddy-covariance towers to flux measurements. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 260: 144-153
  5. John R., Chen J., Giannico V., Park H., Xiao J., Shirkey G., Ouyang Z., Shao C., Lafortezza R., Qi J., 2018. Canopy cover and herbaceous aboveground biomass on the Mongolian Plateau: spatio-temporal estimates and controlling factors. Remote Sensing of Environment, 213: 34-48
  6. Lafortezza R., Chen. J., Konijnendijk C., Randrup T., 2018. Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) for Resilient Landscapes and Cities. Environmental Research, 165: 431-441
  7. Shao C, Chen J, Chu H., Dong G., Batkhishig O., Lafortezza R., Abraha M., John R., Ouyang Z., 2017. Linkage climate and land cover changes with carbon sequestration on the Mongolian Plateau: The underlying mechanism. Environmental Research, 159: 124-134
  8. Lafortezza R., Chen J., 2016. The Provision of Ecosystem Services in Response to Global Change: evidences and applications. Environmental Research, 147: 576-579



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