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Activity Budget Scaling in Carnivores

Carnivores live a high-risks, high-rewards life: they eat highly energetic food but it costs a lot of energy to hunt. I used a mathematical models to study how different-sized species respond to these challenges.

Baboon Population Ecology

Baboons live in large group with complex social structures. I worked with behavioural and population ecologist to learn more about how these social groups work.

Elemental composition of Vertebrates

What chemical elements make up a vertebrate and in what proportions? Working with theoretical, wildlife, and landscape ecologists, I studied the elemental composition of a small vertebrate and how it varies among individuals. Photo credit: Juliana Balluffi-Fry.



Rizzuto, M., Leroux, S. J., Vander Wal, E., Wiersma, Y. F., Heckford, T. R., and Balluffi-Fry, J. (2019). Patterns and potential drivers of intraspecific variability in the body C, N, P composition of a terrestrial vertebrate, the snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus). Ecology and Evolution, 9, 14453–14464.

Abstract | Full text | Source code | Data | citation


Food quality and consumer home range size

Food quality varies over space and time in natural systems. Animals respond to this variation by making space use decision. I work with data from a small terrestrial herbivore to test if it varies its home range size with variation in its preferred foods’ nutrient content

Nutrient transport by animals

Animals are constantly on the move to find and exploit high quality food patches. These movement, which happen at small spatial scale and on a daily basis, hold the potential to link habitats with different productivities and nutrients availability. I am working to develop a mathematical model to describe these links and their implications for ecosystem dynamics and conservation policies.

Integrating Information in Meta-ecosystems

Information is a fundamental, if understudied, currency of life and is everywhere in nature. I am co-leading a team of researchers from various ecological backgrounds to integrate biological information theory with metaecosystem theory. Our goal is to provide a research framework to help shed light on the role of this currency in shaping natural systems.

Emergent technologies to study animal subsidies across scales

Nutrient transfer across ecosystem boundaries is a fundamental part of ecosystem functioning. Yet, it is quite challenging to study it in the field. I am collaborating with researchers from Yale University to develop a framework to help future studies of this phenomenon.


Rizzuto, M., Carbone, C., Pawar, S. Bio-mechanical constraints on foraging reverse the scaling of activity rate among carnivores.


Rizzuto, M., Leroux, S. J., Vander Wal, E., Wiersma, Y., Heckford, T. R., Balluffi-Fry, J. Life in a Limiting Environment. Ontogeny and Ecological Stoichiometry of Snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) in the Boreal Forests of Newfoundland


Rizzuto, M., Leroux, S. J., Vander Wal, E., Wiersma, Y., Heckford, T. R., Balluffi-Fry, J. Beyond Diffusion: Animal-Mediated Nutrient Transport at Different Spatial Scales




Graduate Course, Imperial College London - Silwood Park Campus, Department of Life Sciences, 2014

Behavioural Ecology

Undergraduate Course , Imperial College London, Department of Life Sciences, 2015


Undergraduate Course, Imperial College London, Department of Life Sciences, 2015