Start main page content

Dr Francesca Parrini

MSc (Biological Sciences, University of Firenze, Italy)
PhD (Animal Ecology, University of the Witwatersrand, SA)


Research Interests

Areas of interest
Spatial ecology, foraging ecology, behavioural and conservation ecology.


My main reserach interests lie in theecology and behaviour of mammalian herbivores, their interaction with vegetation and with each other. I am interested in integrating factors governing their foraging and social behaviour at the small scale (feeding patch, individual) to the factors governing decisions at the landscape and herd levels.

Currently I am using remote sensing toinvestigate the link between small scale and large scale ecological questions in order to answer theoretical questions such as habitat selection in heterogeneous environments; spatial distribution of herbivores in relation to resource and climatic variables; the effect of resources distribution and activity behaviour on group dynamics.

My aimis touse behaviour and ecology related questions to answer conservation issues, in an attempt to contribute to bridge the still existing gab between behavioural ecology and conservation science.

Student supervision


Laura Manley ( 2008). The influence of green regrowth after fires on the use of space of sable antelope in Kruger National Park. Co-supervised byDr Barend Erasmus.COMPLETED.

Azhar Rajah (2008). NDVI derived phenology metrics and movement patterns of collared elephants in the Timbavati and adjoining areas. Co-supervised byDr Barend Erasmusand Dr Jason Marshal. COMPLETED.

Glen Lawrence (2007). Using MODIS derived vegetation indices to describe phenological patterns in the Kruger National Park and adjacent rural areas. Co-supervised byDr Barend Erasmus. COMPLETED.

MSc by Coursework and Research report (50% research)


Wilfired Seitlhamo (2009). Mapping and quantifying the impact of grazing around water points in a small semi-arid savanna game reserve (part-time student, co-supervised with Dr Barend Erasmus). ONGOING.

MSc by Dissertation

MIchael Hensman (2009). Home range and habitat use of sable antelope in Botswana. Co-supervised with Prof. Norman Owen-Smith and Dr Barend Erasmus. ONGOING.


Parrini F.
& N. Owen-Smith (in press). The importance of post-fire regrowth for sable antelope in a Southern African savanna. Journal of African Ecology.

Parrini F. (accepted). Hierarchical forage selection by sable antelope in a South African savanna. Austral Ecology.

Parrini F.,
Manley L.& B.F.N. Erasmus (submitted).Sable antelope use of burned areas in the Southern African Kruger National Park, asassessed by remote sensing.Koedoe.

Parrini F.,
J. W. Cain III & P. Krausman (2009). Capra ibex. Mammalian Species, 830: 1-12.

rese308365ce5534a7ba48b54d342d59ec8Spatial and temporal heterogeneity of phenology patterns in Kruger National Park, South Africa: different drivers for different areas. Proceedings of the 33rd International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment (ISRE). 4-8 May 2009, Stresa, Italy. 


Grignolio S., I. Rossi, B. Bassano, F. Parrini & M. Apollonio (2004). Seasonal variations of spatial behaviour in female Alpine ibex (Capra ibex ibex) in relation to climatic conditions and age. Ethology, Ecology and Evolution, 16(3): 255-264. 8 citations.

Parrini F., S. Grignolio , S. Luccarini , B. Bassano & M. Apollonio (2003). Spatial behaviour of adult male Alpine ibex, Capra ibex ibex, in the Gran Paradiso National Park, Italy. Acta Theriologica, 48(3): 411-423. 4 citations.

Grignolio S., F. Parrini, S. Luccarini, B. Bassano & M. Apollonio (2003). Habitat selection in adult males of Alpine ibex, Capra ibex ibex. Folia Zoologica, 52(2): 113-120. 4 citations.

In preparation (To be submitted by end 2009)


Parrini F. Daily feeding pattern of sable antelope (Hippotragus niger niger). Target journal South African Journal of Wildlife Research.

J. Marshal, Rajah A., Parrini F., & B.F.N. Erasmus. NDVI derived phenology metrics and movement patterns of collared elephants in the Timbavati and adjoining areas. Target journal European Journal of Wildlife Research.

Parrini F. & N. Owen-Smith. Activity budget, synchrony and social affiliation among different age-sex classes in a non dimorphic ungulate, the sable antelope. Target journal Animal Behaviour.

Parrini F. Sable antelope spatial use in a Southern African Nature Reserve. Target journal Journal of Zoology.

Parrini F. & B.F.N. Erasmus. Spatio-temporal variation in phenometrics in Kruger National Park, South Africa: consequences for predicting climate change influence on biodiversity. Target journal Remote Sensing of Environment.