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The University of Southampton
Biological SciencesPostgraduate study

Ms Fabrizia Ratto BSc, MSc

Postgraduate Research Student In Environmental Biosciences

Ms Fabrizia Ratto's photo

I am a Postgraduate Research Student within Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton and have been an ecologist since the beginning of my undergraduate degree. In between studies I have covered various ecologist roles for local authorities both in Italy and the UK.

“To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, one clover and a bee.” Emily Dickinson

Career History

2010-2013: Environmental Records Officer. Buckinghamshire Environmental Records Centre, UK.
2009-2010: Project Officer. Hampshire Biodiversity Information Centre, UK.
2008-2009: Volunteer Data Officer. Hampshire Biodiversity Information Centre, UK.
2001-2005: Environmental Education Officer. Baragge-Bessa-Brich Natural Park, Biella, Italy.

Academic Qualifications

2014-present: PhD in Biological Sciences. University of Southampton, UK.
2007-2008: MSC in Biodiversity Conservation. School of Conservation Sciences, Bournemouth University, UK.
1997-2003 BSc in Natural Sciences (First Class Hons). Facolta di Scienze Matematiche, Fisiche e Naturali, Universita Degli Studi Di Milano, Italy.

Research interests

My research interests comprise of ecosystem services, particularly pollination services, insect ecology, species responses to change  and more generally, research that provides applicable solutions to bridge the gap between biodiversity conservation and the need of an increasing human population.

The MSc project, which I carried out in collaboration with Butterfly Conservation UK, focussed on the auto-ecology of a butterfly species (Aporia crataegi), which became extinct in the UK in the 1920s. This work aimed at providing more detailed understanding of the micro-habitat and micro-climatic requirements of this species in light of a potential reintroduction in the UK.

My current IfLS and Biological Sciences funded research project aims at adding to the limited knowledge on pollination services at a fine-scale and the findings will be used to investigate fundamental questions about the sensitivity of pollination services  to potential land-use changes.

The main outcome of my PhD is a rapid, accessible and scientifically robust method for the measurement and valuation of pollination services provided by sites of importance for biodiversity conservation, which will assist decision making at a fine scale. This new methodology has been incorporated into the Toolkit for Ecosystem Services Site-based assessment (TESSA) version 2.0 and piloted in the field in the UK.

I have also used systematic review methodologies and meta-analysis to quantify the contribution of vertebrate pollinators on the reproductive success of plants worldwide.

Supervisors: Dr Kelvin Peh, Prof Guy Poppy, Prof Sally Brailsford, Dr Lynn Dicks
PhD research: Estimating the net economic consequences of losing pollination services
Funding: Institute for Life Sciences


Ratto, F., Simmons, B. I., Spake, R., Zamora-Gutierrez, V., MacDonald, M. A., Merriman, J., Tremlett, C., Poppy, G., Peh, K. S.-H. and Dicks, L. V. (2018) ‘Global importance of vertebrate pollinators for plant reproductive success: a meta‐analysis’, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 16(2), pp. 82–90.
doi: 10.1002/fee.1763

Research group

Environmental Biosciences

Research project(s)

Estimating the net economic consequences of losing pollination services

This project aims at estimating the economic, ecological cultural and social consequences of the decline of pollinators to human well-being.

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Module Co-ordinator (maternity cover)

BIOL1003 Ecology and Evolution

Lecturer (maternity cover)

BIOL2001 Evolution


BIOL2004 Pure and Applied Population Ecology

BIOL2008 Quantitative methods in Biological and Environmental Sciences


Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessment (TESSA). Version 2.0 Cambridge, UK Available at:

Ms Fabrizia Ratto
School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences
Life Sciences Building 85
University of Southampton
Highfield Campus
SO17 1BJ
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