Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics Group
  We use molecular tools to study the evolution of diversity, and assist in its conservation

Giovanni Forcina, PhD

National University of Singapore

Department of Biological Sciences

Avian Evolution Laboratory

Google scholar citations

Research Interests

My research interests encompass both evolutionary and population genetics of vertebrates.

The theoretical background of my work lies in the awareness that understanding the extent and distribution of genetic diversity within a spatio-temporal framework as well as the underlying micro- and macro evolutionary processes is pivotal to establish sound conservation strategies.

I am currently working on two different projects; one aimed at further clarifying the dispersal and reproductive dynamics of the western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) to implement long-term conservation programs, and the other focused on optimizing a panel of intronic loci to be used for population genetics and phylogeographic studies of spatially isolated and taxonomically diverse small mammal communities (namely rodents and shrews). I plan to later use these genomic tools to get insight into the micro evolutionary patterns experienced by the fast changing small mammal community of Doñana, thus shedding new light on the nature and contribution of the environmental changes involved.

I formerly worked on gamebirds and wildlife forensics in the research group headed by Filippo Barbanera at the University of Pisa.


Peer-reviewed Articles


DNA barcoding of bird species in Cyprus: a tool for conservation purposes
Dimitriou CA, Forcina G, Papazoglou C, Panayides P, Guerrini M, Crabtree A, Barbanera F, Sfenthourakis S (2017)
Bird Conservation International, 1-12. doi: 10.1017/S0959270916000472


Investigation of ancient DNA to enhance natural history museum collections: misidentification of smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata) specimens across multiple museums
Barbanera F, Moretti B, Guerrini M, Al-Sheikhly OF, Forcina G (2016)
Belgian Journal of Zoology 146, 101–112



Molecular DNA identity of the mouflon of Cyprus (Ovis orientalis ophion, Bovidae): Near Eastern origin and divergence from Western Mediterranean conspecific populations
Guerrini M, Forcina G, Panayides P, Lorenzini R, Garel M, Anayiotos P, Kassinis N, Barbanera F (2015)
Systematics and Biodiversity 13, 472-483


Impacts of biological globalization in the Mediterranean: unveiling the deep history of human-mediated gamebird dispersal
Forcina G, Guerrini M, van Grouw H, Gupta BK, Panayides P, Hadjigerou P, Al-Sheikhly OF, Awan MN, Khan AA, Zeder MA, Barbanera F (2015)
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112 (11), 3296–3301


Introductions over introductions: the genomic adulteration of an early genetically valuable alien species in the United Kingdom
Barbanera F, Forcina G, Cappello A, Guerrini M, van Grouw H, Aebischer NJ (2015)
Biological Invasions 17, 409-422


Genetic characterization of game bird island populations: The conservation of the black francolin (Francolinus francolinus) of Cyprus
Forcina G, Panayides P, Kassinis N, Guerrini M, Barbanera F (2014)
Journal for Nature Conservation 22, 15-2


Conservation of endemic and threatened wildlife: molecular forensic DNA against poaching of the Cypriot mouflon (Ovis orientalis ophion, Bovidae)
Barbanera F, Panayides P, Guerrini M, Forcina G, Beccani C, Ioannou I, Hadjigerou P (2012)
Forensic Science International: Genetics 6, 671-675


Molecular evolution of the Asian francolins (Francolinus, Galliformes): a modern reappraisal of a classic study in speciation
Forcina G, Panayides P, Guerrini M, Nardi F, Gupta BK, Mori E, Al-Sheikhly OF, Mansoori J, Khaliq I, Rank DN, Parasharya BM, Khan AA, Hadjigerou P, Barbanera F (2012)
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 65, 523-534


Molecular phylogeny and diversity of the Corsican red-legged partridge: hybridization and management issues
Barbanera F, Forcina G, Guerrini M, Dini F (2011)
Journal of Zoology 285, 56-65


Genetic consequences of intensive management in game birds
Barbanera F, Pergams ORW, Guerrini M, Forcina G, Panayides P, Dini F (2010
Biological Conservation 143, 1259-1268


Breeding site selection by olfactory cues in the threatened northern spectacled salamander Salamandrina perspicillata (Savi, 1821)
Romano A, Forcina G, Barbanera F (2008)
Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 18, 799-805