Senior Research Associate & Adj. Associate Professor
Stephen Morreale is a Conservation Ecologist who teaches undergraduate and graduate courses, conducts applied and theoretical research, and heads up several programs that integrate original research and Extension, including the DNR`s Conservation Education Program and the CALS Forest Conservation Education and Research Program. In addition, he is the Associate Director of Research at CornellÕs Arnot Teaching and Research Forest. His taxonomic expertise is in vertebrates, and especially reptiles and amphibians. Much of his research, which focuses on organisms and populations, incorporates remote-sensing, satellite telemetry, GIS and spatial analyses. All of his research integrates ecological theory and conservation, and is directed toward improving resource management strategies.
His focus is in the area of Conservation Ecology. Much of his research concentrates on amphibians and reptiles in terrestrial forest, freshwater, and marine ecosystems. He has ongoing research locally at Cornell’s nearby Arnot Forest, regionally in New York coastal habitats, and internationally, studying marine ecosystem processes, namely with regard to endangered sea turtles. He is convinced that the underpinning of good conservation is a thorough understanding of ecological and evolutionary processes, yet the best ecological studies are always done within the greater context of conservation. Effective research should translate to effective resource management. Furthermore, research needs to be tightly linked to application at the community level through education and outreach. At the core, Morreale’s professional goal is to build an outstanding academic program that generates original ecological research, and integrates this research with complementary and balanced components of education and directed resource management, all embedded in a framework of ecologically-based conservation.
Outreach and Extension Focus
The focus of his Conservation Education Program is to teach sound and practical approaches to wildlife and biodiversity conservation to targeted audiences by seamlessly integrating sound, research-based information into our extension, outreach and teaching efforts. This year they conducted 15 education programs focused on improving physical and biological complexity of forest lands for the benefit of amphibians and reptiles and other biota. Their program serves as a statewide and regional model for habitat enhancement, and as a basis of collaboration with extension educators from six counties in NY and PA, along with private landowners, foresters, land managers, youth, educators, and professors from other universities. A conservancy group in PA continues to work collaboratively with their program to develop demonstration habitat enhancement areas in their forest preserves. Locally, their new forest management techniques are being implemented on Cornell University forested lands, by local and regional professional foresters, and by the NY State Extension Forester. They also held the Environmental Career Skills (ECS) Program, a 3-day immersion course in August 2008 for Cornell freshmen designed to promote the development of environmental careers based on a solid foundation and understanding of natural resources.
- Patel, S. H., Morreale, S. J., Saba, V. S., Panagopoulou, A., Margaritoulis, D., & Spotila, J. R. (2016). Climate impacts on sea turtle breeding phenology in Greece and associated foraging habitats in the wider Mediterranean region. PLOS One. 11:1-17.
- Robinson, N. J., Morreale, S. J., Nel, R., & Paladino, F. V. (2016). Coastal leatherback turtles reveal conservation hotspot. Scientific Reports. 6:1-9.
Presentations and Activities
- Spatial distribution of vocal humpback whales (Megaptera novaeanglieae) around the Abrolhos Archipelago. International Bioacoustics Congress. September 2013. International Bioacoustics Council. Pirenopolis, Brazil.
- Coastal or pelagic: updating the leatherback paradigm. Thirty-Third Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation. February 2013. International Sea Turtle Society. Baltimore, USA.
- Identifying behavioral states in loggerhead turtles using satellite telemetry data. Thirty-Third Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation. February 2013. International Sea Turtle Society. Baltimore, USA.
- Leatherback turtle movements and behavior in the Pacific Ocean: its application in predicting interactions with fisheries. Thirty-Third Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation. February 2013. International Sea Turtle Society. Baltimore, USA.
- Enhancing soil ecology, microclimate, and water retention with surface woody materials. Blueprint for Sustainable Watersheds – Lessons Learned Locally. August 2011. Beijing Normal University. Beijing, Cina.