Giulio De Leo is a theoretical ecologist by formation, he is interested in investigating factors and processes driving the dynamics of natural and harvested populations and in understanding how to use this knowledge to inform practical management.
In recent years he has been particularly keen to study the resilience of natural and managed population to anthropogenic stressors, environmental shocks and climate change. He investigates resilience from two very different view points: on the one hand, he focuses his attention on populations that are resilient despite our effort to control and eradicate them, typically parasitic and infectious diseases. On the other hand, he has been working extensively to understand how to increase resilience of population of commercial or conservation interest to extensive harvesting, environmental shocks, climate and land use change.
He has been working on a number of theoretical and applied problems ranging from the conservation of the European eel to the sustainable management of the abalone fishery in Baja California in the face of climate change and ocean acidification, the biocontrol of schistososmiasis in west Africa and the relationship between resource exploitation, infectious diseases and poverty traps.
He is the scientific director of the newly established Center for Disease Ecology, Health and the Environment at Stanford.