Max Rietkerk – Spatial ecology & global change

Max develops and tests novel theory for critical transitions and spatial pattern formation in various ecosystems based on spatial ecology. His successful approach is a combination of ecosystem specific modelling, data gathering and analysis together with ecosystem generic modelling. He uses and validates spatial models with experiments, data collection and the use of existing data sets. Highly cited key results include the discoveries of universal spatial organization in various ecosystems associated with critical transitions. Also, he discovered the principle of scale-dependent feedback, underlying emergent spatial self-organization in many ecosystems, and he is also part of the team revealing generic early warning signals for critical transitions in complex systems. Recently he is coordinating PI of the ERC-Synergy project: Pathways of resilience and evasion of tipping in ecosystems.