I had a great time talking about ecological phase separation and coarsening dynamics in salt marshes at Princeton University.

Meeting people from other disciplines is always a great joy (and a great puzzle). I presented our ideas of how the physical concept of phase separation can be used to understand ecological patch dynamics in ecosystems such as seagrass beds and grazed salt marshes at a Pattern workshop at Princeton University, organized by Corina Tarnita, Rob Pringle and Simon Levin. I learned from physicist Nigel Goldenfeld that the secrets of spinodal decomposition may provide insights in when these important ecosystems can still be restored.

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Vacancy for PhD student working on “Understanding animal search”

Together with Jan van Gils, Allert Bijleveld, and Sander van Doorn (RUG), I have a PhD position vacant for somebody interested in understanding animal search from a principle-seeking viewpoint. If you want to combine modelling with experiments to understand animal search, this might be your job!

See: https://www.workingatnioz.com/our-jobs/phd-student-“understanding-animal-search”.html

Spatial Patterns: A Blueprint for Ecosystem Resilience

How to make a sturdy ecosystem? It might be a good idea to design it with a nice regular pattern. Helene de Paoli and Aniek van der Berg showed it makes all the difference when restoring a mussel bed. Their work was published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Link to the paper: http://www.pnas.org.proxy-ub.rug.nl/content/early/2017/06/26/1619203114.abstract

Link to the NIOZ press release (in Dutch): https://www.nioz.nl/en/news/mosselpatronen-blijken-blauwdruk-voor-landschapsherstel-wadplaten