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.


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