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.


I love computing!

I participated in the Workshop on Geometric and Graph-based Approaches to Collective Motion in the Dagstuhl conference center in Wadern, Germany. We discussed how to compute the connectance of mussels within patterned mussel beds. It is amazing how these computer guys envision complex calculations when they see a bunch of mussels sitting in a pattern!

Self-organization in deep time

I gave an Evening Keynote talk about ecological self-organization at the Autogenic Dynamics Conference of the Society for Sedimentary Geology. We discussed possible signs of self-organization in the geological record. See an example in the poster image, of a deposit with stromatolite-like shapes found in the book cliffs, Colorado, where we went for a field visit.


I gave a lecture and a masterclass within the Wageningen ecology & evolution series (WEES lectures) on Sept 19, 2013.

On september 19, 2013, I gave giving a lecture entitled “The ecology of animal movement: can we learn from physics?”, and before the lecture interested PhD and Master students joined a Master class.

See: http://www.wageningen-evolution-ecology-seminars.nl/

and: https://www.facebook.com/events/282889565184600/

Applying Einstein’s theory of Brownian motion to animal movement

On the 5th of February, I gave a plenary lecture at the wintermeeting of the Dutch Ecological Society (the NAEM days) in Lunteren. My talk highlighted that Einstein’s theory of Brownian motion provides a interesting perspective on the processes underlying the movement of animals, highlighting that Brownian motion is an emergent property of the interactions between organisms, rather than a default model describing the innate movement of animals.

See: http://www.nern.nl/node/24