Finding the limits of what is possible and what is not in nature.


Our research program:
To increase our understanding and develop reliable indicators about the tolerance and response of ecological communities to environmental variations.



New Events

Twitter: @MIT_ecology

The group welcomes our 2 new members, Mohammad AlAdwani and Lucas Medeiros---PhD candidates!

- Simone will give a talk at ESA 2018 on August 8th 1.50pm
- Chuliang will give a talk at ESA 2018 on August 7th 11.10am
- Andrea will give a talk at ESA 2018 on August 10th 8am
- Serguei will give a talk at ESA 2018 on August 9th 9am


What is structural ecology?
Structural ecology was born from the integration of structural stability and community ecology.

Structural stability is the stability of the qualitative behavior of a dynamical system against fluctuations of its parameters.
Structural stability is a "natural condition to place upon mathematical models for processes in nature because the conditions under which such processes take place can never be duplicated; therefore, what is observed must be invariant under small perturbations and hence stable" René Thom.

Thus, the question is how much structurally stable an ecological community is to environmental changes (e.g., how much parameter changes can a community tolerate before losing feasibility).

How we do it? Combining mathematical and computational tools with field data.

Why we do it? To estimate future changes in ecological communities and understand their past. To quantify the limits at which ecological communities may no longer mitigate the effects of environmental change.