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


Our research program:
To understand and quantify the uncertainty associated with the behavior of ecological communities



New Events

Twitter: @MIT_ecology

- The group welcomes Pengjuan Zu (chemical ecologists), who will join us as a postdoc in December!
- Serguei will give a talk to the Mitsui Corporation in early November
- Sebastian Schreiber will visit the group in early November
- Serguei will give an invited talk in October at the Evolution and Financial Markets Workshop 
- Simone will give an invited talk in October at WHOI Seminar Series

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.