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Welcome to Theoretical Biology!

The research in the division of Theoretical Biology is based on mathematical modeling. Using this approach we study the structure and dynamics of different kinds of large scale biological systems, such as ecological and epidemiological systems. Members of the division have different academic backgrounds; some are pure biologists, others are mathematicians or a combination of both.

There are two research labs in the division of Theoretical Biology: Population and Community Ecology lab headed by Professor Bo Ebenman and Spatiotemporal Biology lab headed by Professor Uno Wennergren. Below are listed some topics that the two labs work with. More information about the activities in the two labs is presented on their respective webpages, SPABIO lab and PACE lab.

SPABIO - Spatiotemporal Biology lab

  • The mechanisms behind the existence of high biodiversity
  • Long term strategies for preserving species in dynamic landscapes
  • Reducing the risk of spread of diseases
  • Analysis and optimization of animal transport: logistics and animal welfare
Picture credits to Anna Eklöf & Frida Lögdberg.

PACE - Population and Community Ecology lab

  • The response of ecosystems to species loss: the risk and extent of extinction cascades
  • Identification of keystone species and keystone links in ecosystems
  • The robustness of ecosystems to an increasingly variable world: effect of climate change on the structure and functioning of ecosystems
  • The response of metacommunities to habitat and species loss: the role of local and regional processes
  • Ecologically effective population sizes


The division of Theoretical Biology has a close collaboration with the Ecological Modeling Research Group at the University of Skövde. There are also international collaborations as with Dr Colleen Webb at the Colorado State University. Members from the division are active in international research networks like the ESF Research Networking Programme SIZEMIC (Body-size and ecosystem dynamics: integrating pure and applied approaches from aquatic and terrestrial ecology to support an ecosystem approach) and working groups of NIMBioS (National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis). If you are a student at LiU you might encounter some of the group members in the Master program Ecology and the Environment.

Responsible for this page: Alva Curtsdotter

Last updated: 01/27/15