Hide menu


New publication in Nature Communications

David, Alva and Bo got a paper published in Nature Communications, entitled "Adaptive rewiring aggravates the effects of species loss in ecosystems"! The study has been brought to attention by several media outlets, for example by svt.se (Swedish), sr.se (Swedish),  LiU and University of Washington's Conservation Magazine. (2015-10-10)

Theoretical Biology at summer lunch

Today, parts of the division of Theoretical Biology enjoyed a delicious summer buffet at the closely situated Mjellerumsgården. People will soon begin to leave for vacation, and we wish you all a great summer and look forward to an interesting and productive autumn! (2015-06-11)

Another thesis on the log...

...and another dissertation coming up! Last Thursday Alva Curtsdotter elegantly nailed her thesis "Extinctions in Ecological Communities - direct and indirect effects of perturbation on biodiversity". On Friday the 29th of August she will defend it against opponent Dr Elisa Thébault from Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris. Deciding if the defense is successful are the members of the examination committee, which is comprised by Dr Bodil Elmhagen, Stockholm University, Dr Anna Gårdmark, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Dr Michele Casini, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. (2014-08-11)

New publication in Nature

We are very happy to announce that Ph.D. students Torbjörn Säterberg and Stefan Sellman and Prof. Bo Ebenman recently published a paper in Nature. The Letter entitled "High frequency of functional extinctions in ecological networks" reveals a disturbing phenomenon: that the decline of a species, often as little as 30%, may cause another specis in the food web to go extinct, that such events may occur quite frequently and that they are likely to be hard to predict, as the species going extinct often was not directly interacting with the declining species. Media picked up on the intriguing study. For example, there is an excellent popular science summary by Kate Shaw Yoshida or, for you swedish speakers out there, you can check out the interview with Bo Ebenman on swedish national radio. (2013-08-13)

Dr. Lasse Ruokolainen visits Theoretical Biology

Last week we had the pleasure of receiving Dr. Lasse Ruokolainen, of the Helsinki University, for a 2-day visit. During this time Lasse had a packed schedule of meetings with the different group members, discussing several of our current and future research projects, to which he contributed with many insightful comments and questions. He also gave a much appreciated talk, "Diversity loss as a mechanism for disease outbreaks", on oppurtunistic pathogens and how their ecological interactions may influence their epidemiology. (2013-05-23)

View over Rhossili Bay

Work visit in Swansea

Bo Ebenman and Alva Curtsdotter of our PACE Lab recently spent 10 days in Swansea, Wales, visiting Dr. Mike Fowler of the Swansea University. The purpose of the visit was the planning of, and working on, a review paper on secondary extinction cascades.  Work which went very well. Further, while in Swansea, both Bo and Alva presented their research in the interdisciplinary Network Seminars Series with network interested biologists, mathematicians, engineers and more in the audience, contributing with many interesting questions and insights. Fortunately, there was also some time to enjoy the (for Wales) exceptionally beautiful spring weather and the stunning surroundings, for example the 10th best beach in the world(!), Rhossili Bay. (2013-05-23)

New publication in Ecology Letters

Dr Anna Eklöf recently published her paper "The dimensionality of ecological networks" in Ecology Letters, the currently ranked No 1 Ecology journal. Big congrats! The paper investigates how many dimensions (niche-axes) that are needed to enable us to predict which pairs of species interact in an ecological network. The question originated already with the idea of ecological niches, but has remained unanswered. Analysing 200 ecological networks, of different interaction types, Anna and colleagues reach the surprising conclusion that <10 dimensions are needed to explain all interactions, with model selection favouring even fewer, <5. Get your hands on the paper here! (2013-02-27)

Congratulations to the new Doctor Sofia Berg

Sofia Berg successfully defended her thesis "Community Robustness Analysis: Theoretical approaches to identifying keystone structures in ecological communities" on Friday the 15th of February. Dr Daniel Stouffer from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, was her opponent. It was all properly celebrated on the Saturday with good food, drink, dancing and, of course, the traditional spex! (2013-02-25)

Left: Senior Scientist Huddle comprising opponent, supervisors and members of the examination committee, from the left: Daniel Stouffer, Sebastian Diehl, Bo Ebenman, Anna Gårdmark, Tomas Jonsson och Peter Hambäck. Upper middle: Sofia and Daniel in deep discussion during the defense. Middle left: Supervisor Tomas Jonsson giving his congratulating speech at the party. Co-supervisor Bo Ebenman and former Phd colleague Linda Kaneryd enjoying the company at the party. Upper right: Sofia and her parents. Relieved and happy after the successful defense. Lower right: Sofia dominating the spex competition of "In how many languages can you say butterfly?".

Visit from Down Under

This week the group of Theoretical Biology had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Daniel Stouffer from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Daniel travelled here to be the opponent at Sofia Berg's thesis defence, but his extended stay allowed for many rewarding discussions with Bo Ebenman, Anna Eklöf, Uno Wennergren and their Ph.D. students. Dr Stouffer also held an appreciated talk in the Thursday Seminar series of IFM, the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. (2013-02-15)

Linköping host of the OIKOS meeting

The annual meeting of the Swedish Ecological Society OIKOS was this year held at Linköping University. Lars Westerberg and collegues did a tremendous job organizing it all. More than a hundred ecologists from all over Sweden attended at and contributed to the conference with talks, posters and photos to the photocompetition. Theoretical Biology were represented by Anna Eklöf and Tom Lindström, giving talks, and David Gilljam and Jonatan Årevall presenting posters. This year's Per Brinck Award was given to Prof. Sharon Strauss, from the University of California Davis, for her work on eco-evolutionary processes within complex communities. As a bonus, this year, in direct connection to the OIKOS meeting the Swedish National Phenology Network held a phenology symposium, starring Dr. Annette Menzel from the Technical University Munich. (2013-02-11)

Sofia Berg nailed it!

And "it" is her thesis, entitled "Community Robustness Analysis: Theoretical Approaches to Identifying Keystone Structures in Ecological Communities". Having been nailed, it must soon be defended and Friday the 15th of February is the Day for Sofia. Her opponent will be Dr. Daniel Stouffer from the University of Canterbury, New Zeeland. Daniel will be staying with us for a week, getting rid of his jet lag just in time for his long flight home. In the examination committee we will see Docent Anna Gårdmark, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Prof. Sebastian Diehl, Umeå University and Prof. Peter Hambäck, Stockholm University. (2013-01-23)

The 4th Swedish Meeting on Mathematics in Biology

...was arranged by the PEG and held in Lund, 11-12 December. PACE Lab's Bo Ebenman, Alva Curtsdotter and David Gilljam were there, the latter two presenting posters. Key note speakers Russel Lande and Ken Andersen covered "Selection and evolution in fluctuating environments" and "Trait based models". The audience/other speakers consisted of mathematicians, biologists and everything in between, making for a varied and interesting program during daytime as well as for varied and interesting conversations in the evening. (2012-12-21)

Anna Eklöf lands 2.5 MSEK grant from Vetenskapsrådet

Last week Anna Eklöf received a 2.5 million SEK grant from Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council) for her research on "Species-specific traits in ecological networks -- importance for structure, functioning and robustness". The aim is to develop new methods to increase our understanding of which factors are most important in shaping species interactions in various types of ecosystems. The grant will cover Dr. Eklöf's research at Linköping University for three years. (2012-11-09)

Uno Wennergren lands 2.5 MSEK Formas grant

Recently, professor Wennergren received 2.5 million swedish crowns from The Swedish Research Council Formas. The funding is for a 3-year post doc, the purpose of which is to develop a theoretical framework that manages to link local population processes to the larger scale of EU-wide biodiversity trajectories. This project however is only one part of a larger EU project with the aim to predict European biodiversity trajectories, resilience and changes to ecosystem services under scenarios of climate and land-use change. (2012-09-13)

New SPABIO Member

We welcome Master student Jonatan Årevall who will be working on his Master thesis with Uno Wennergren as supervisor. By using a spatially explicit metapopulation model Jonatan will investigate if and how the bacterial strain wMel Wolbachia can be introduced efficiently to a population of mosquitos, who are vectors for dengue fever. Such an introduction would be desirable as the Wolbachia infection reduces the replication of new virus particles in the mosquito host, thereby reducing the risk that a mosquito bite will spread the virus to a human host. (2012-09-11)

Dr Linda Kaneryd

Paper highlighted in Science for Environment Policy

In late June, Dr Linda Kaneryd's paper "Species-rich ecosystems are vulnerable to cascading extinctions in an increasingly variable world" was highlighted in the Science for Environment Policy News Alert. This weekly news alert is part of the news and information service published by Directorate-General Environment, European Commission, designed to help the busy policymaker keep up-to-date with the latest environmental research findings needed to design, implement and regulate effective policies. See the highlight here or read the paper! (2012-08-14)

Dr Malin Setzer

Great media coverage of the Arctic Charr research

When Malin Setzer's thesis "The decline of great Arctic Charr in Lake Vättern - empirical and theoretical analyses of suggested causes" was presented in the beginning of summer it attracted quite a bit of attention. News papers, internet news sites, radio and tv news programmes reported on the research results, especially focusing on the rising threat that climate change may pose to the already diminished population of great Arctic Charr in Vättern. The media coverage ranged from local and specialized, such as Länstidningen i Vadstena and fiskemagasinet.se, over regional media, such as Östgöta Correspondenten, SVTs Östnytt and P4 Ekot Östergötland, all the way up to national, such as Svenska Dagbladet. The article on LiU's own news site you can find here, where there is also a link to the thesis itself. (2012-08-14)

Older News items

You can find older News items (prior to 2012-08) here.

Responsible for this page: Alva Curtsdotter

Last updated: 10/10/15