Van Leeuwenhoek Lecture on BioScience - Johan van de Koppel (NIOZ, RUG): "A multidisciplinary approach to pattern formation in ecosystems"



16:00 hrs


Leiden University, Gorlaeus laboratories, Cell Observatory.


A multidisciplinary approach to pattern formation in ecosystems

Date: Thursday September 24 2015 at 16.00 hrs.
Gorlaeus laboratories, Cell Observatory  
From 15.30 onwards: tea/coffee/biscuits

Speaker: Johan van de Koppel (NIOZ, RUG)

Johan van de Koppel studied biology at Groningen University and obtained his PhD also in Groningen (1997). He has been a postdoc at Wageningen University and still is a senior researcher at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) in Yerseke. Since November 2011 he is an honorary professor in the spatial ecology of intertidal systems, and spatial ecology in general at the University of Groningen (RUG).

Most examples of self-organized spatial patterns in ecosystems are based on Alan Turing’s activator-inhibitor principle, where pattern formation is driven by spatial variation in biological growth conditions. I will highlight a new mechanism of pattern formation in ecosystems that is based on animal movement, and is akin to the physical principle for phase separation, known to explain pattern formation in alloys such as steel or bronze. Using models and experiments, I will argue that both processes can occur simultaneously, and interact to determine the resilience of ecosystems to disturbances and changing environmental conditions.

Please keep these dates free in your diary:
- October 29 2015 at 16.00 hrs., Geert Kops (UMC)
- November 19 2015 at 16.00 hrs.
- January 28 2016 at 16.00 hrs., Gerry Wright (Hamilton, Ontario)
- February 18 2016 at 16.00 hrs., Tecumseh Fitch (Vienna)
- March 31 2016 at 16.00 hrs., Vera van Noort (Leuven)
- April 21 2016 at 16.00 hrs., Carl Johnson (Tenessee)
- May 26 2016 at 16.00 hrs., Doyne Farmer (Oxford)
- June 30 2016 at 16.00 hrs.