Assistant Professor in Theoretical Ecology at the University of Amsterdam
I am broadly interested in questions ranging from population dynamics to evolutionary theory. Particularly at the interface of ecology and evolution, where complex interactions act on multiple levels of organization and at varying time scales. In my research work on malaria these interactions have special significance, also presenting a unique framework for addressing more general theory on this subject.
"Can the course of disease elimination be manipulated by enhancing synergistic interactions between stochastic and deterministic processes?"
The final descent to extinction is often driven by a synergy of several processes that may be disconnected from the original cause of decline. Understanding processes that lead systems to collapse and re-emerge is a central theme in the study of complex system, touching on the fundamentals of complexity science. In the area of conservation science, it is known for example, that a temporary reduction in population size do to external disturbance, coupled with an Allee effect, can be catastrophic. During my time in IAS I will be studying synergistic interactions between stochastic and deterministic processes underlying the dynamics of infectious diseases close to the point of elimination. I will be using a combination of top-down mathematical approaches (i.e., ODE based compartmental models) and bottom-up computational ones (i.e., Multi-scale Gillespie agent based models), as well as tools from network theory, nonlinear dynamics and complex systems.