My research aims at understanding what makes ecological communities resilient to external changes, and what makes them fragile. Over the last century, humans have induced larger and more rapid changes in ecosystems than in any other period of time in human history. Ecological communities respond to external changes in different ways. Some of them unexpectedly break down, which coincides with losses of species, habitats and ecosystem services. Understanding the environmental changes of the coming decades requires an improved scientific understanding of the role of ecological interactions in stabilizing and destabilizing communities.
I combine mathematical modeling and data analysis to investigate the role of ecological interactions (in particular facilitation) in driving ecosystem resilience, but also to develop indicators of resilience that could warn us of an approaching shift in ecosystem state.