When under pressure, ecological systems can cross thresholds that can lead to large and irreversible changes in ecosystem states. These changes are associated with dramatic declines in the population densities of some species and large changes in the structure and function of ecosystems. Thus, it is critically important to quantify the vulnerability of ecological systems to thresholds, to predict when thresholds will be crossed, and to understand if state changes can be reversed.

This project will explore how genetic variation within populations affects tipping point behaviour in ecological systems. The project will require some background in mathematics and computer simulations. We can also discuss opportunities to do some experimental work in the laboratory. 

This project will be done in collaboration with Dr Vasilis Dakos (https://www.vasilisdakos.info/) who is at the University of Montpellier and the CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research) in France.

Supervisor: Dr Simon Hart