Arie Staal (1991) is a postdoctoral researcher at Wageningen University. Arie is interested in the resilience and stability of terrestrial ecosystems such as tropical forests and savannas. For his PhD research he specialized in the resilience of the Amazon rainforest. In parts of the Amazon, forest and savanna may be alternative stable states due to positive feedbacks in the ecosystem. One positive feedback occurs when grass cover enhances fire, which in turn favours a grassy ecosystem. Another positive feedback occurs when forest cover enhances rainfall, which in turn favours a forested ecosystem. To unravel the complex dynamics governing this forest-savanna system, Arie aims to bridge dynamical systems theory and empirical results from satellite-data analysis. Gaining understanding of the system dynamics in the Amazon and other tropical regions improves our abilities to prevent self-propagating forest loss when climate change or deforestation reach a tipping point.