Egbert van Nes

Egbert van Nes holds a MSc in Environmental Science at Wageningen Agricultural University (1986). Currently, he occupies a position as researcher at the Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality group of Wageningen University, The Netherlands.  In 2002, he finished his PhD Thesis entitled “Controlling complexity in individual-based models of aquatic vegetation and fish communities”. For this work, he developed the individual-based models Charisma (macrophytes) and Piscator (fish).

Currently his research is largely focused on the phenomena of alternative stable states and complex dynamics in ecosystems. Among others he studied the occurrence of multiple attractors in models of complex networks of competing species. Furthermore the effect of spatial heterogeneity on critical transitions was studied in models. Recently, he studied critical slowing down as early warning signal for critical transitions between alternative stable states. In a different line of work, he developed with Marten Scheffer a new theory that reconciles the niche and neutral theory. Furthermore, he contributes to numerous PhD projects on a broad range of ecological subjects and is member of the editorial board of the American Naturalist.

Current projects: ERC Early Warning Signals, CRITICS ITNNESSC

Keywords: theoretical ecology, resilience, critical transitions, resilience indicators, ecological models, MATLAB


Publication list (Google scholar)


Some selected publications

Fire forbids fifty-fifty forest
Van Nes, E.H., Staal, A., Hantson, S., Holmgren, M., Pueyo, S., Bernardi, R.E., Flores, B.M., Xu, C. & Scheffer, M. (2018)
PLoS ONE 13 (1)[Full text]

Coral reefs in the Anthropocene
Hughes, T.P., Barnes, M.L., Bellwood, D.R., Cinner, J.E., Cumming, G.S., Jackson, J.B.C., Kleypas, J., van de Leemput, I.A., Lough, J.M., Morrison, T.H., Palumbi, S.R., van Nes, E.H. & Scheffer, M. (2017)
Nature 546 (7656):82-90 [Full text]

Inequality in nature and society
Scheffer, M., van Bavel, B., van de Leemput, I.A. & van Nes, E.H. (2017)
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114 (50):13154-13157 [Full text]

What Do You Mean, “Tipping Point”?
van Nes, E.H., Arani, B.M.S., Staal, A., van der Bolt, B., Flores, B.M., Bathiany, S. & Scheffer, M. (2016)
Trends in Ecology & Evolution 31 (12):902–904 [Full text]

Causal feedbacks in climate change
van Nes, E.H., Scheffer, M., Brovkin, V., Lenton, T.M., Ye, H., Deyle, E. & Sugihara, G. (2015)
Nature Climate Change 5:445–448 [Full text]

Early-warning signals for critical transitions
Scheffer, M., Bascompte, J., Brock, W.A., Brovkin, V., Carpenter, S.R., Dakos, V., Held, H., van Nes, E.H., Rietkerk, M. & Sugihara, G. (2009)
Nature 461 (7260):53-59 [Full text]

  Art by Tone Kristin Bjordam
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