Utilising his background in theoretical physics, Steve’s research at the Stockholm Resilience Centre applies theoretical modelling tools, such as dynamical systems theory and network theory, to the study of social-ecological systems. Currently he holds a FORMAS grant to investigate interactions between the planetary boundaries, focusing initially on the feedbacks between biodiversity (biosphere integrity) and climate change.
Other research interests include extending economic poverty trap models to better take into account the complex cultural and biophysical settings in which poverty occurs and the diversity of alleviation strategies that are used to alleviate poverty. Previously, Steve modelled the social-ecological dynamics of Baltic Sea fisheries.
Steve holds a PhD in theoretical physics from the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia. Previous positions include: a postdoctoral position at the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden, Germany; and a guest affiliation as Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow at NORDITA, the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics.
Awards and achievements:
Research news | 2017-06-12
New study explores how information and collaboration influence governance networks, and highlights trade-offs and benefits of using adaptive policies
Research news | 2017-05-03
Development aid must incorporate culture and nature better in efforts to push communities out of poverty, researchers argue
Research news | 2015-08-26
How humans matter for ecological regime shifts
Research news | 2013-08-23
Better understanding of the coupling between human behavior and ecological dynamics key to predicting ecological regime shifts
2017 - Journal / article
Among the most enduring ecological challenges is an integrated theory explaining the latitudinal biodiversity gradient, including discrepancies observed at different spatial scales. Analysis of Reef Life Survey data for 4127 marine species at 2406 coral and rocky sites worldwide confirms that the total ecoregion richness peaks in low latitudes, near +15°N and −15°S. However, although richness at survey sites is maximal near th...
2016 - Journal / article
How do people make decisions between an immediate but small reward and a delayed but large one? The outcome of such decisions indicates that people discount rewards by their delay and hence these outcomes are well described by discounting functions. However, to understand irregular decisions and dysfunctional behavior one needs models which describe how the process of making the decision unfolds dynamically over time: how do w...
2015 - Journal / article
High levels of cellular damage are associated with impairment of cellular function and cell death. Partitioning the damage into a fraction of cells in the population improves population fitness and survival. We have previously shown that protein aggregates, resulting from misfolded, damaged proteins, fuse with each other leading to damage partitioning during cell division. Here, using an analytical treatment of aggregate fus...
2015 - Journal / article
"Natural resource management is people management" is a cliché, but the effects of human behavior on the condition of natural resources, and vice versa, are often still not sufficiently acknowledged when modeling and managing natural resources. We constructed an empirically parameterized model of the boom and collapse of Baltic cod fisheries in the 1980s that explicitly took these two-way interactions between human action and...